In 2013 give yourself the space to just be you + my 2012 review.

It’s fair to say that readers of this blog can be forgiven for thinking that I’ve fallen of the face of the planet. 2012 was definitely an interesting year, I always aim to have a better year than the last and keep pushing myself forward. So when it came to my end of year review that takes place on my birthday, the 30th of December, I didn’t really know how to sum it up but I’ll give it a go.

The first half of the year was a crazy blur of work and projects that I’m really proud of. I started the year by sharing a beautiful beach house with some amazing people as we took some time out to work on the strategy and plan for Soften The Fck Up and Spur Projects. It was the perfect way to start the year by feeling both refreshed and inspired. This led to the creation of our latest video campaign, which I was lucky enough to be able to work on behind the scenes during the two days of filming. We then launched the campaign later this year with grass roots style launch parties in Melbourne, Sydney and in Brisbane. It was so incredibly awesome to see something that we are all so passionate about come to life and share it with the world. I also spoke at each of the events and shared my own story of how I had to practice what I preach and Soften The Fck Up, which was a tough but important story to share.

2012 was also a huge year for me on the day job front. In August 2011 I took on a 3 day a week contract to provide some consultative advice about social media for a large global organisation based in Australia. Over the past 12 months I’ve been able to grow that role into a permanent position heading up all the Digital Strategy and Marketing. Stepping into a role like this was not something that I expected to do so soon in my career but before I could even ask myself the question am I ready for this I found myself presenting on risk management to executive, travelling all around the country speaking in front of Hospital CEO’s and Managers, running training sessions for hospital staff, speaking at external health care conferences & doing 1 on 1 mentoring with key executive members. I’ve been also very lucky to work with some truly amazing people that have given me the inspiration to do the work that I do and a big thanks goes out to my personal board of advisors for their continued support.

For those who have seen me speak before it’s safe to say that I feel more comfortable up on stage in front of a large audience then I do behind a desk all day, which I’m sure, is the opposite for quite a few people. My first speaking highlight for the year was being asked to present a case study of my work with Ramsay Health Care, all the major health care groups were there in attendance trying to work out what to do in the social media space and I was already presenting a case study on what we’ve done at Ramsay. In writing and preparing my talk for this conference I actually stepped back and realised how much we’ve achieved in such a short space of time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, especially in the 24/7 digital space, that you can sometimes forget the journey that you’ve been on. But my main speaking highlight was definitely the chance to go back to QUT to do several talks. I had the chance to guest lecture in both the Bachelor and Masters of Business programs about the Future of HR & Recruitment which was great fun.

QUT also gave me the chance to have what I’d like to say a full circle moment. In 2009 I was nominated for a School of Management Award for my work as the President of the QUT HR Student Group. I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting there all nervous with excitement and anticipation. QUT had asked me to open up the event as a previous winner and student of QUT to talk about my journey since university. I spoke about my unconventional approach to university, my lifelong learning journey, why learning to be an effective speaker will be far more beneficial then a post-graduate degree and reminding them that not even an average GPA is enough to stop them from achieving anything they set their mind to. It was by far the most rewarding and humbling speech I’ve ever given.

So after reflecting on the year that has passed I’m actually really proud of everything that I’ve put my name to. Whilst I really enjoy my work it’s also important to take some time out, for me that time out is jumping on a plane and exploring a different part of the world. In August of 2012 I took some time out to go explore the West Coast of America. The three weeks felt like 3 months, the friendships that I formed in 10 days on a tour felt like they’d been formed for over 10 years and the experiences that I shared will never be forgotten. I also fell in love during this trip, I fell in love with San Francisco. At the end of the whirlwind tour of the West Coast I decided to book 3 nights in San Francisco and then not book anything else during my final week in America to see if I loved it or not. It’s fair to say that I definitely fell in love. It’s a city of young people with grand visions to change the world and have a great time whilst doing it. I know it’s only a matter of time before I find myself back there.

It’s pretty easy to see that this blog also went pretty quiet in the second half of this year. Some of that had to do with the fact that I was transitioning out of a career in HR and into a career as a Digital Strategist and I didn’t know how to transition this blog. So to try get some clarity on my writing I flew down to Melbourne and attended the ProBlogger Blogging conference. Yes that’s right, there are blogging conferences. It was during a conversation with two lovely young ladies from Melbourne that also worked in the Digital Strategy space that it all became a lot clearer for me. I realised that the vast majority of my posts actually had little to do with HR as a subject. But rather they were talking about my journey as a student, or my unconventional approach to tackling learning, university, career challenges and I wrote mostly because I have a thirst for knowledge and sharing.

So I spent the second half of the year stepping back a bit to really ask myself what are the interests and topics that make me want to write and write until I have to upgrade my Evernote account! This stepping back process was also a result of a relationship break up in September of 2012. Sometimes you have to step back in order to step forward so whilst I was coming to terms with the fact that my girlfriend of two years and I had broken it up it gave me the perfect chance to reflect.

This reflection allowed me to assess what’s important to me and what are the things in my life that make me truly happy. After allowing myself to step back and give myself the space to just be me I soon realised that the majority of my happiness came from the places that I wasn’t actually focusing my attention on. So in 2013 these are some of the topics and conversations that I’ll be writing about more and I hope you’ll join me on this new journey.

  • The use of emerging technology to attract, inspire, retain and entertain our employees.
  • How to work in a state of flow
  • Unconventional approaches to lifelong learning
  • Life as a digital strategist
  • Travel hacking your way to more aha moments
  • Why the potential of our people is hidden in plain sight
  • Sharing this crazy journey of mine through self-depreciating humour and stories
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