- Recap my personal value system - persona matrix & priorities
- Snapshot of tracking my RAGE progress by milestone reviews heatmap
- Performance appraisal - Did I achieve my intended outcomes / goals set in Jan 2019?
- Quantifying every hour of 2019 - where did I spend my time, what did I do?
- Does it look like I have my life-work balance under control?
- Am I working too much, sacrificing my personal and family streams?
- Am I enjoying my current job?
- What are the main things impacting my future personal & professional aspirations?
|My life streams or personas ranked by priority|
Snapshot of my RAGE HeatmapMy model aims to keep track of my life/work streams by slicing through each persona for an area of my life. For each area, I reflect on my aspirations, broad goals 3-5 years horizon, ongoing goals for the current year & a heatmap of how I'm performing. There are a few areas still looking to be solved, particularly my aspiration of finding the perfect workplace to match my professional curiosity (to be honest, I'm struggling in this area, not sure if it's a pipe dream!)
Seeking out People for Learning & Growth
As a software professional, I would like to learn & grow, seek out individuals, companies and interactions, to reach heights of excellence, so that I can not only enjoy the profession, but take me to new opportunities & experiences. I want to surround myself with people that motivate me, journey together to grow to the next level.
|HeatMap of RAGE Personas|
2019 Personal Performance AppraisalLast year, around the same time, I reflected on 2018 & outlined areas to focus on outcomes for 2019. The table below summarises my assessment overall, commenting on high level topics for 2020.
And I exceeded (23 out of 20) my book reading goal for the year as well - sweet. Click here to check my reading list on Goodreads.
I also experienced some really hectic and stressful psychological challenges at the workplace, which in the end, I'm thankful to have come out cleanly from, having grown as an individual and a professional as a result. 2019 by far, has been the most ups/downs I've experienced as a professional, in my 20 years of professional experience. Looking back, I'm really not prepared to entertain any more drama at work in 2020, I will rather resolve to change environments if need be.
What areas do I need to solve then?
- Exceeding work hours, possibly leading to burn-out, but also impacting my other streams like new product ideas.
- Need to expand my networking outside of the office - otherwise I'm not going to tap into the start-up circles
2019 - Where did the time go?
Life-Work Wheel of Life - Do I have it under control?
So, how come I'm working too much? Why is my Job consuming extra time?
So, given the increased work-hours, am I still having fun at work?
- Good - green, should be increasing or relatively consistent - seems to be on a downward trend or spiky - erratic. This can't be a good sign. When my personal time is added, which could be green, there is more green than red. I need to probably take leave every month, even if it's unpaid leave - or maybe work a 3-day week??
- Indifferent - Neither good nor bad - "meh" - okay to be flattish, but if on the increase, this should trigger some warning signals - certainly on the increase since late 2018
- Bad - just not my day, wish I was somewhere else - expect to be cyclical, you're going to have your fair share of bad days in the office, so far it seems relatively consistent and not on the increase - need to keep an eye, still had some sleepless, stressful nights in 2019 that messed me up a bit.
Current Quagmire: What to make of 2020 Personal & Professional Aspirations?
- Why does your work need to be fun, meaningful and contribute to your sense of purpose in life?
- Is work not just a means-to-an-end that is facilitating the lifestyle you want to live?
- Can't you just accept work for what it is, but your heart is focused on activities outside of it?
- Is work not just an enabler that allows you to live the lifestyle you choose?
- Why can't you do your NGO projects whilst still working in corporate?
- Can you not hold true to your work commitments, deliver on objectives and keep things alive and stable, isn't it most important to get that guaranteed income without hassle?
- Is it the right time now, given your age and stage in family life, to disrupt and introduce stress to your family?
- If you take time off like a sabbatical, are you not going to compromise on the lifestyle benefits your family has gotten used to?
- Children need stability and security - why do you need to expose your family to these stresses just because you've not found yourself yet?
- Why should you cause this stress knowingly on your family?
- Is it not more important to hold on to the benefits of pension, bonus, stable income & guaranteed security to last you till your retirement age?
- Is now not the time to fly under the radar and reap the consistent & predictable benefits?
- The flip-side: You are not serious about the change - you've not settled in your mind and heart, what you should be doing next?
- You've met your aspirations set 3 years ago. Three years go, you aspired to become a CTO/Head of Tech department, leading a large engineering team, owning a big budget and learning more about what it takes to run a company. You set a goal, and reached it. What's next??
- Prior to that aspiration, you set yourself another aspiration to be your own boss and work 4-day weeks by consulting. You did this for 4 years and then got plugged into the corporate matrix again as a permanent employee. Now you're complaining about your time being challenged...You met that goal, so what's next??
- What is your greatest fear??
- Are you just too comfortable and not willing to risk??
- Why is it so important to have a job that contributes to some bigger purpose in life? You've spent 20 years in TV Software, isn't TV a rewarding experience? You're working for the biggest TV company on the African continent. You're building software no one else is doing in Africa, by local Africans! You're innovating with latest software trends, and have enormous freedom and trust, you own a very large budget. Why do you want to explore other areas? Are seriously not happy?
- You're helping people in Africa find relaxation and enjoyment (through entertaining and informing) at the end of hard day's grind. Is this not good enough as a value?
So then, what's next on my career aspirations horizon??
- I would like to retire from corporate life by the age of 50, so that I can contribute to more meaningful streams, such as NGOs & non-profits. To do this, I need to reach a stage of financial independence, but not necessarily completely free, but bring in enough income to get by without struggling.
- What is clear to me is that I don't want to be in corporate world post the age of 50, spending the rest of my life on good causes focused on improving human life & society, be it NGO/NPO or even a SocialTech or HealthTech venture.
- Group CTO or CIO role - I believe I'm on the track to do this, but I can't wait for longer than one more year, but opportunities don't currently exist in my current employ. It would be much easier to maintain this role in the current domain where I'm a SME, instead of branching out. There's not much happening in South Africa though.
- Expand into two areas I've not yet tapped into in Digital TV:
- Security, Encryption & Anti-piracy software - No real opportunity in South Africa and I'm not that serious about a major relocation to another country yet, although I feel like the next decade should be spent in another country like maybe Canada?
- Enterprise IT Systems: Your SAP/CRM/Billing/Payment stacks - The next best thing that could be used as stepping stone into Group CTO/CIO role, although I've maintained a strong bias against putting lego blocks together for such IT systems, I had preferred under-the-hood builds, but I see now this might be the only way out.
- I need to also be open to opportunities in new areas - since 8 years is plenty time to experience at least two new domains (these are interconnected, so maybe find one company like Irdeto perhaps who happen to be part of the current corporate?):
- Health Tech - I'm into wellness & overall personal mental health improvement. I believe we're missing the ultimate digital personal assistant - focus on AI/ML that provides a true, 360 degree personal assistant, aimed at wellness improvements.
- Connected devices / IOT - Building Security, encryption & antifragile systems would be a very worthwhile experience. It is a future that will always remain relevant as a technology domain. This however means leaving South Africa.
- Cloud Technologies - Jump aboard the AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP ship and ride this wave until retirement. This could potentially mean a step-down from the senior position I currently enjoy and start a level or two down. Limited options in South Africa though.
- I also need to be prepared for an NGO opportunity that could present itself anytime. Why would I not entertain the idea, why should I wait until I'm 50?