Crafting Your Career Choices: Design a Fulfilling Work Life | Iris Alta | Skillshare

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Crafting Your Career Choices: Design a Fulfilling Work Life

teacher avatar Iris Alta, Designer & Entrepeneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tools for Life


    • 3.

      Day 01 - How do you feel at work


    • 4.

      Day 02 - What does a day in the life look like


    • 5.

      Day 03 - What should the future hold


    • 6.

      Day 04 - Make it happen


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

It takes a lot of effort and introspection to understand what you need from your job to feel energized and how you want to develop yourself. And we often lack the means to make our inner thoughts explicit. In this class, designer & entrepreneur Iris Jönsthövel will provide you with a hands-on workbook and step-by-step guidance to craft your work life in a way that serves you best. 

From the moment Iris discovered that design tools lend themselves extremely well for self-exploration practices she started implementing them into her own life. Ever since she’s been cooking up lots of creative toolkits for crafting an intentional life & fulfilling career to be able to help others. 

Iris has put together a class that’s both creative and structured. Through uplifting and beautifully designed exercises you will unravel what you’ll need from a job to feel aligned with what drives you, and define which direction to head next. At the end you will be clear about what goals you want to work towards, how you want to develop yourself and why. 

Download the workbook

Alongside Iris you’ll be crafting your career choices in 4 steps. You’ll be answering:

  • Which current projects, interactions & situations have a profound impact on how you feel?
  • Which activities keep you engaged & disengaged during a typical work day?
  • How do you envision your future work life 5-years from now? 
  • What do you want to develop and how to take action right now?

In each lesson Iris shares her own worksheets to provide you with helpful examples, so you will never get stuck during any of the exercises.

This class is for you if you want to make the most of the job you have right now or when you’re considering a career change.

After taking this class you will no longer let others decide what’s best for you because you know what kind of work-life fits you, your needs and motivations best.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Iris Alta

Designer & Entrepeneur


What started as a personal urge for creative and practical tools for life and a genuine interest in helping her fellow millennials navigate messy middles, has resulted in building Alta - High on Life. 

Iris is a designer and small business owner dedicated to designing products that encourage living a fulfilling personal & professional life. After earning her Masters degree in Industrial Design and working as a designer & researcher for a few years, Iris founded Alta. It was during the many workshops she designed and facilitated over the years that she found that the creative tools she was using were exceptionally effective for self-exploration. Ever since Iris is on a mission to provide as many people as possible with the tangible tools to start living a life they design the... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: So many factors contribute to good health and well-being at pursuing a career you care about. And that makes you feel good is a fundamental component. When it becomes hard to find motivation or when you feel something is off. It helps to get clarity on why you feel this way, but where to start. It takes a lot of effort in introspection to understand what you need from your job to feel energized and how you want to develop yourself. And we often lack the means to make her inner thoughts explicit. Hi, my name is and I'm an entrepreneur with a Master of Science degree in design. I developed pencil tool kits for creatively discovering your intrinsic motivations so that you can become focused and actionable in designing a fulfilling personal and professional life. In this class, I am going to help you with mapping what you'll need from a job to fill in line with what drives you and defining which direction to head next. At the end, you'll be clear about what goals you want to work towards, how you want to develop yourself and why this clause is for you. If you want to make the most of the job you have right now, or when you're considering a career change. For creative worksheets, we'll start with identifying which current job activities have a profound impact on you. And we're going to end with conceptualizing what your future self needs in order to feel aligned with your profession, you will no longer let others decide what's best for you because you are aware of your personal priorities and have the confidence to take action. I am very excited to assist you on this journey and provide you with the guidance you need to craft your work life in a way that serves you best. So let's get started. 2. Tools for Life: Designers use a whole range of tools to navigate their way through a design process. These tools are there means for gathering insights and mapping them so that they can easily distill the main challenges they need to start designing for. You can imagine this process is messy. So they use their design tools to create order out of chaos in a creative, that very well structured way. I believe life is just like this, a creative process. Crafting our way through. We continually find yourselves and messy middles figuring out our next move in both a personal and professional life. And sometimes we get stuck because we are overwhelmed by information and distracted by external factors. At times like these, we could use some live tools to help us navigate. Entrance form are cluttered headspace into a tiny space of focus. Structuring our thinking will help us distinguish what works, what doesn't, and how to continue. So what better tools to use then it seals designers use. We will be crafting our career choices through mapping our thoughts and turning them into focus and actionable blends. At the end this course, you will have gained a clear vision for leading the way. I will be doing all the exercises with you by sharing what I have the Linn, I hope to be able to give you enough examples to get you started and help you move through the exercises without getting stuck. Now the time has come to create the right atmosphere for yourself to settle in and warm up your mind. Before diving straight into the first exercise. Make yourself some D clearer table. Turn on some relaxing music as switch off your phone. 3. Day 01 - How do you feel at work: How do you feel at work? There are many people who do not know what they like or don't like about their jobs or careers. And they find it hard to articulate when they feel engaged or disengaged. Sometimes we think we need a new job or new boss, but often we don't really know what is working for us and what's not. Let's face it, we spend most of the hours of her days and the days of our lives at work. So paying attention to our work life and in particular, zooming in is what type of work activities have as feeling engaged is where we need to start. For day one, we are going to connect with how you feel at work. You don't need to know your passion. Most people don't really know what they are passionate about. You just want to focus on what projects, interactions, or situations make you feel a certain way. Now, prints out your worksheets, find a 14 day one, and let's have a closer look at the different ways you can feel that the activities or achievements within your work life. As you can see, I have different shaded, the positive feelings into the moments when you are feeling proud. Confident, you feel like you're contributing and what fuels your energy. The more negative experiences are divided into what you find challenging. And when you feel frustrated. We will start with thinking about these questions to prime our brains. Think about the influence of certain interactions you enjoy, having. The impacts of your manager or boss on how you feel or any obstacles standing in your way during a workday. These questions give us a framework to come up with answers more easily. So now let's start with finding some answers. I will kick it off with this top one. This is going well and makes me feel proud to figure out what is going well right now. I want to know which projects or type of projects I've recently been working on that I truly enjoyed. Most times when I feel proud of my accomplishments is when I have worked on something creatively that turned out better than expected. I enjoy the process of coming up with new ideas and make them a reality. I must say, I have truly enjoyed putting this workbook together and creating a course around it. I like that I was able to create something that is both hands-on, structured and has an original looks to it, not a boring text document. I wanted to create something valuable and I feel I pull it up nicely. And this, this makes me feel proud. So when you can figure out what you truly enjoy doing, from leading a workshop or organizing a work event to creating a great copywriting BCE, or setting up a brainstorm with your colleagues, you are likely to find what is going well right now and makes you feel trapped. When I go over to this one, I feel I am contributing. I'm immediately triggered to think about positively contributing to someone else's day or live. And in order to know when I'm contributing, I need to get some acknowledgment for it. When someone else tells me that my work has had some kind of impact on them. That's when I feel like I'm contributing for my work. I create and sell tickets to help others with designing their lives. I use my design research expertise in creating these. Using my expertise to help others makes me feel relevant. But when people actually buy my tool kits and share their positive experience with me, that's when I feel I'm contributing. When you have some trouble pinpointing when you actually feel like you're contributing. It could help to think about the times you've helped out your colleagues, a client, or a customer with something and they needed your expertise. Or maybe you feel like you're contributing when you get appraisal from higher up, like from your boss or your manager. Let's move on to feeling confident. Is there a specific moment or situation when you feel like you own the room? Maybe you like it when people are paying attention to what you're saying. Or maybe you enjoy taking the responsibility of leading a team. Personally, I feel most confident when I'm on a stage giving it's all about something I really care about. When I can share my knowledge with like-minded people and having inspiring conversations afterwards. Maybe you can remember a situation in which you were both nervous and excited and felt like you had full control. Maybe you enjoy doing a lot of research on a topic and share your new insights confidently with your colleagues or your boss. For the last one of the read positive vibes, here's the underlying question of all, what fuels you and gives you energy. Maybe you feel really good after inspiring conversations with your colleagues. Or it could be that you get super excited about learning new skills and therefore enjoy having to space to grow. I personally feel so alive after good brainstorm. I do not have colleagues because I work alone, so I need to ask friends brainstorm with me. And when we get together and the energy is all over the place and I love it. So for this one, exploring a combination between an activity and an interaction you enjoy can inform you what really gets you go. It could take awhile to figure out when was the last time you were really full of positive energy. Once you remember, it feels really nice to have this clarity and have it written down. Now let's move on to the two more negative ones. I'll start with what I find challenging. Here. It helps to think about all the moments you experience as a bit of a struggle. This could be about any specific obstacles standing in your way when you are working on projects. Like for example, a manager was getting on your nerves because you really need to stay polite to get things done. Or it could be about time management and maintaining focus for long our street. The environment or the equipment you're using could also play a role here. I personally find it really hard to work on the same thing for too long. Eigen board and distracted quite easily, so I need to switch things up. But on the other hand, I also get stressed when I have to do too many things in one day. So for me, finding this balance between maintaining focus and defining my time wisely is quite a challenge every day. So here trying to remember the last time you felt a little uneasy about something you are trying to achieve. From an easiness and challenges, we move on to a more intense emotion. When do I feel frustrated? Frustration goes a little deeper, but it's oftentimes easier to recognize. Sometimes other people can get you frustrated easily because they work way differently than you. And other times you get frustrated by your own fault. I get easily frustrated with myself because I'm a very slow worker. Everything I work on take so much more time than I anticipated. And I blend way too many things in one day. This leads to major frustrations and a constant feeling of being behind on everything. And I don't know how to fix it, although I do know I have to accept it to make it less of a burden. Also, working with a slacker coworker is the worst because it's affecting our work and energy level immensely and oftentimes, it's hard to address. So we made it. I hope it hasn't been too much of a struggle for you to come up with any answers. Don't worry, if you still have open spaces. Let it rest for a bit and finish it when you feel ready. Once you're done or cannot single anything anymore, you can move on to the next exercise on day number two. 4. Day 02 - What does a day in the life look like: What does a day in the life look like? Some days are packed with activities that keep us engaged and we feel good about ourselves and our jobs. Other days we feel drained most of the day and come seemed to understand why we're working at this particular job. It will be wonderful if most days would fuel us with good energy. But we all know a lot of factors can contribute to our energy level. For example, the space or environment you're working in could have an immense impacts or your commute. The conversations you're having with your colleagues, how you spend your brakes, the devices you need to use when you are learning new things or getting feedback from your colleagues or manager could also make or break your day. So for day 2, I want you to have a closer look at what a typical day in your life looks like. Which activities keep you engaged, keep your energy levels high, and which activities do you experience as energy draining? As you can see, the timeline for your typical day in the life is already divided into an upper part and the lower part. When you think about everything you do on a workday, I want you to focus on how it makes you feel when you are neutral but an activity, you just put it closer to the timeline. But when you can try to be precise about how you feel. To get started, I've made a smallest of what the different activities can involve, four tasks. It can be anything from participating in a meeting, writing a report, or taken an online course to designing a poster or organizing an office event. Transportation is of course, ledger commute, but also visits to potential clients. The interactions are the activities that involve any contact which are colleagues, your manager, clients, customers in which you have conversations with people. The places urine could involve the office rooms or areas you spend most of your time. So now that we have a lot of ideas for activities to write down, let's start with filling out the timeline. Even though the timeline starts from when you wake up until you go to bed, try to only fill in work-related activities. I've tried to capture a typical day in the life in which I work on both freelance design assignment as well as my business. I always incentives start the day well to set the mood for the rest of the day. But as you can see here, once I have finished breakfast, I already have some less engaging activities on my list. I won't go into detail, but what I like to mention is that I tried to keep the different kinds of activities in the back of my mind. When thinking of my typical day, I work from home and have meetings aligned, so transportation is not on here, but the rest of the activities is. I've also indicated for some of the activities why I dislike them. Now that we have a timeline full of activities, I wanted to continue with the second exercise on day two. In order to better set your direction moving forward, you want to be as precise as possible about what's working and what's not on any given day. That is why we're going to choose the two most positive and to most negative activities on our timelines. When you have picked to try to explain to yourself why these have this impacts on you. For this part of the exercise are really tries to pinpoint what I enjoy doing most, which is creating moodboards. I love the process of starting a new creative project and seeing how it evolves into a beautiful final design where my head explodes with ideas. I need to share it with people. In this case, my partner when he's working from home and implement his feedback. This for me, works extremely motivating. As you can see, the process of creating and sharing it with others to improve myself and my work is what engages me most during the day. The most draining activities for me are the ones where I have to pitch myself and my company to people. I don't know. This doesn't come natural to me. It makes me extremely self-conscious. It costs a lot of time and energy and you never know if the other person is going to respond ever. At the end of the day. I am also oftentimes frustrated with my time management because I feel like I haven't really done enough. So when it comes to my energy draining activities, these are mostly activities that do not give anything back in return for putting in so much effort myself, which leads to frustration and demotivation. I hope you've made it until here and by now have a nice overview of the activities that generate positive energy or creating negative energy during your day is totally fine to come back to it later if you are not completely finished or when you feel like you cannot think of anything anymore, it is time to move on to the next day. But first, I recommend you take a little break before you continue with the number three. 5. Day 03 - What should the future hold: What should the future hold? The experience of the moment is connected to the past and future through memories and hearings. When dreaming up our future self, we're often inclined to go for the easy road because that's expected from you or because it fits with what you've been doing all along and it's what you know and feel comfortable with. But one, if we defer other people's judgment for now, including our own and take the explorative road. We will still make use of navigation though, which will help us in defining where we see ourselves next. In the last two days, we've already been exploring what we enjoy doing and why these insights build our foundation for envisioning our future. Now that we have identified some of the things that generate positive energy, we can continue with defining which elements we want to integrate into our future work-life. So for this day number 3, I want you to envision your future work life. The stricture I have created to go about this is a circle or a pie divided into five parts. These five bars represents the five categories that will help you with thinking about the future forever category. There's a question to be answered, as you can see on the lower left corner of the page. To get started, we will close our eyes for a second and think into the future. Five years from now, you are working in an environment that is fulfilling and an occupation that is meaningful to you. Please note that you don't have to have it all figured out for the rest of your life. Just focus on those five years from now. Let your mind roam free and try to connect with what makes you feel good. Since I just recently started my own business, everything I filled in revolves around this. I think the best question to start with is, what would I like to be an expert in? Because it immediately makes me wonder about my strengths. Sharing my expertise gives me confidence and makes me feel like I'm contributing to someone else's knowledge. I envision surrounding myself with a small team of skilled people that I can learn from. This enables me to spend my own time of things I'm actually good at. Right now. I work from home and by myself, but I would love to have a large bright studio space for my team and I to interacts and brainstorm. I had to spend four hours of my mornings on work that involves sitting behind a screen. I spent my afternoons creating tangible things, like taking photos or videos for my business or creating art. When it comes to time management, I have an assistant to help me plan my days. The field of work I want to be part of is the online learning space to share my expertise with others who are interested in designing a creative and fulfilling way of life for themselves. So when dreaming up your future self in five-years, don't hold back. Try to implement as many things into your vision that will help you get rid of the energy draining activities as much as possible and cultivate the activities that make you feel most alive. And remember, visualizing what you want your work life to look like in the near future will help you carve a clear picture in your mind of where you are heading towards. That will give you the resilience and determination to make it a reality. All rights, when you are ready to transform these ideas into actionable plans and see what steps you can take right now towards developing your future self. You can move on to day number 4, our last exercise together. 6. Day 04 - Make it happen: How to make it happen. Having a vision for what your future should hold is crucial for building towards a reality that you are excited about. The great challenge is learning to balance dreaming with disciplined action, which starts with coming back to the present moment. Only by taking action can we build our way forward. But to prevent being overwhelmed by everything that needs to happen, we will start with small things that we can implement into our lives right now. When you do small things to make incremental changes over time, those little changes build on each other and bring about amazing outcomes over time. Baby steps, essentially. If you keep taking small steps towards your future ideals, you're going to make them a reality. We have already gathered many insights in the previous exercises and now it's signed to distill the most significant ones for every page. So from day one until they three, we will pick one thing we want to focus on right now to implement into our life. Firstly, we start with answering the main questions. For question 1, we want to know which feeling we want to eliminate or pursue more during our day to day to keep engagement levels high and our minds positive. While looking through the things you have written down for day number one, mark one thing that stands out for you. Continue with answering the follow-up questions in the top circle. For day number two, you are going to do the same. But for the question, which negative or energy draining activity do you want to get rid of? For the last question, you need to decide for day number 3, which piece of the pie you were most eager to start working towards. And what you need to develop. All three circles. And with the question of how your current employer may assist you on this, a lot of employers have money enzyme available for their employees to spend on their personal and professional developments. So when you know what you want to work on or develop more, make sure to talk about this with your manager or boss. Especially when you have a clear idea yourself already, it's often easier for them to assist you. Remember to not go overboard with all that you want to focus on right now. Just start with choosing one thing and think about what needs to happen from you and maybe your employer to achieve this. I guess what I really enjoy doing, but rarely do, is having a good brainstorm with people that give me energy through their enthusiasm and stream of ideas. You know, when you can feel the positive energy building up while going back and forth with loads of new ideas. And you feel so exhausted, but at the same time, so alive at the end. That's what I need. More LV my life, which means working less hours alone by myself and asking my favorite brainstorm buddies more often to help me out when I'm lost in my own head. In my case, I am my own employer, so I need to figure out myself how to assist me on this. When it comes to what I hate doing, most of all is writing emails for promotional opportunities. It takes me forever to write a good PR e-mail or find an event I need to be at. And I never hear anything back. It sucks. And I want to spend my time on things I'm actually good at. Which means I need to hire someone who can help me with this. For the last question, my answer would be that I want to get my time management skills in line. My vision of working together with better skilled people who can take over several activities for me. That way I can focus my time on building my expertise in the realm of life design and developing products and online classes is also means I need to develop my networking skills to find those people. To make this happen, I need to set aside money to pay for tickets or a booth at events to meet people and eventually have the money to hire them. Your answers are probably way different than mine. Maybe you found that you want to become an expert on a certain software and need to ask your employer for waste, do this, or maybe you have discovered you need to play your hours in a day differently in order to focus better or have more interactions with certain colleagues. That's all very valid. I guess for me, when looking at this overview, I can actually already see how these steps eventually will lead me to my future self in five years from now. I hope you can as well. To look at our work life holistically, we are better prepared to craft our careers in a way that serves our own personality best and will less likely that others design or life for us. 7. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, we have completed the class. It has been a lot of work. Thank you for trusting me and taking you through these exercises and giving you some structure to your ideas for your future work life. I hope that I've given you some useful tools for crafting your career choices, which act as your compass in developing yourself in a way that makes you your needs and motivations best. When you feel comfortable sharing your future self exercise or any of the other exercises, please do. I would love to see them and I think you can aspire many others which are amazing ideas and future dreams. Otherwise, if you want to see what I'm doing for my business, you can connect with me on my social channels. I'm on Instagram with Elsa made underscore, and my online shop is over at Elsa hyphen and Or if you want to connect with me personally, you can find anywhere with my own name, Iris, just full. There's only one with this name. Thanks so much for having me and following my course until next time.