Build Your Core: Identify Your Personal Work Life Commandments

Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

I firmly believe that exploring who you truly are as a contributor is vital to leading a happy, fulfilling work life. In my recent work with managers, (read more about that here) we build upon the work of Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project to explore the essence of their work lives — to harvest what they require to solidify their own managerial brand.

The process begins with an inquiry into what makes us “tick” at work — and how to acknowledge that individualized blueprint. In this post, Rubin discusses the identification of a set of personal commandments which serve as an over-arching umbrella to approach our lives. This exercise is easily applied to work life, and is fundamental to working toward an adequate level of self-awareness.

Your first thought may be that you do not have the “ingredients” to develop your own list of commandments, yet I urge you to do so. You have likely already considered (faced and applied) many of the commandments that you will include.

Above all, be true to yourself and how you approach your work life.

Here are a few of my guiding commandments:

  1. Seek inspiration daily.
  2. When in doubt, reach out, share.
  3. Preserve ideas. Respect them. Explore them.
  4. Value goals, but let go of them if needed.
  5. Connect the dots for others.

Here are a few ideas to help you identify your own work life commandments:

  • What feeds your work life? What drives you? What does your inner voice tell you to seek?
  • What advice do you offer others? What would you say to your younger work life self?
  • What words of wisdom resonate? As Rubin mentions, words of wisdom and shared advice or guidance often stick with us for the long haul. Note what has stayed with you.
  • What do you object to? Think of situations when you felt that someone received the “short end of the stick”. What happened? What would you have done differently?
  • Why you’ve left a role. Look back on when you’ve been tempted (or actually left) a job? Why did you leave? What was broken?
  • What you are seeking? What are you looking for at your next role? What are the guiding values within an organization or team would attract you? What is missing in your current role?

This takes time.

Build your list of commandments as they strike you.

Revise as you evolve.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She examines the effect of Core Stability on work life with The Core Training. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program — her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.


One thought on “Build Your Core: Identify Your Personal Work Life Commandments

  1. Great insight, so many are genuinely unhappy in their work environment primarily due to not connecting with others or sharing, this could well be due to each persons personal circumstances and or background.
    We all face challenges in interpersonal skills, so building self confidence and esteem can improve our interactions and behaviour.
    Continuous self improvement and growth is crucial in ones sense of well-being.
    Unfortunately in some cases structure and management styles limit effective communication and free sharing off ideas and or personal situations.


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