Eighteen years ago today, I packed up my things at my beloved desk at Barclays Global Investors, on the 29th floor of a large building on Fremont Street in San Francisco. I walked out the door with great memories.
I had a wonderful ride as Director of Training and Development. I met smart, interesting colleagues, was forever turned on to the field of training and development, and experienced the best managers I have had before or since, Barbara Sanner and Kris Billeter.
I was about to turn 30. I had pneumonia. I had worked a “side hustle” in the evenings for over eight years as the volunteer executive director of a non-profit martial arts organization, in addition to working a demanding day job. I was tired, and ready for a change.
I had no idea what was next in my career. Working on the human side of business was not the question — I loved that field. I just wanted to find the best place and work mode to be challenged and grow creatively.
I interviewed at a bunch of places and got some job offers. But nothing sounded interesting.
That is when I got the idea to freelance for a short while for my former manager Kris, who had moved to Hewlett-Packard.
I started on a big project to redesign HP’s worldwide management education curriculum, and became instantly hooked on consulting.
The next 10 years were an amazing adventure that brought me into hundreds of different companies, where I worked with thousands of smart people who wanted to become better managers and leaders, improve team communications, design their jobs and organizations in a smart way, and communicate effectively with their employees.
The Next Chapter
After ten years of that work, I was ready for a new adventure. I had spoken to many people over the decade who were interested in working for themselves, or starting up interesting entrepreneurial ventures on the side of their day job.
That led to starting the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, which turned into a thriving coaching business, book and community.
Helping people design and launch businesses, while growing their leadership and business skills, was tremendously exciting.
Building partnerships with large organizations that served the small business market was extremely rewarding.
And then, after nine years (notice the general pattern?), I began to itch for a new challenge.
The New Idea
Having worked in just about every work mode possible (employee, entrepreneur, stay at home mom, freelancer, non-profit volunteer), I wanted to help the broader market see the unique new skills required to thrive in this wild ride of the new world of work.
This led to writing Body of Work and launching this new site.
This led to partnering with Susan Cain and Quiet Revolution to undertake a big, audacious project (The Quiet Leadership Institute, more about that soon!) that will empower introverts to use their natural strengths in the workplace, for the benefit of us all.
We have so much more in common than we think– people in every work mode want to know that the work they do matters, they want to enjoy what they do, and they want to know that they will remain highly employable, no matter the economic climate.
My heart sings when I get to help individuals, organizations and communities work together to create positive, productive and sustainable economic growth. So that is my next challenge!
The Vision for This Space
My vision for this next phase of my body of work, housed here at pamelaslim.com, is that I will share:
- Tips and tools for identifying your unique talents, your ideal work projects and your value in an ever-changing marketplace
- Stories of individuals and companies who are doing a great job of communicating the thread that ties their brand story together
- Interviews with creative thinkers, makers, doers and be-ers (is that a word?)
- The broadest representation of who we are in the working world, including professions, people and communities that don’t get as much mainstream exposure as they should
- Best practices for leading organizations in the new world of work
- Stories about communities (like Fargo, North Dakota) who are working to improve their economies and social fabric by encouraging industry, academia, government, creatives and entrepreneurs to work together on mutually beneficial initiatives
I look forward to you joining me on this next stage of my body of work adventure! If it is anything like the last few, we are in for a very fun and wild ride!
18 years old in my country means you are legally an adult. So it is time to get serious about this mission!
Now a question for you:
What’s next in your body of work?
I want to know! Please share below in the comments.