2019: A Year in Review

Happy New Year! I thought I’d start 2020 with a blog post looking back at 2019. And wow! What a year it has been. 2019 has been a good but extremely busy year. I started 2019 with a little purple notebook and filled it with ideas, notes and a massive to do list. So, in this blog post, I grab a cuppa and reflect….!

2019 has been tough but it has come with great rewards. I spent hours working on my website, learning about self-employment, business and finance, learning new tools and technologies. I set up the business and instructed an accountant. I saved money so that if I didn’t find any work, I wasn’t going to go bankrupt, I made plans and schedules. No matter how much you plan, leaving a permanent job is never an easy decision. No sick pay, no pension contributions, no holiday pay, no colleagues, you’re on your own!

What has gone well?

So far, self-employment has been a much better fit for me, but it brings different stresses to permanent employment. Benefits for me include the opportunity to pick the clients I want to work for and the projects I want to be involved in. It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to work so diversely. I don’t just work in the IT industry anymore, I’ve worked on projects for HR, Finance, Management and Law. I’ve worked with universities on HE projects.

Another benefit is that I am now working from home most of the time. This has really helped me to focus.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing people on some interesting projects. I’ve worked with small companies and large corporations. I can see the value and impact that my work has made.

What about personal development?

In regard to my personal development, in 2019 I completed:

  • TAP qualification in Digital Strategy
  • A short EdX course in Deep Learning (through transformative pedagogy)
  • WalkMe Builder Certification
  • Attended various workshops at the GA
  • Finally got round to completing an Articulate e-learning challenge
What hasn’t gone so well?

One of my goals was to expand my network and meet more like-minded individuals. I’ve met some great contractors, but I haven’t been able to grow any further relationships. I’ve made some new connections online, but it hasn’t really grown as much as I’d like. It would be good to join an e-learning community that meets up in London once a month, but I don’t seem to be able to find these types of meetups without there being a software affiliation tied to them (come meet us and others…now buy our tools!!).

I missed out on a couple of conferences this year due to sickness, so hopefully, I can try to achieve this goal this year instead. There are also a couple of organisations that I am a member of which I will cancel as they haven’t been as useful as I’d have hoped.

Even though the focus was to start contracting I always thought that I’d try to get the other part of the business (The Elearning Academy) up and running. But this hasn’t really happened. I’m not sure I’ll get around to it in 2020 either.

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to this year, although I definitely improved on the previous year. I wanted to complete some Cathy Moore training as well but didn’t get round to it.

So what about 2020?

Right now I am working for the ICCA, assisting in developing an e-learning course for those who want to train to become barristers. It’s a big project, so that’ll be my work focus for a majority of 2020. As for personal development…well, my PhD officially starts next week, so I’m up to my neck in pre-reading and planning. So my two big goals are:

  • Complete project work for ICCA
  • Complete the first year of my PhD

Low-level goals that feed into my high-level goals:

  • Read more
  • Write more
  • Brush-up on my academic writing
  • Complete Cathy Moore training if I can

If I can get all that done in 2020 then I will be happy!

There were a few things I started to dabble in last year that I didn’t get round to finishing. Such as setting up a green-screen studio and developing some AR projects. I ran out of space and time for these.

I’m definitely starting 2020 on a more positive note than previous years and I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2020!

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