jammylammy Just another WordPress site

January 2, 2015

New Horizons

Filed under: For Posterity,Working — admin @ 7:56 pm

2015 promises to be a year of change for me, professionally speaking. In December, I left my role as Design Director at HeathWallace after more than 9 enjoyable years.

It was a very hard decision to make; to leave a company you’ve poured tens of thousands of hours into (not all during ‘work hours’), a company who you’ve helped grow, clients you’ve helped make happy, colleagues who’ve become firm friends. But, after all those years, I felt I needed a new challenge: new ways of working; new teams; new problems to solve in new verticals. Our industry moves at such a pace, I worried that I was becoming stagnant.

I started asking myself some difficult questions. If I stayed, where would I be in 12 months time? What experiences would I have had? Was I happy? Through months of cognitive chewing, I came to the sad conclusion that I needed to move on.

The world of contracting was appealing: short term blasts of exposure to new work, teams, methods, challenges. The flexibility to choose the kind of work I might like to do. The ego massage that when you do a good job, it reflects well on you personally.

And yet, at the same time it was terrifying. As a father of two young children and the sole breadwinner of the house, I would be taking a massive risk. Contract roles do not come along until a matter of weeks before they start. My notice period was three months; I probably wouldn’t be able to find a role until 2-3 weeks before I left. So if I left, I wouldn’t know where I would end up for months. As someone who’s meticulous about finances and planning, this was incredibly difficult to accept.

Questions gnawed at me. Am I good enough? Can I survive in the far-more-cut-throat world of contracting? How will it feel to be treated as a commodity, rather than an embedded employee? What if the work dries up?

Ultimately, I’ve decided that the risks are worth the potential enrichment this experience offers. And no, I don’t mean fiscal enrichment!

I’m lucky. I’ve got the support of my beautiful wife and that of our families. I know that they believe in me and want to see me professionally happy and fulfilled. We’ve been open about the risks and what it would mean; ultimately it’s a decision I could only have taken with their full support.

So here we are. For the first time in my entire career, I’m doing my own thing. Whether it works out or not is completely down to me. And that’s massively sobering.

I’ll try and document my experiences as I go — I certainly found solace across the Internet when I was pondering change. I feel it only right that I should try and pay some of it back.

So 2015: what you got?

December 8, 2012

One Year Back in the UK

Exactly one year ago today we landed back in the UK after more than three years overseas. We spent just over two years in Chicago and 8 months in Australia and feel very lucky to have been able to experience two new countries.

I remember sitting in the lounge at Melbourne Airport on the phone to Telstra, trying to release us from our 24-month contract. It was the last loose end that required tying before we left Australia.

We arrived back in the UK on Thursday 8th December 2011 at 1.30pm to be greeted by a very happy set of grandparents-to-be (and auntie & uncles-to-be). Our daughter was due in early March so we only had around three months to get ourselves settled & our home prepared. I spent most of December and January redecorating our flat with my dad whilst Sap gradually acquired the many, many things we needed for our impending addition to the family. We finally moved into our home in mid-January and awaited our new arrival.

Mia arrived a week early and changed our lives. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of new experiences & emotions. It’s clichéd but true — your children grow up so quickly. Time passes in an accelerated fashion and you only realise significant chunks have passed when you look back.

November 7, 2012

Barack Obama’s victory speech

Filed under: For Posterity,Politics — admin @ 7:22 pm

Four more years

Filed under: For Posterity,Politics,Social — admin @ 7:18 pm

One of the most retweeted tweets ever.

November 6, 2012

The US Presidential election

Filed under: For Posterity,Opinion,Politics — admin @ 10:27 pm

I’ve been observing the unfolding US election drama from afar. As someone who lived in the US for a number of years, I have more than a passing interest in US politics, though I don’t pretend to know much at all.

The race for the White House is entering the final straight now. As I type this at 10pm on election day, the results are not yet in but the general consensus is that it’s going to be very tight. My money is on an Obama re-election but who knows.

What astounded me most about this contest was a piece on BBC Breakfast this morning about the strategy the two candidates have executed during the last few months. The majority of the US has already made up its mind as to how it’s going to vote — southern states always vote Republican, for example. The ‘swing states’ we all hear about is what ultimately decides who wins which is why the candidates spend so much time — and money — campaigning there.

The piece on the BBC went on to say that, between them, Obama & Romney have spent around £2 billion — yes, billion with a ‘b’ — on this election. That’s nuts. It also said that, within these swing states, the two campaign teams know an incredible amount about individual voters. They know if you’ve just bought a new car, what kind, how much you spent. Where you live. What your income is. What you watch on TV. An incredible amount of detail that’s used, presumably, to send targeted messages about why candidate A or B is ‘the right choice for you’.

I realise that there’s so much about politics — and electing politicians — that I have absolutely no clue about. It’s not as simple as you’d think. It’s much more fascinating.

August 28, 2012

My daughter is six months old today

Filed under: Family,For Posterity — admin @ 10:46 am

My daughter, now six months old

Above: Amelia prefers wearing spinach to eating it

Time flies.

August 25, 2012

One year ago today, Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO

Filed under: Apple,For Posterity — admin @ 12:14 am

I remember it vividly. I was in between sessions at UX Australia and was catching up on my Twitter timeline.

I can remember feeling shocked — I guess I knew it was coming, but it was a signal for things to come that I didn’t want to acknowledge.

April 4, 2012

Five months in six paragraphs

Filed under: Family,For Posterity,Miscellanea — admin @ 8:03 am

The past five months have passed by in a blur. As a favour to my future self, here’s what’s gone on.

December

Sap & I moved back from Australia just before Christmas last year. There was much that needed doing before, during and after the move, so Christmas and New Year passed in a slurry of flying, settling in, buying baby/house things/a car. Before we knew it we were into a new year.

January

Much the same as December. A flurry of decorating to get our flat ready for us to live in after having it occupied by a stranger for three years. Walls were filled, sanded & painted; paintwork was redone; carpets were laid; furnishings were bought. We finally found a car and rediscovered the joy & freedom a car brings. We moved into our flat on the 18th January.

February

Most of Feb was spent assembling our nursery & living room furniture and buying the last few bits & pieces for the impending arrival of our little bundle of noise. We finally finished everything on Saturday February 25th.

Amelia Rose Walsh came into the world on Tuesday 28th February at 11:53pm (so close to being a Feb 29th baby!). There’ll be a separate post on this which I’ll wilfully backdate to the Feb 29th. It’s what my future-self would want.

March

Although it’s only just ended, March feels like a long time ago. My paternity passed in a blur and I went back to work on the 14th, incredibly sad to be away from our daughter but secretly relieved at the structure my workday regave my life. The two weeks I was off just after the arrival of Amelia were the strangest of my life — days and nights mushed into one, I lost track of which day was which. Going back to work gave my subconscious the steer it needed to understand when the daytime was and what days were what.

April

It’s only four days old but April has already brought springlike weather and some isn’t-it-tempting-to-think-it’ll-stay-like-this structure to Sap & Amelia’s days and nights.

This post has been hastily written whilst having a cup-o-tea, so future-self — don’t be too harsh.

March 29, 2012

Proudly Introducing Amelia Rose Walsh

Filed under: Family,For Posterity — admin @ 8:07 am

Introducing Amelia Rose Walsh

Above: Amelia Rose Walsh, just a few minutes old

Proudly introducing Amelia Rose Walsh, who came into the world at 11.53pm on the 28th February 2012 weighing 8lbs 2oz. Most definitely the most amazing day of my life.

So far.

October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs — 1955-2011

Filed under: Apple,For Posterity — admin @ 9:40 pm

Like Mr Gruber, I felt the wording of Steve’s resignation letter sounded very much like the end was near, if no less of a shock.

[UPDATE 1]
Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees.

[UPDATE 2]
Some awesome photos of Steve testing Photobooth filters in 2005 (via Mike Matas)

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress