Work Life Culture Post 911, We’re a Work Life Nation

It’s been eight years since our world changed in an instant on September 11th 2001. Our world perspective was suddenly viewed through a new expanded lens courtesy the internet, globalization, international security and economic concerns. As a reporter for the national radio program, Marketplace Morning Report, my world was turned upside down as I reported from the rubble of the World Trade Center and Wall Street.

But from the chaos of 911 emerged a new passion for me: to identify and report on the drastic changes, dynamic innovations, and demons in our work life culture. Nearly three years ago I started blogging on the topic, then came podcasts (you can hear these at my Judy Martin Speaks site) and now I’m taking it up a notch into my comfort zone of television. This is the first episode of WorkLife Nation. Here’s the back story:

911 brought many painful but rich memories which will forever be etched into my heart and mind. Learning that my friend, News 12 Photographer and NYC Police Officer Glenn Pettit was killed in Tower 2, was deafening to the soul. But the camaraderie we all experienced always rings through this time of the year. I had the gift of volunteering with the children of the victims at Pier 94 where the families were offered services.

Our lives would never be the same again, nor would our work lives and careers, which fascinated me. 911 stirred the pot and had us questioning how we live our lives and how we work. Did we live to work  - or work to live?  Economic setbacks and shifts in our social structure continued to fuel a blur between work and life.

Furthermore, the idea that passion and profit were mutually exclusive was dealt a seismic shift in my brain regarding career and work. “It doesn’t have to be that way,” I thought, “We can rebuild him, we have the technology to make him better (theme song from The Bionic Man, The Bionic Woman) we have the capability to create a happier and more satisfying working experience – a vocation.”

911 catapulted me into a world where I felt compelled to examine and report on our work life culture from a more human perspective: from the post-911 workplace fears, to corporate malfeasance, to family leave, to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to employee engagement, to work life flexibility and the elusive work life balance debate. From the ashes of chaos during 911 emerged a passion to figure out how the work life merge might be navigated with more awareness and consciousness. Thus, WorkLife Nation was born.

WorkLife Nation Episode One: The Great Merge!

In the first episode of  WorkLifeNation Success, Serenity & Significance 24/7 –  you’ll hear about how the internet as a catalyst is changing the way we work and do business in a challenging new economy.  We’re more connected, and our workplace is evolving, entrepreneurs abound and many work from home. Be it baby boomer, Gen X or Gen Y, many thirst for more meaningful work,  but demand more family and me time. The lines have blurred in the quest for success, serenity and significance in our worklife .

We’re redefining success in terms of values, passion and profit. You’ll hear from author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck of Passion is the underlying theme in his book: “Crush It.” Social Media Guru Chris Brogan who wrote “Trust Agents with colleague Julien Smith, talks about the core value of trust, when doing business on the internet.

But to succeed -we have to keep the flame going and that means Serenity: cultivating resilience while navigating sensory overload. Exercise, Yoga and mediation are gaining speed at work. That’s where  Andrew Newberg M.D shares from his book, “How God Changes your Brain.”

From there you’ll hear from Cali Williams Yost – CEO of WorkLIfeFit Inc. We’ve done some work together  and she’s got her finger on the pulse of worklife flex. The more flexible we are the easier it will be to make a difference -and that’s where significance comes in. Conscious work toward a greater purpose. Deepak Chopra weighs in on his thoughts.

In these radically changing times people are clamoring for more humanity in work and in business. Question is, how can we have more meaningful work and master success, serenity and significance  in the chaotic waters of a world that changes in an instant. You’ll hear a lot more from these pioneering voices in future episodes of WorkLifeNation.

  • lor slepian

    Judy, Thanks for sending your work. Its intriguing.I’m looking forward to the series.

    Would you say that the intro of so many women into the work force has stimulated this change in our life expectations, of course along with the added technology? Have the women had a significant impact here?
    Best regards,Lorri

    • Judy Martin

      Hello Lorri,
      So glad you touched on that. Just as I was completing this production women were outnumbering men in the workforce officially. In fact – I’m working on a separate video on that specifically. I agree, that the increasing number of women in the workforce has certainly had a tremendous influence, but I think the direction we’re going in crosses the gender barrier. Work Life flex for example, is no longer just a “womans” concern as demonstrated in the recent research from the Families and Work Institute and Catalyst. Great point! Thanks for visiting. Look for video from the National Association of Mothers’ Centers coming in a future episode already in production.

  • Christine Hohlbaum


    Your report does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of our 24/7 existence. The words trust, value, and flexibility underline what is needed in our 21st century workplace. I love, in particular, what Gary says about the possibilities at our fingertips such that we no longer have to trudge to a job we hate.

    Great stuff! I look forward to many more of these and to sharing them with my broader network. Thank you and keep up the great work. See you in October (in Times Square, too? That happens to be where my hotel is!).

  • Judy Martin

    Christine, Thanks for visiting and good luck with your book launch!

  • http://www, Terry Nagel

    Judy, you’ve done a great job of outlining the hunger for meaning in the workplace, the importance of trust and the need for serenity. It’s a tall order for busy people to find all three.

    It’s especially difficult for individuals over 50 who want work that matters, but face the economic pressure of smaller retirement savings and competition for jobs with younger workers. I hope you will have an opportunity to address the obstacles that face older workers who want fulfilling jobs. As you know, that’s a topic dear to our hearts on, where we put people in touch with transition programs that help them find jobs in the nonprofit sector, education, health care, the green economy and government.

  • Donna Anselmo

    With so much to do and so little time, I expanded time to watch your video today. (If everything is relative, our impression of time is relative too.)

    Thanks for giving me a moment to touch serenity, listen to thoughts others so generously share and reflect on the meaning of trust, passion, and time in life.

    My friend Stephanie Leibowitz shared a thought today that I will share with you. It’s from Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life –
    “Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.”

    So, even in a busy Work/Life Nation, time, and life are what we make it. Thanks for making a video that raises consciousness about values and our power and paths toward change and balance. Best of luck with your exciting Work/Life Nation venture.

  • Judy Martin

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments and your support in this message.