January 2020

Today marks the end of my second year with Notbinary. Let us just call that the year of the ‘difficult second album’. I won’t dwell but it wasn’t great. I struggled for long stretches and failed horribly as ‘co-CEO’. I learned a lot but I’m not sure the lessons were worth the headaches and sleepless nights.

I’ve started the year/decade in a thoughtful place. After last year I have started to think I have landed a bit betwixt and between career wise. I clearly don’t have the commercial acumen nor the cognitive elasticity to become any more senior in this profession (and am increasingly in awe of those who do). I’m also not really the guy you want running anything day-to-day, hands-on anymore either. I love agile/product but I’m just not an in the trenches person these days. Maybe I could be again with the right opportunity but I’m not feeling it right now. Could I go back in-house as a Head of Product or something? Maybe. I’ve seen some interesting roles in that space but I’m not looking to move on from Nb any time soon – they’ve been good to me (if not always for me!)

So I don’t know. I’ve been asking questions and reading about career coaches – it isn’t something that has ever appealed to me but maybe I need some outside perspective. I have a pretty good handle on where I add value, what I enjoy and where I feel I am weaker but I really can’t form a mental picture of what that looks like as a role anymore.

In the meantime actually January has been hectic, interesting and fun so far – though it feels like it has been a lot longer than 31 days. I’m working on a couple of projects – they are both very webby in nature so that is nicely in my comfort zone and allows me to revisit some favourite themes around things like discoverability and information architecture. I also completed a project that was hanging on from before Christmas. This was much more data-y in nature and was hard work at times but I learned loads.

I’m also planning some upcoming work that is going to have me based in Oslo full-time for most of March. This is a bit of an outlier of a project even beyond the geography. It is a non public service client which should be interesting though my suspicion so far as it is not that different – many of the issues of digital are the same no matter the ‘industry’.

As ever Govcamp was a highlight. It was lovely to see everyone and I had fun with my little sticker session (the winning stickers will debut soon). My new ‘weirdo’ stickers were a hit.

I wrote a few blogposts that a few people read. This was nice as I was struggling to blog last year. Even got quoted in the New Scientist which was a first.

I sent a tweet about hating dogs in offices…


 

On the well-being front I’ve managed to kick sugar again. I’ve also stopped drinking on weeknights and stopped drinking beer entirely. I’m back to walking my steps each day and generally trying to be a little bit healthier across the board.

I’ve booked proper, non-work related, holidays in June and November with additional days in Scotland in March (where I am also visiting Service Design in Gov) and Berlin in September catching up with friends.

I massively recommend ‘This is how you lose the time war‘ –  a truly beautiful novel.

Like everybody else I watched ‘Cheer‘ willing Morgan to get on the mat!

Halsey released a stunning new album.