A large part of problem-solving is the ability to see a problem in its true form. If you're able to describe a problem in a sufficiently clear and precise fashion, most of the solution will become evident.
Writing helps. Write about your problems. It's more precise than thinking
— François Chollet (@fchollet) April 22, 2018
Are all promises worth the same?
How do you know?
If they aren’t, how do you discern which ones are worth making, & which ones should simply be a “Sorry, no, I don’t have the time to make it happen”.
Day 1 of my 2 week break has been fabulous. Made a promise to myself that I’d not be working, & I’d be fully devoted to the family. Took the kids to the local library for term holiday activities that are usually set up. We had breakfast & lunch together, which was so much fun. We bought a new phone for mum, & did all the chores we’d planned for the day. We played a game of badminton. It was unstructured, & it was fun, & it was liberating.
I did, of course, break my promise – kept browsing the phone, pining to keep abreast of the things I’ve set in motion before I decided to get off the wagon for a couple of weeks. The phone turns off tonight. Will I keep that promise?
It’s been just over two years since I started my role at Australia’s largest infrastructure project. My title suggests I’m a finance analyst, supporting the revenue earning arm of the Government Business Enterprise behemoth that is the company. I’m about to wrap this two year stint to move on to another role shortly.
I’ve been asked a few times: what has it been like?
The early days:
The team I joined two years ago had three other analysts, so it was a really small group. Our manager has a reputation for being one of the better managers around, and it was quite evident right from the first week.
It so happened that I joined right in the middle of the annual long-term forecasting cycle, so I was right in the thick of things. Despite my previous experience in a similar industry, the tasks I was assigned were new, different & frankly sometimes quite obtuse. I also had a regular role that I was to shoulder, as well as take over the weekly & monthly reporting. To top it all off, one of the team was going on leave for three weeks so it was a definite baptism by fire.
I did have a few things going for me:
- I knew many of the people I needed to interact with (staying in the same industry helps enormously!) or could fairly easily build a relationship with through introductions from mutual connections
- Data wrangling & analytics were two of my secret weapons & I wasn’t shy about using the right tool for the job. I also knew my way around the IT department, thanks to a couple of my good friends who’d preceded me into the organisation.
- I do have a commercial background after all, so I knew precisely what the numbers I was reporting would mean to the recipients
note to self: Solve problems, even if they aren’t in your specific job description. The value gained personally in the learning far far outweighs the politics of the situation.