A New Chapter…

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I’ve been quiet on here for quite a long time now. To be honest, I’ve been through the mill quite a bit over the last year or so. I’ll write about some (but not all) of it when I get back into the habit of writing. Consider this me breaking the seal on a long overdue silence.

Some sad news first. As of last September I’ve left Redgate. I had an amazing 5 years in so many different roles and felt like I made a real difference to so many friends and colleagues in my time there.

Note that I say friends first.

I made more close, important, and (hopefully) lifelong friends in my time with Redgate than any other period in the rest of my adult life. They’ve seen me through the best and worst times of the somewhat rollercoaster life I’ve had (and seen me at my best and worst).

I took a couple of months off work towards the end of last Summer to sort out my new flat and recover from being completely burned out.

In hindsight, that time off was one of the best moves of my career so far. It’s the longest break I’ve had in nearly 20 years and gave me time to recharge and decide what about my life and career makes me happy. I’m doing my best to focus on these. My advice – if you’re feeling burned out, take time out – plenty of it (if you can) and if you can’t… get help – and learn to ask for it.

The great news is that as of November last year I’ve taken on a new role (actually I have 2 full-time roles in parallel as of December too!).

Officially my title is now “Agile Transformation Manager” at a large global payment provider with a supporting role across about 90+ teams worldwide. Even my new boss pointed out it’s not the best job title but was the best they could come up with on short notice.

I also have a second full-time job in parallel heading up development for our Cambridge and Romania development teams (about a fifth of our overall dev teams).

So it’s back to the big company stuff again – I’m using the skills I’ve developed throughout my career along with the full range of cross-business experience I picked up with all the commercial side of teams at Redgate.

It’s relentless, exhausting, lots of travel, plenty of time in London but most of all it’s rewarding. In a nutshell, I love to make a positive difference and spend time with people who care and I’m doing exactly that.

The day I joined, every single person I spoke to said “We’re so glad you’re here“, “How soon can you come and help us” and “What can we do to help you“. No territorial behaviour, no negativity, just a desire to make a difference and be better than they already were.

As a result I now have way more work on my plate than I can manage alone and I’m hoping to start building a team of agile mentors/coaches around the world (if I can get funding – I’m back in a big, public company where budgets are important again!).

The thing I appreciate most is that despite the size of the company, they have a great appetite for change, a positive culture, and an acceptance that one size does not fit all.

Over the next few weeks and months I’ll start posting more from the backlog of posts and stories I’ve built up – I’m hoping it’ll be more relevant to you all than the last few posts as I know many of you are in similar mature/large company scenarios.

I’ve decided to just crank this short post out mostly to say “I’m still here” (and still working in the software, product and agile space). I’m just hoping that I have interesting, insightful and useful things to share again (and to solicit your support and input on the journey).

I’m likely to write a few more things about being a human too – I’ve learned a lot in the last year about resilience, mental health, self care and respecting the world and needs of others. These are applicable to both our personal and professional lives.

Suffice to say if you’re in a bad place, I promise you’re not alone. There are people who care and people who want to support all around you. Be open to that support.

And although we’re nearly 5 months in – happy new year. It’s been far too long!

Take care.

S

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