Sometimes I feel like I steer my life’s direction through this stochastic universe, other times I feel like nothing more than jetsam on the inexorable tides of other people’s oceans. There’s some truth and none in both ideas, especially when considering how often I’ve moved home (30+), how many jobs I’ve had (lots) and how focused my career has been (laser like).
I’ve had many ‘breaks’ in life and some tragedies. At times I’ve been alone on the street but mostly I’ve been supported and empowered by friends and people who just wanted to do the right thing.
I’ve just taken a big step in my career as an intranet and comms person, and I can’t help reflecting on the path that got me here.
I want to thank Kylie for supporting me when I had to quit that job in the pet shop because the owner killed animals with her own two hands. We needed the money, but Kylie understood. She also supported me, like all my friends, when I finally decided to go to university.
I want to thank Marie for giving me a job at Marconi, having met me in a pub when I was facing hunger and homelessness (again). Our fortuitous meeting meant that I got a foot in the door of a large corporation, and had the luck to be managed by someone like Marie, someone who protected me when I messed up and encouraged me when I did good work. I was *this* close in following her into environmental matters.
I want to thank Helen for taking me on as the intranet manager for Marconi. Helen turned me down owing to the weakness of my CV, but I asked for a review and she was impressed with my writing and publishing outside of the boundaries of work as I have always run a voluntary organisation. We often chuckle at her having rejected me, and my having fought for the position.
I want to thank Claire, Val, Mark, Nathanael and Tim, while at Marconi and then Telent (and beyond), for encouraging me to see the worth of my work and valuing my time and friendship.
I want to thank Jules for standing by me as our voluntary organisation went through some difficult growing pains and organisational change. When other people took destructive paths, Jules looked for protective measures and has become the guiding voice in the org.
I want to thank Chris for letting me try so much in my career, for letting me be unemployed at times and supporting my crazy ideas, like when I (briefly) worked in Germany for Vodafone and just *all* my bizarre personal and web projects.
I want to thank Dan Hawtrey at Content Formula for literally valuing my work here at Kilobox Communiqué by sponsoring my blog for a time. It’s just incredible to me to think that people take more than a passing note of my ramblings and ‘good practice’ ideas. I’m humbled by all my readers’ and colleagues’-in-arms passion and expertise. Dan is a vibrant leader and the intranet management and internal communication services his company and team offer are surprising and refreshing. I must also thank Dan for valuing my expertise, and demonstrating that what I do and what I think about intranets has worth in the real world.
I want to thank Helen for trusting me with the Severn Trent Water intranet and believing that I could improve the writing of the internal communications and the general ‘paginess’ of the old intranet. I hope and trust the year-long slog to move to SharePoint 2010 pays dividends in 2011.
I want to thank Kurt Kragh at IntraTeam for inviting me to their Copenhagen Event, an incredible three day intranet conference.
Now I have to thank Nigel Danson and Rachel Muirhead at Interact Intranet for taking me on as an intranet consultant, guiding my career from that of a fire-fighting intranet practitioner to ~ well, I hope to help scores of companies each year get more out of their intranet, so we’ll see who and what I become over time.
I also want to thank the many experts in our field who choose to share their knowledge and learnings, rather than just ‘switch off at 5 o’clock’. Intranets and internal communications can be hidden and secret, trapped within the firewall. It’s thrilling to be able to connect to other practitioners and consultants because of their blogs, tweets, conferences and then over coffee.
I had no idea I could meet so many awesome people who care as much about their roles and duties as I do. Ten years ago I didn’t know people enjoyed their work and liked learning enough to tweet n meet strangers!
The kind or guiding words from people have kept me blogging, and kept me working in the sometimes frustrating world of intranets. People like William Amurgis, Christy Season, Sharon O’Dea, Dana Leeson, Martin White, Shel Holtz, Chris Brogan, Luke Mepham, Shonali Burke, Mark Morrell, Kurt Kragh, Sam Marshall, James Robertson, Jen Cutler, James Royal-Lawson, Richard Baker, Linda Bolg, Diana Railton, Sean Williams, Charlene Kingston, Ashli Ahrens, LikeMinds, Jeremy Vine, Matthew Wright, Bas Zuhrberg, Susan Lambe, Csaba Szücs and too many to link to and too many to remember during an exciting week!
Photo credit: Adarsh Upadhyay