Archive | June, 2010

Working on my own

22 Jun

For the past 12 months I’ve been working for a new start up based, for the vast majority of time, at home on my own with just my cat for company.

Whenever you tell anyone that you work from home their first response is “Oh you lucky bastard, I’d love that!” and when the job first came my way I had the same point of view…an easy commute, comfortable surroundings, relative freedom to manage my time, my way…bliss!

I think within the first month I’d come to realise perhaps the main pro’s and con’s of working on your own;

  • Pro: No colleague distractions
  • Con: No colleague distractions

Work-wise; productivity goes through the roof. The document that would normally take you 2-3 days to put together is produced in less than a day. You’re a document writing, spreadsheet preparing, report generating machine and it is rewarding!

In the same breathe I’ve felt that I’ve missed out on so much by not being able to grab a colleague and run an idea past them, wax lyrical about a new campaign, discuss the latest fad/trend or even just chat to and in any industry these are the things that keep you at your sharpest, on top of your game and aware of what’s going on.

Personally it’s been a bit of a journey for me too.

I’m a social being, I’ve always known this. According to the website My Personality, I’m 79% Extroverted (you can view my results here)  and apparently extraverts “enjoy social interactions and tend to be enthusiastic, verbal, assertive, and animated. They enjoy large social gatherings, such as parties and any kind of group activity. Extraverts are likely to enjoy time spent with people and find themselves energized by social interaction.” . I’d agree with 90% of that so I knew that working on my own would be a challenge. That said, I’ve always enjoyed my own company and have found a quiet solace to it…for a period of time.

My friends will testify, for the last year I’ve lived for my Friday nights…catching up with friends, a few drinks, a laugh, maybe a dance but always good company and a sense of belonging – when you can sometimes end up spending five days out of seven on your own, these moments take on a new found importance and I’ve grabbed each and every one of them with both hands.

For me I’d say I’ve gone through the following process (excuse the diagram, my old boss and a big influence on my professional life loved ‘em, and it’s kinda rubbed off on me) ;

I perhaps wouldn’t change the experience as I do believe I’ve come out of the other side a better person.  At times it’s dragged and I’ve probably experienced mild depression; soon knocked into touch after an hour or so with friends, a bout of Kung Fu or a run. But I know I’ve grown as an individual for it, I’m more comfortable and confident in my own skin than I’ve ever felt (and confidence isn’t something I’d say I previously lacked) and just downright happier…again something I’ve always had in abundance.

If I could try and put my finger on what its given me, I guess it would be clarity. Clarity on the things that matter most in my life; my friends, my health, my experiences and learning and an understanding that being on your own rarely means you’re alone…

For as long as it makes sense

18 Jun

“For as long as it makes sense” ~ It’s something a few of my friends will have heard me say quite a lot of recently…it’s not so much a mantra or a way of life, it’s just something that’s occurred to me over the past year or so and in retrospect something I’ve applied to my life without realising.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” ~ Vince Lombardi

That’s bullshit…We’re preprogrammed from such a young age that to give up or give in is a sign of weakness or failure when in fact being strong enough to walk away; to change your approach, shows more intelligence, strength and integrity than to continue on a fruitless exercise.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” ~ W.C. Fields

Now I’m not talking about walking away and giving up at the first sign of resistance or of things not going to plan. The best things in life take time, effort, blood, sweat and tears – that’s just the way things go. But, if you can walk away with your head held high, knowing that you’ve tried your best, that you didn’t give up at the first sign of trouble, that you worked on something for as long as it made sense, then as far as I’m concerned you’re a better person for it.

For me this applies to all aspects of my life; work, relationships, friendships, hobbies – almost everything. It’s relevance is intensely personal,  for some “it making sense” might not be a very long period of time; from my point of view, I don’t like to give up or give in; counter-intuitive to this concept I know, but I know in my heart when I’ve given all that I can, tried my hardest and am happy that if I walk away or change my approach I can do so with a clear conscious then I’m not letting myself or anyone else down  (although it will usually take others longer to come to realise this).

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it
is letting go.” ~ Herman Hesse

A new chapter

17 Jun

Had some great news this morning which marks the start of a new chapter for me and see’s me London bound for the first time since I finished University some…ah crap, 10 years ago!

I love the feeling of change; apprehension and excitement in equal measure. Plus it always provides the perfect opportunity to look back over the last chapter and see what led you to this point, what you have to be thankful for and what you can now put to rest.

Whatever the future holds, you gotta be excited about it!

::It’s all good::

What is this “blogging”?

16 Jun

Someone who rocks my world suggested I should write a blog. But what should it be about I asked?

I work in digital marketing; but that’s not what defines me, I like to read; but I’m far from well read, I guess I’m kind of “spiritual”; but I’m certainly not religious, I’m fairly well travelled; but I’m still on a journey…just what should I put down, what will people want to read?

Perhaps that’s missing the point, perhaps it’s not about what people want to read, maybe it’s more about what I feel I have to say, what matters to me…perhaps I should just see where this goes