This is the final part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life. You can read the rest of the series here.
After a break of a few weeks, we reconvened our Working Out Loud circle for our twelfth and final meeting on Friday. It felt familiar, and good to be back together as a group.
As usual, we opened with our check-in. After a gap of 6 weeks, everyone had a lot of news to share. Some of it related to Wokring Out Loud, and some was broader, but it was great to hear about what had been keeping everyone so busy. We had updates on travel, hobbies, business and leisure activities.
The break felt like we were starting afresh in some ways. The general emotion of the team was one of excitement; getting closure, hitting milestones and celebrating our journey.
Reflecting on our goals
At the beginning of the circle, we all set individual goals. Some changed and evolved along the way, mine included.
I felt a bit derailed towards the end of the WOL journey, business travel stole my time and I felt like I had let my goal slip out of sight.
My biggest reflection was that when I deliberately focus on WOL, then it works and brings benefits very quickly. Therefore, when things threaten to derail me, I need a stragey to create resilience.
When I think back to taking a three-week trip with a lot of travel, I should have reframed my goal, and had a different intention to keep up my writing habit and keep my goal in mind.
I know now.
Letters to the future
We discussed our letters to the future, with reflections, predictions and aspirations. It was wonderful to hear everone so focused on the future and what changes WOL had initiated.
I sent my letter to myself on futureme.org – for once, I won’t publish it here.
This one is for me.
Pay it Foward
We had a lot of discussion about how we would pay the WOL work forward. Some of our group have thought about joining another circle, or working on programmes to bring WOL to wider audiences.
We discussed how we could continue our time together. Our group has been productive and energising, and there is a sense that we want to continue meetings, with a set agenda for WOL ‘Alumni’.
Personally – I think there is no coincidence that I lost my way with my goal, at the same time as we slowed down our meetings. My #mutanfall group acted as a set of the most amazing accountability buddies.
It looks likely that we will continue as a group, and we’re working on scheduling those meetings for the future.
My key takeaways
- The WOL circle has been a productive use of time – inspiring me to some different ways of working and adding the experience of reading the book.
- The effort of Working Out Loud needs to be deliberate and focused in order to maximise the benefits.
- I made some great friends through the process – and I think that anyone who gets into a WOL circle will have that opportunity as well.