So this is it. The very last day of 2013 and, as ever, the last day of something throws the whole period into relief: you can look back and see it as a (very nearly) complete entity. I’ve just been back through my diary to remind myself what happened in 2013 and frankly it’s a bit staggering. Here are some of the highlights…
I actually started January 2013 with a nasty and persistent virus I’d caught over Christmas. I was in the process of upgrading my CIPD membership to Chartered Fellow – not particularly as part of any career strategy I have to confess, but I knew a focused job search was ahead and I wanted to be able to use everything I had in the locker, knowing what the jobs market was like… I had some great help from a CIPD Merseyside Branch member, Lynn Delaney, who also gave me a vital deadline to work to!
In February work stuff took over everything else as we geared up for a fairly fundamental organisational change.
March saw me attend my first ever tweet up – with the incredible #ConnectingHRMcr crew. I was full of trepidation to be honest – and got hopelessly lost on the way there, as usual in Manchester – but looking back, it was a transformational moment on my “social media journey” (pardon the X Factor speak). I realised then that the people I interacted with on Twitter on a daily basis had – almost by osmosis – started to become “friends I just hadn’t met yet”. Now they were firm friends “IRL” too, thanks to @KingfisherCoach, @Damiana_HR and @RyskiCheyne.
April hit something of a low with some completely unexpected tragic family news.
In May I almost accidentally joined a CIPD Hackathon webinar which inspired me to write my contribution – “There’s No Such Thing As Best Practice“. I didn’t realise at the time how significant that would be for my “personal brand” (if there is such a thing) but it certainly contributed to me connecting with a lot of very interesting people as the year panned out, not least at #CIPD13. But more on that later.
In June, I had another unexpectedly serendipitous event when I met Perry Timms for a coffee and happened to mention my firm belief that using social media had made me better at my job. Little did I know that he had logged that comment in his mental filing system and would bring it out when the CIPD was planning it’s own Social Media in HR Conference! I was really pleased to get a call from the CIPD Events team asking me to get involved. I also had an interview for a new job – my first proper interview for a good few years – and was incredibly chuffed to be offered the role! As I’d hoped at the time, it has really pushed me on, building on the reinvigoration of my interest in HR that using Twitter had started. I genuinely have changed my practice and approach as a result of using Twitter and interacting with you all on a daily basis – and the evidence of that has been clearly visible since I joined Brook.
July was a weird twilight zone of knowing I was leaving my then-current role but not having left; of trying to put in place as much as I could to ease the burden that was likely to pass to my colleagues when I left, knowing I would not be directly replaced as the organisation sought to reduce its headcount further.
August and September were the beginning of the absolute blur that has been the last part of 2013 as I dealt with the mixed emotions of leaving an organisation where had I worked for over 7 years (where I knew everything and everyone), started at Brook (where I knew nothing and no-one), celebrated my birthday and a family wedding as well as attending my second ConnectingHR tweet up.
October was mainly spent on trains as I sped around the country to exotic locations such as London, Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Birmingham… Business travel has changed so much since I last had a job that took me around the country – largely due to mobile technology – but I have really enjoyed getting out and about again, rather than being office-based day in, day out.
November saw the CIPD Annual Conference & Exhibition, which was probably the culmination of my year’s tweeting to that point. I’ve blogged about that elsewhere… There was also a particularly fab impromptu “tweet up” with some excellent Twitter HR folk in a back street pub behind Waterloo station!
And so to December, which did not really slow down until I finished work for the festive season. The CIPD Social Media in HR conference was a brilliant occasion to be involved with – especially for someone who a little over 12 months previously had a Facebook page and a Twitter account that never got used. I did a Storify after the event which you can still check out if you want to know more.
And there you have it: the highlights of 2013. A year that can be summed up for me in one word I guess: Transformational.
Can you sum up your 2013 in one word? Let me know by leaving a comment or on Twitter – you can find me here.
Happy New Year!