PIVOT!

TL;DR - An exciting career change coming in 2022, which has left me looking backwards and forwards in equal measure! 🧐

When I first launched my blog, five months ago, my first post (and a lot of my subsequent content) related to my new job at Postman. It was an exciting role which I'd spent many months chasing, and as I remarked on a podcast in the summer (I forget which one!) it could, if I stuck at it for a number of years, have been a true "job for life" with retirement not as many decades away as I'd like.

And now… I'm moving onwards. (And upwards.)

In a nutshell πŸ₯œ

In January, I'm joining Brighton-based digital learning experts Elucidat as their new Head of Quality, in a fully-remote role. They're a company which lives and breathes their core values: as an organisation which builds software for onboarding, training and upskilling needs, Elucidat is building software which needs to respect the goals - and time! - of over 20 million learners worldwide.

It's a big career step for me: I've served in a variety of increasingly senior, technical and lead positions in the past decade, but I'm looking forward to helping to shape the vision of a team which has undergone tremendous growth in recent years, both pre-pandemic and looking forward to the future of elearning.

Not as random as it seems 🎲

This is a move which almost happened nine months ago. When I first approached Postman, I didn't have eyes for any other company, but Elucidat appeared on my radar when one of their developers (a former colleague of mine) approached me to see whether I'd consider talking to them about the role.

I made it clear from the start that Postman appeared to be my preferred position (with its Dream Jobβ„’ status), but agreed that there would still be value in progressing through Elucidat's interview process. This level of transparency and candour stretched throughout our negotiations, as all parties were respectful of each others' time, and it was very clear to me that senior figures at Elucidat were bending over backwards to shape a role for which I would be the perfect fit.

Postman's offer eventually proved too enticing to refuse, and I tried to help push some more candidates into Elucidat's pipeline, but a chance conversation some months later revealed that they were still struggling to fill the position - would I be interested in resuming discussions?

My answer was "yes" - and the fact that it was a "yes" is probably a conversation for another piece, once the dust has settled on my time at Postman. But it left me in the enviable position of a second interview process where I could refer back to conversations from six months prior; again, this led to some incredibly fruitful topics along the lines of "you said that you were going to pursue X, how did that go?" and means that I'm joining the organisation with a reasonable grasp on their existing day-to-day issues - something which I wouldn't normally discover until after I'd joined a company.

First, a rest… maybe? πŸŽ„

I've managed to secure a couple of weeks' downtime between my roles (ostensibly because there's no point in trying to on-board during the holiday season), although whether a Christmas period with an almost-two-year-old will count as restful is anybody's guess. Regardless, I'm hoping to use the time to shift myself into a leaders' mindset, so that I can begin 2022 by meeting my new colleagues and understanding business priorities, so that I can help to shape a quality team which achieves that vision.

I've got a lot of reading to do (in the season finale of the Tech Team Weekly podcast, my Secret Santas pushed a lot of good books my way, plus a couple that I've picked up myself) and on Gwen's advice, I've joined the Rands Leadership Slack to afford myself more time to converse with manager peers. I also took the Rapid Software Testing Managed course with Michael Bolton last week; you can expect a related blog post in the days to come!

I'm not going to be a stranger to the folks of Postman after I leave (after all, I joined them primarily because I'm a passionate user and advocate for their software) but I'm looking forward to shifting my focus to a higher-level remit, and helping to shape a team of awesome people who you're going to hear more from! I'll continue to keep trickling some blog posts out when I can, but needless to say, my attention may be taken up by other activites for a while…