Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Designing Your Work Life

Course Overview:

Are you ready to take control of your professional career journey? Join us for “Designing Your Work Life,” an engaging and interactive course where you’ll use the design process made popular in the bestselling books Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life to take charge of your career. This program is designed to empower you to strategically plan and navigate your career trajectory in community with your peers. This course offers a comprehensive framework and practical tools to help you gain clarity, make informed decisions, and take actionable steps toward building a rewarding and purposeful career.

What to Expect:

This exciting course is unique because it is highly interactive. You’ll spend time learning new content and completing individual reflections in class; but most class time will be spent problem-solving, connecting, and practicing skills with other class participants in breakout rooms.

To ensure a fulfilling experience for all participants, it is critical that you attend all four sessions and complete the reflections and other action-oriented work designed to help you gain clarity outside class. Please plan to spend about one hour completing pre-work before the course begins and between each session.

What Pilot Participants Said:

  • “We have a lot more agency to change our situations than we might think! I found the design thinking approach to be very empowering in this way.”
  • “I feel more confident about approaching people for information regarding career development and advocating for myself. While it is still uncomfortable, the course gave me a structured way to practice this.”
  • “I feel that I now have more tools to identify what energizes me in my work and what does not. I also feel more empowered to have a conversation with my supervisor about making small changes to my role if needed to make it more aligned with what I enjoy.”

Who will benefit from this course?

This course is open to all employees; however, staff who are most likely to benefit from this course are…

  • Looking to develop professionally in collaboration with others; eager to learn through highly interactive exercises, hands-on practice, and collaboration/discussion with other learners.
  • Interested in taking an action-oriented and design-centered approach to understanding what you want out of work and how to get it.
  • Ready to explore or plan ahead for the next steps in your career, while building skills in your current role.
  • Interested in understanding your own stories and skills in advance of tactical job finding; this course will not directly teach resume and cover letter writing, though we will connect you to additional resources.
  • Curious about how to keep growing your career at Stanford.

In this course, you will learn how to: 

  1. Identify your work values and discover the projects and tasks that hold meaning and impact for you.
  2. Talk with people doing work that interests you while reframing the way you think about and approach networking.
  3. Refine and pinpoint your career interests through quick hands-on experiences called prototypes, gaining clarity about your career goals.
  4. Utilize design tools to reflect on your current role, generate ideas for growth, and develop actionable steps you can implement immediately.
  5. Practice engaging in career conversations with colleagues, managers, or mentors to share your interests and goals while taking another person’s perspective into account.
  6. Take proactive steps to explore your interests, reflect on what you learn, and incorporate your reflections into your next action steps.
  7. Build your confidence in sharing stories about your professional accomplishments, enabling you to explore career possibilities and navigate career transitions effectively. 

Format: Four 2-hour live, highly-interactive virtual sessions. Attendance is mandatory at all four sessions.  Required reflections and other action-oriented work between sessions; please plan for 1 hour of pre-work before course begins and between sessions.

Last date to add/drop: Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 11:59 pm

Course fee: $400 (STAP-eligible) 

Instructor: Stanford Life Design Lab

View in STARS


Designing Your Work Life - 4 sessions starting Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Online - hosted on Zoom