I’ve spent a short time the last couple of days reflecting on my 2017, it has been a challenging year, full of change and disruption, but also progress and successes. This is true personally and professionally, and now as never before I find those merging, affecting each other, blending. I’ll talk more in my storytelling blog about those areas.
This is a brief summary, just of the professional areas:
Work projects: This year, I have been involved in 3 work projects, each quite different roles, and for 3 different client companies based in different countries: one in the UK, one elsewhere in the EU, and one in Asia. Each of these projects challenged me in a different way – challenges of culture, language as well as challenges to be creative and imaginative, to meet deadlines while ensuring quality standards were maintained for both the deliverables I was responsible for and the services I provided. A mix of consultancy, training, mentoring, coaching, writing, and diagramming.
Conferences: in 2017, I participated at 12 conferences – including keynotes, tutorials, panels, workshops, track sessions, one-to-ones, “on the couch” sessions, discussions, where I made new friends, met old friends, and topped off the year by the award of the EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making that happen – I am so proud and pleased!
Research: also this year, I applied to University of Malta, and have been accepted as a post graduate student, so finally after much dithering, discussion and worry, I have started my research. So far I have taken and passed modules on “how to” research – quantitative and qualitative methods. I’ve also started to read academic literature about the research topic (UX of testing tools) and to make a research design. That’s taken 6 months!
I’m learning how to do this, and as I allowed myself to reset to a “beginner” it opened my mind both to how much I know and how little I know – as thought I have been sitting in the centre of my own paradox. I’ve always done CPD (Continuous Professional Development) and I have always seen life-long learning as essential, but I’ve seen this in a new and refreshing way. Being more open to many new ideas (not just in the professional arena, but personally too) is feeding my ability to relinquish the burden of imposter syndrome and of inflated expectation. I am more balanced.
There are nuances in all this, detail that I don’t want to share online – yet – even though I am sure almost no-one reads these posts!
The award citation for EuroSTAR provided me with a career retrospective from the point of view of my colleagues in the industry. This is a wake up call to what I have achieved and am capable of. That, plus the process of doing a personal annual retrospective has been good, and has additionally made me realise that I have – somehow, at some point – let go of the weekly retrospective that was for so many decades the anchor for my professional self. Something to reinstate for 2018.
2017 – a year of change, challenge and success for my professional life. Now to planning 2018 – what do I want to achieve? What is possible? What do I dream of?