2009: A Year for Reflection & Change

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2009: A Year for Reflection & Change

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to over the last few months.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself a New Years Resolution: Be Brave, Be Bold, Do Something Different. You may have seen it n the Marketing Magazine interview I did earlier this year.

As a result, the first half of 2009 was for me, a time to reflect and self-analyse: what had I achieved so far in my career; what had I failed in; what got me excited; what frustrated/bored me; and, what did I want to do next.

Being the geek that I am, I created an excel spreadsheet to note down everything that was important to me, and gave each a weighted score (I know, how sad am I!). The next step was to identify the gaps between my current lifestyle and what was truly important to me (and later, I would use this to evaluate potential companies to work for).

The result of this process was like the human version of Inbox-Zero – my mind felt de-cluttered: I was able to ‘delete’ concerns that really weren’t as important as I’d made them out to be; which gave me space to focus on pushing ahead with the things that were.

Whilst it had been in my mind for a few years, one of the changes I knew I needed to make, was to get myself out of my ‘comfort zone’ and face fresh challenges. The type of challenges that get the blood rushing with adrenaline, make you feel nervous – even anxious at times – but ultimately enable you to get a sense of achievement that is beyond anything you could ever get from inside your comfort zone.

My comfort zone was Telco. I had been in Telco – on the digital side – for 9 years. It never really felt that long until recently though as, thanks to Vodafone’s global footprint and culture of developing its people, I changed digital teams/roles almost every 18 months.

In my time of reflection, I noticed a common theme to all the roles I took: they were all within young or newly created parts of the business that had to prove their purpose. I came to realise the importance of this in my happiness at work. And the bigger the challenge the better. But I also learned that there are certain criteria that have to be met, to ensure the challenge has a fighting chance of success (and if that criteria can’t be met, it’s best to walk away from the challenge on the outset).

As time passed in Telco, I found myself having to dig deeper and deeper to find fresh challenges that excited me because the environment was now so familiar. I also found the amount of new learning I was able to extract, was wearing thin and instead, I was increasingly becoming the educator, with little inspiration other than from my external networks {thanks Twitter!}. This was another self-realisation: the importance of having a source of inspiration – for me, that comes from others who were equally as passionate about the digital environment.

And so I decided that it was time to move on from Telco; time to take my 13+ years of digital experience and exchange it for fresh challenges and learning from another industry.

At this point, I would like to recognise Vodafone for the opportunity, experiences and education it has given me over time. Even since leaving, they have been nothing but supportive of me in every aspect, and I truly wish them every success for the future.

So what’s happening now? I’ve got to say, without having gone through the self-anaylsis, I might not have been so picky with my next place of work. But I did, and I am. I don’t just want to work anywhere. I want to work somewhere that provides inspiration, has a big hairy audacious goal that has a fighting chance of success, and with a company who shares the same values as my own. Needless to say, there were only a handful of companies that I had shortlisted as my target companies, and I’m in talks with each of these guys right now…. so watch this space!

Regardless of the outcome, I’m feeling clearer than ever about the path I need to take to get to my ‘perfect world’ vision, and am wearing my positive pants to help me deal with the obstacles along the way.

Now to see where that lands me… 😉

Jennie Bewes
Jennie Bewes
Former Australian Financial Review columnist, speaker and founder/MD of REDSQ innovation & consulting, Jennie Bewes has been a driving force of innovation within global brands for the past 20 years blending strategic marketing, design and development with cultural change for optimal results from the inside out.

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