2018 review

Goals for 2018

  • Principal FE promotion
  • Take at least one holiday, either in the UK or abroad
  • Write more: Aim to publish at least 6 main blog posts in the year, as well as 12 shorter posts in the 'latest notes' section
  • Speak at least once, ideally at one of the following: a local (Manchester) meetup, speak at a (UK) meetup, or speak at a conference
  • Keep my website up to date
  • Start my bucket list website

Looking at the list of ’goals‘ that I set myself I’m pretty happy, overall, with how things actually panned out.

Without diving into all of the points, here is what I class as my top achievements.

Principal promotion

This has been, without a doubt, my primary objective since joining Auto Trader two years ago.

I spent some time reflecting on my careers and in all honesty, was pretty bummed not have have been given this promotion earlier. Looking at the reasons why this hasn't happened seemed to highlight a few things for me:

  • Staying in a job too long
  • Not creating the right opportunities around me
  • Being too blasé about my role and therefore not pushing myself enough

After doing this exercise in reflection, as well as regaining a bit of focus, my efforts finally seemed to get me noticed and in July I was given the news I had been successful with the promotion. Nothing much has changed which, to be honest, I never really expected it, I guess I just wanted acknowledgment of the level I was really at.

Taking at least one holiday

Thankfully for the sake of my sanity, I managed to get two decent holidays during the year! One of which was finally a visit to Australia!

For those who know me, it's a no great secret that I've had a small desire to visit Australia.

For those that are interested, I have copious notes and photos from my two weeks in Australia which I'm currently piecing together into a more detailed journal of my trip.

Public speaking

Setting out at the start of 2018 with the aim of speaking publically, at least once, was a potentially heavy burden for me to carry over the course of the 12 months. Fortunately, I didn't let it phase me, and I'm pretty proud/chuffed to say that I achieved this by speaking 3 times over the course of the year.

I kick started my speaking with a short lightning talk at the great Front Enders meetup in London.

This was swiftly followed up when a colleague and I unexpectedly got invited to speak at Camp Digital! For those who don't know, this is a great conference held annually in Manchester by the good folk at Sigma, I was pretty humbled (and ridiculously nervous) to be asked to speak here!

Finally, my colleague and I spoke again at UX Scotland.

Closing thoughts

Overall, 2018 was in many ways pretty damn successful and one that I will look back with extreme fondness.

It allowed me to travel, to re-connect with friends thousands of miles away, to see new sights and experiences, to push myself well outside of my comfort zone into places I never thought possible, but above all, it's allowed me to grow both personally & professionally.

I think it's also important to highlight how my peers, friends, and family have all had a major impact on my successes, as clichéd as it sounds, I really couldn't have been as successful without their support, advice, guidance, and honesty.

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