Five Ideas… a manifesto for getting the most out of work in 2015

Thursday 08-01-2015 - 18:26

This is a guest blog by Rachel Whale, Founder and Managing Director of Vanilla Ventures. Rachel has spent the past 20 years working in the UK non-profit sector, is an entrepreneur dedicated to creating social change and has a particular interest in young people as change makers.  

I’ve always found resolutions to be a curiously depressing way of starting a new year - so I thought I’d give you an alternative. Here are the five parts to my manifesto for getting the most out of work in 2015.

1. Curiosity
I guarantee that the more curious you are, the more creative, informed, and effective you’ll become in your job. So who and what are you interested in exploring this year? What are you reading? What are you watching?

2. Consciousness
The best people I meet in my work are super conscious; aware of themselves, their environments, and how the two fit together. Have you taken some time to reflect on last year yet? Will your 2015 build on your 2014, or do you want to change something about yourself or your environment? Ultimately, how do you want to feel about your contribution at work?

3. Challenge
Probably the last thing you want to think about in a week where just being at work feels like enough of a challenge – but the level of challenge we experience is often directly in line with how much we’re learning. Where’s your challenge going to come from this year? Who and/or what is going to stretch and bring the best out of you? What does the next level look like for you?

4. Connected
As with your curiosity, how connected you are to other people will have an impact on your ability to be creative and effective in your job. So what new connections are you going to make this year – either inside or outside your team or union? Who’s going to inspire you? Who’s going to be able to give you a new perspective on that niggling problem?

5. Change
Everyone in the student movement is ultimately here to make a positive change in the world. How are you going to maintain your focus on that change this year? How are you going to make sure you’re going about that as effectively as possible?

Those are my five Cs – I hope you find them helpful when looking to the year ahead. If not, at the very least get yourself a good-looking new notebook and write your name in the front cover. I guarantee it will make 2015 feel a little bit more exciting.

Find out more about the work of Vanilla Ventures at 



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