What-A-Year-2018

This festive period has given me the opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the craziness that has been 2018. Also, a sense of wonder lingers, what could lay ahead in the future, personally and professionally.

A new life:

I have to begin with the birth of my first child, Leila is a dream come true, I could not have imagined having such a beautiful, funny and well-behaved baby. My life has dramatically changed since and nothing prepares you for being a parent. Of course, you can read all the books, research on the internet etc, but there is a big difference between reading how to do something vs physically doing it plus every baby is different. I wasn’t one for reading the books, I put my faith in instinct and evolution, with the backup of Google (which has come very handy).

Next year will bring her first birthday, and here comes the cliche; it is true what everyone says, the first year goes by very quickly. I think of how far Leila has come since her first days on Earth, the development is crazy fast. Let’s have a little fact; A human develops the most in their first year of life.

State of mind:

I am in a much better place mentally, I have improved my confidence and I open up more than I ever used to. However, I am still very cautious, if I don’t know someone I think I am not very approachable, but once I am approached I make the effort to be nice and welcoming. I want people to feel they can approach me, this is something I will work to improve upon in future.

The Wedding Planner:

My fiancee has done the heavy lifting so far, the spreadsheet we have set up is brilliant; We will be having two weddings, one in England where we will legally get married and a celebration wedding in Poland for the wider family and we decided to do these in a space of seven days in 2019. Planning for these big days have been very challenging, we might be 50% there but there are a few things that have popped up which we didn’t originally think off, so 50% is more a guestimate, either way, we try and complete at least one big task and couple of little things a month.

Profession:

My profession is in Software Development, Software which powers some of the most creative and immersive games and experiences in the world. Although I don’t create those experiences first hand, I help people to do this, and it is most fulfilling. I get to meet people from all over Europe (and other parts of the world) and help solve development pain points and issues with the end goal of helping them be as successful as possible.

I lead and manage a team that does this. Being a manager has some great pros and cons. What I love is growing a team, through building, coaching and recruiting.

I am responsible for headcount requests, budgeting and hiring. I created an interview process for these roles. I also learned how to write an inclusive and non-discriminative job advert (I am shocked how many job adverts are discriminating). I hired five people, retained four and lost two.

Lost feels like a negative term, those two moved on to better things which I fully supported, I hope I managed to play a small part in their career development, seeing team members move on to better things should reflect well on any manager, I support progression and I am passionate to help as many people as I can.

There has been a lot of changes in the organisation I work in, good people have left and good people have joined. It feels like evolution but there has been some teething problems. However, I am no stranger to change, I have been at this company for nine plus years (at the time of writing this post), I have experienced the company growing from fifty to sixty people to two thousand plus(?). Navigating and supporting these drastic changes is a challenge. Change can be scary but you have to embrace it, as long as it is something you believe in to be positive.

I registered with LinkedIn: Career Advice program, it gives me an opportunity to connect with people looking for advice on career progression. I have found this to be very rewarding, I hope I helped, I at least received some positive gracious messages.

I managed to complete three training courses such as Leadership, Technical Engineering, and Solution Selling. I must admit the sales training had me sceptical at first but I learned a few things that I can use in my everyday life.

Final Destination?

Overall, a lot has happened in 2018, sometimes it feels like it could be great to spread these things out over a number of years but on the other hand, I think everything I am doing is really positive and I put all my energy into it. I expect 2019 to bring further change, I have a daughter who is developing and growing fast. I will be married. Maybe the dust will settle at work, but drawing from experience the company is a very dynamic and ever-evolving workplace that a term such as maybe the dust will settle shouldn’t be associated with it. Finally; It’s exciting times, and one day I might look back and think what a crazy busy year but you know what, it was fully worth it!

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