Working Out Loud Circle – Week Six

This is 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.

I work from home on Fridays, and after morning admin the first part of my day is given over to WOL and meeting my circle online.  I find it a positive and energising way to end the week.

So what did we do this week?


Our usual check-in is a great way to start the meeting with updates on progress and a general chit-chat, one of our number was missing this week – but we still had a wide-ranging catchup on increasing our networks, the technology we were using to connect with each other, and the good connections inside & outside the group.

We talked for a while about some of the connection work feeling ‘manipulative’, but referred ourselves to the blog post by John Stepper during the week which seemed to address this quite well.

We also shared a common experience this week – all of us had spent a lot of time cleaning & decluttering, one person online and two people (including me) in the physical world.  All completely by coincidence, we had invested time in ‘clearing the decks’ and collectively we found it quite cathartic.   I’m not sure whether this need was connected to the activities of our circle over the past few weeks, and I’d be interested to see if any other circle members had this experience.  We discussed various strategies for the tidying up – and I was reminded of the excellent work of Marie Kondo.

Onto the exercises, and we all performed vanity searches of ourselves and discussed the results.  I have to admit to feeling a bit of a fraud here as I have done these before and deliberately cultivated my presence online to make sure I got this right.  I’m also behind two better known Matt Rutherfords – but I cannot do much about that.

Our general thoughts were that profiles on LinkedIn and Twitter should probably be replicated – but Facebook was more individual and open to friends and family.   We discussed ORS (Open, Random and Supportive) and how this concept is integrated into my social networking strategy.

Overall the words that kept appearing were ‘deliberate and intentional’, indicating our need to ensure that we were actively working on our profiles.

My key takeaways

  • Managing online presence is something that needs deliberate focus – it is probably worth scheduling regular time to do vanity searches and tailor your content to achieve the results you want.
  • The need to declutter arrived with all of us simultaneously, and for me, it created a feeling of well-being and clarity.   I have three or four more projects to move my life to a more clutter-free, paperless environment and I will be following up on those soon.

What did I do after this weeks meeting?

  • On request, I did searches on my other WOL Circle members and will share the results.
  • Shared a bunch of links on discussed items in our Circle Slack group.
  • Watched the Job crafting and creating meaning in your work video referenced in the circle guides.


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