Podcasts to Drink Coffee by

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

One of life’s great pleasures is a cup of coffee and good conversation. It was during one of these conversations that I had the honour of explaining ‘what is a podcast’ to one of my dear friends. I had a similar conversation a year ago with another friend as she explained the world of podcasts to me! Like books and reading, podcasts are a spark of joy, wonder and escapism in this crazy world.

Keeping on top of everything in this content heavy world that is vying for our ever decreasing attention span, takes creativity – podcasts are no different. New research from March 2019 states there are over 660,000 podcasts worldwide.

In my industry – work and HR technology – listening to podcasts keeps me up to date with the latest trends and injects new voices and opinions into my thinking. It is heartening to see specific series that focus on work and work related issues. Here are my favourites:

Let’s Fix Work – Laurie Ruettimann

The Pineapple Project – Claire Hooper

This Working Life – ABC RN (Australia)

Work Life – Adam Grant

Humans of HR – Dave Guazzaroto, Jared Cameron, Matt Smith and Michelle Farrar-Eagles

Check them out and add them to your next conversation instead of talking about how awful the commute to work was.

How to foolproof 2019

I read. A lot. Pretty much anything. And pretty much anywhere. I have my favourite authors, but I will also try new ones. I have my favourite genres, but I will also try new ones. It was in trying a new author (or so I thought) that my Foolproofing 2019 ideas took hold.

Let’s step back a few months. 2018 was a hard one. For me. Not hard by some standards, but there was a lot of disappointment and heartbreak for both my husband and I. A lot of 2018 was spent mourning a life I thought I was going to have but it was unceremoniously ripped out from under me, with no warning. That’s life. When you get lemons, you need to make lemonade (I don’t like homemade lemonade….but….). Coupled with giving up for adoption our two beautiful dogs, the year pretty awful.

So we moved to the beach. Started our own business and moved on! My spark moved on as well. I wanted my spark back!

Through a serendipitious series of encounters, I believe my Spark has come back home! Welcome back gorgeous!

When I lost her last time, I swore I was going to make the nicest, most comfortable, Cape Cod inspired home for my Spark that there ever was. As Spark sat in the pale blue wing chair, sipping on an organic flat white, I was busily setting up the rest of the house for her to live in joy and comfort. I don’t want her to leave again!

When looking through some book recommendations, I saw one for ‘The Pearl Thief’. The story sounded interesting, so I googled the author (of course….) and I went down the rabbit hole of discovery! Not the least of which I realised I had read one of her books previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I reserved ‘The Pearl Thief’ at my local library. I also discovered that Fiona has written a non-fiction ‘How to Write Your Blockbuster Novel’ – I love a good ‘how to’ book (I am looking at you Deepak, Louise and Wayne!). I got the book and started reading.

Two other things have been going on at this time as well. 2 bloggers that I follow, Darren Rowse and Kelly Exeter are exploring ‘Finding Your Spark’. I am involved in a Facebook group where we talk about that and they are writing a book. I love being involved in their process, so inspiring!

And, a friend of mine, Keith Abraham, an internationally recognised speaker on goal-setting, held a webinar late in 2018, which I attended. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place to Foolproof 2019.

Here you go campers!  My tips to Foolproof 2019.

  1.   Open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking about you and how you work

The options here are endless. I read and listen to these people daily and I am a better person for it.

Seth Godin – Especially Linchpin. Seriously, this concept is gold!

Laurie Ruettimann – Her Let’s Fix Work podcast is brilliant.

2. Challenge yourself

You know the definition of insanity right? Well, do something different!

Keith Abraham – Goal Setting mostly. But there is so much more to Keith’s message. Try writing a list of 100 goals.

Fiona McIntosh – How to Write a Blockbuster. The system for writing in this book applies to almost anything. And it’s funny.

3. Be informed about the world around you, get different points of view

Nextdraft – If you don’t have time to trawl the internet looking for news and interesting stuff to read, Dave Pell will help you out.

Waitbutwhy – If you want to really blow your mind? Start here.

Online subscriptions – are mostly free. BUT, pay for one subscription that you know you will read all the time. It helps out artists and keeps original content alive.

How is your 2019 shaping up so far?

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Thank you for reading. Here at LinkedIn I write about HR and the digital workplace. Connect with me to talk  about what you need to know as a HR professional in the digital world, HR technology, my year in New York or dogs. Connect with me on InMail, sarah@mooreatwork.com and on twitter @SaraMooreatWork

The Balance of Work Life

Recently my husband and I made a massive decision about our personal and professional lives. All based on the pretext of Work Life Balance. Although Work Life was the main driver.

Why? We’d both spent a number of years following the rule book about working in an office, for a corporate, with the 30min desk-based lunch break. But you know what? Rules are meant to be broken. So we did.

We have worked with some amazingly talented people who became friends, mentors, and future collaborators. Then there were the ‘challenging personalities’. And of course the Figjammers! Fortunately, these people were in the minority, but it’s amazing the way your thinking changes when you get damaged by a few of these people. You have a choice to make – stay on the corporate bus or ding the bell and get off at the next stop.

We recently spent time working in the US. The business model our respective employers had set up was a ‘remote’ one. It was good to work from home, but I missed the day to day interaction with people. I enjoyed not being exposed to the daily political cut and thrust of the office, but on the other hand, I missed having cake for no reason and a ready made social group.

We were living, and working in an apartment in Manhattan. Yes, both of us. Wife and husband, and two energetic dogs, 24/7 in a 2 bedroom apartment. Miraculously, we survived without killing each other!  We were ‘living the dream’. Literally.

When our time came to return to Australia, we took this experience and morphed it into something we wanted, not what the rule book said we should do. And we changed big time! The incessant noise of NYC (which we loved, by the way) was replaced with the constant crashing of waves as we moved to a small coastal town in Queensland. 2,500 people, 9 kilometres of beach at our back door and not even a set of traffic lights.

Friends and ex-colleagues challenged us – why, was the first thing everyone asked. The truth is, you cannot compete with New York. It’s an amazing, eclectic mix of fun and chaos. Working remotely in NY is far from remote work. If you need a break, you can grab the elevator to the lobby, and within 2 minutes have an array of distractions available to you. If the truth be known, probably too many distractions. To  get my fix of people watching, I would disappear into the city for a few hours at a time, coming home when I was too cold to go any further.

Could the major business centres in Australia offer us the life we craved? We felt they couldn’t, which pushed us into another major decision. What do we do for work? So we combined our collective experience and invented our own Work Life Balance.

It’s a risk, but apparently fortune favours the brave. Let’s hope it favours true balance of work and the life we hope to enjoy.

We should add, we are fortunate to be in the position of having flexibility in where we live and work. Many don’t have that option. But people can influence their own destiny, and we hope we can inspire friends and colleagues to break the rules!

Moving to the US was a 5 year plan in the making – so start planning now!

Photo credit: Sarah