Re-thinking work. The things that (still) really matter.

Rabble Studio, Cardiff

It was a Monday afternoon in the autumn of 2000. I was sitting in the back of Coffee Republic on Putney High Street. It was a time before ubiquitous coffee shop working enabled by wifi; that afternoon the number of pushchairs outnumbered the workers and their devices — which was basically me and my laptop.

A few months earlier I’d walked out of the gates of number 50 Lisson Street and said goodbye to my last proper job and a monthly pay cheque. I had set myself free, on a mission to rethink that four letter word: w-o-r-k. As I sat there with my espresso I cranked out a list of questions. Because I knew whatever happened next in my career, I wanted to reframe my work life.

And these are the questions I posed myself all those years ago: Why do we have to sit in grey office spaces to do our work? Why must we be defined by our job title? Why can’t we write our own job descriptions rather than have it dictated? Why can’t we wear more than one hat in our roles, rather than be boxed-in to do just one thing? Why can’t we have healthier relationships with our jobs, to avoid getting stressed and depressed at work.

These questions were based on my own experiences. I knew what made me tick, and I’d seen the friction between how I wanted to do my job and what I was expected to do in the office. Why couldn’t I just shape my career around who I really was? (and of course that’s what I’ve done ever since).

It’s been quite a journey since, but those questions and principles have remained a constant. Across all my work with organisations, teams and individuals, what gets me out of bed in the morning is a mission to make the world of work and business more human. Because these are the ten things that — still — really matter:

I’m a creative consultant, storyteller and coach who helps organisations, teams and individuals get fired-up at work. iansanders.com

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IanSanders

Sparking change through story. Energising people at work. Author of 365 Ways to Have a Good Day (out Nov 2021). Fuelled by coffee, curiosity, walking.