Posts Tagged job

Sunday Column (463)

Good evening. Sunday night and as usual a busy week for me. To start out with a summary, my Monday was super busy. Working from home to get an air ventilation system installed that pumps dry air into our house in order to reduce condensation and therefore the build up of mould around the windows. We don’t have a huge problem with that so the unit we got should solve it and I am excited to slowly but surely finalise the house and get it into the ‘perfect’ state. So far it is working fantastically. I know it sounds like a daunting task but over the years you want to know what’s going on in your house and make sure the systems are running smoothly and the heating is working, the lights, etc. – guess it is my German efficiency and I just want to keep it in good repair I suppose. Sad life but as I enter middle age, the house is becoming a priority 🙂

I also added some new features to our spare bedroom in order to display my Lego model I build and also to declutter my desk, anticipating I might work from home more often again. Then I don’t want to anticipate too much, as I am still not sure what I will or want to be doing next. My last official day was on Friday, so 10 months, two jobs (running operations and Germany), and some great people and experience. I worked my butt off, flew to Germany every week and I feel like I accomplished something for the company. Some people said to me that this isn’t fair, however it is a job, and life in business isn’t always fair, is it? I never thought about it, as my thoughts are about the future, about what I will focus on moving forward. No point of looking back, I cannot change the past.

Having a few drinks with the crew, reading the leaving cards and looking at a fantastic leaving present (a nice bottle of whiskey), I cannot resist to say thank you. The team has been fantastic, a great time at Rocket Fuel, a great culture and fantastic people. Thank you. You have been fantastic. It is a small industry and paths will cross again. If I am not misinterpreting the notes, I had a positive impact on most of my staff. For that I am truly greatful. Not often can you look back and think you made an impact on someone’s life or people’s life for the better. Gave them some thoughts, some advice or just helped them to get perspective. And as always, I am happy to continue this and be there as an advisor or mentor moving forward. Don’t hesitate to reach out. My mobile is the same and most of us are now connected on various channels. Thank you once again.

Coincidental with me having my last week at work, my wife had 4 shifts to work. That meant school / child minder runs every day with the boys. Great times and thinking about it, I really enjoy waking them up in the morning and having that one on one time with them. We adding more of that individual time too, so moving forward I plan to take the youngest to Karate on a Saturday morning. Not long I will find something with the oldest too. I think that’s super important to build the bond and trust with the main priority in my life (see article on LinkedIn too).

Then I attended an industry event this week. Wow. I am impressed. Or not. I know I have been in programmatic coming up 10 years, but really, the amount of “non existing knowledge” is crazy (and no this is not lack of knowledge from the host or speakers!). Lotame invited for an amazing industry event which really show cased what needs to be done on the data side of things. However, the comments coming from the audience and some of the panel members set me back years. I had an interview earlier that day asking me about how many industry relationships I have and how many people I know, and how much I know about certain tech providers. Maybe it is stating the obvious, but if I need to speak to any industry tech or need my way into any agency, I find a way. Yet even the best relationships won’t get you a deal. I am sales by trade and I know people. People know me, this is surely not a criteria to employ or not to employ me. I have so much more to offer: leadership, management skills, processes, fun, industry knowledge, connections above and beyond and knowledge how to sell technology. Oh yes, I do listen to customer needs and if I don’t know I only sell once the integration or product team actually gave their go ahead. Sales pitch over 😉

Anyway, in the process of networking and knowing people, now that I don’t really manage people at Rocket Fuel anymore, I add them on Facebook. It seems to be a nicer way to connect and be part of people’s life, rather than the ‘professional’ LinkedIn. Latter is becoming cluttered with similar posts to Facebook and is moving into that direction. I wonder where we end up in years to come, if Snapchat can close the age gap and become an important platform, or if a newcomer will enter the market. Who knows. As with most things in the industry, you cannot predict the future or the outcome.

As the week comes to a close I reflect. It has been a good week. A good 10 months. Life is good, and I am healthy and happy. The house is better and I can put my last 10 months aside to focus on my next … 10 years maybe. The future is key and it is going to happen. I might not know how yet but it will and we will be alright. We always will be. Believe.

Things happen for a reason.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (439)

Hello friends. I noticed that, if I am awake early on Mondays, that this is good writing time. So I am on another flight. Just about 16 hours after I disembarked my last. Yet the last one was for fun. My wife took me to Edinburgh for the weekend. It was amazing. Not only did you not have to worry about the kids but could do all the grown up things kids are not interested in. Culture, sight seeing, castles and whisky tastings. Plus, my wife took me to a restaurant, allegedly the best one in Scotland, the Witchery, where I ate the best steak I ever had in my life (and I had a lot), and I discovered the most interesting and tasting Italian blue cheese I ever had too. What a great weekend. Thank you again.

Later in the week I got a belated birthday present. Two actually. One was the picture of a Buddha my youngest drew. I love it. I even got two copies, one for each office. How sweet is that? The other a book of pictures and quotes collected by my wife from my closest friends. It was very emotional to read the impact I can have on lifes. I love you too guys, and this is only the beginning. 40 is the time you turn up the heat, put your foot down and enjoy the wind in your hair. Because you can. Because you don’t know how much longer you can do it either.

So as I wander through the airport on Monday morning, I am tired. Of course I am. The cold I had is still lingering around. Maybe it is more of a hay fever. The weekend was exhausting. I am happy though and that’s what matters. I am trying to think how we best plan our holidays over the next year(s). Also, I am listening to my podcasts again. This time it is all about passion. That someone should not necessarily want to be like someone else, but everyone is an individual. Realising you don’t want to be Steve Jobs or Anthony Robbins is the first step to realise that you are not like them. As I have learned over the years, it is about what you can take from any of those individuals and how you can put it together to form your self. The podcast guest suggested that you shouldn’t quit your job and start working on your passion. A passion is still what you do in your own time. And if that takes off from a side project, so will be it. Those podcast paired with the book I am reading about evolutionary coaching just make a lot of things come together. What an amazing life we are living, and slowly it all seems to make sense. The dots are connecting more than ever before. Wow.

Discovering your passion as something like ‘helping others’ and ‘developing others’ is great. That’s what I did. And if you as a reader of this blog or someone reading my productivity book is interested in what my opinions are, then please share and get engaged. I am just someone with some strong opinions on certain topics. I believe I know how to set up a productive work life scenario and work efficiently for others. I believe I am mentally strong and have a good working routine. A routine that allows me to cope with the workload and life load. And whilst doing all that, I still have a lot of fun. I cannot see myself being the Jim Rohn or Darren Hardy or Anthony Robbins but I can envisage to offer seminars for lifes’ little tricks in years to come. Not in my 40ies though 😉 And one of the reasons is that once I stopped university, I started learning. Life experience, personal development books and so on. Experience of others that helps me to go through life. And that experience is something I’d like to pass on. But I am far from perfect and yet have many years of (life’s) training to come. Embracing this makes it even so exciting. Evolution at its best.

Bad news this week are coming from Manchester. A terrorist attack killed teenagers and hurt a lot of people. Terror at a ’teenager event’. 22 people died. A 22 year old was named by the police. I am speechless. Those kids had their whole life ahead of them. A 22 year old, someone who just started out in life, what did he know? Was it hatred or religious reasons or just someone being confused. At time of writing I am not sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. It is awful. My thoughts go out to those affected. And it impacts things in London. Fear of attacks, disruption and anger. United we stand. We will get through this, terror will never win.

In other news, as I still recovered from the weekend, I took it easy this week. A lot of work to catch up on, not too crazy tbh, and I managed to even fit in two saunas. I got a haircut in Hamburg (never as good as home) and caught up on a lot of catch up TV. I haven’t done that for a while, so a relaxing and very productive trip at the same time. Some me time to catch up on important things, testing my new Asics trainers which aren’t as good as the Nike. My pain creep back up running in the Asics but not in the Nike trainers. The weight of the shoes, the way I run in them etc. So the Asics are going back. I might still try some Ultraboost, but at least I am getting back on track. I even managed my first 10K in ages on Friday. Somewhat I haven’t been in a good place with running and the 24 hour race is coming closer with only eight weeks to go. So I better find the right trainers and the right mojo to make it. It’s going to be epic. It must be. Another wall to climb, to break through and move forward from.

When waiting for my plane on Wednesday I was wondering why those trips are so draining. And my conclusion is that you cannot do both of your jobs 100%. I am not sure if that makes sense, but I enjoy what I do. I chose my job to make it successful and be there fully, giving my best and make sure I have an impact. But by doing two jobs, it seems as if I do one or the other, and both only 90%. That is just not satisfying to be not as good as you could be because of restrictions you cannot change. Not sure that makes sense. Nevertheless the support from my boss, HR, colleagues is overwhelming. A great place to work. And so much more to learn and walls to climb. I definitely put my ladder on the right wall here.

However, I enjoy things as I used to. It is a cracking challenge, lots of fun with some really great people and amazing tech. Things are good, and I am not complaining. I am just tired this week, that’s allowed sometimes too I suppose. As the week moved on, my tiredness turns sleepless due to the heat. I am up most nights at 4:30. So I fit in the above 10K, a cheeky 5K and time with the boys before school. Challenging at times, but hey, isn’t that fun. 40 – life is only just beginning. Only now got I the tools to break through those walls. Keep them coming.

From my corner of the world, have a great week ahead. Enjoy the bank holiday weekend! Sun. Summer is almost here. BBQ. Family!

What else to live for?
Volker

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Sunday Column (427)

This week was different. In a good way I suppose, given it started out with a lovely Sunday meal with the family. We celebrated my wife’s birthday and her finishing yet another half marathon. Well done. I am very proud of her achievements. I originally wanted to eat a salad but ended up with some nice winter warming comforting Pizza – so much about losing weight again. My training is going well, yet before the 24 hour race I should really shed a few more kilos. I guess consistency with weight exercise is needed and more discipline on the food side of things. I am trying. Maybe not hard enough but pushing myself in regards to making sure to complete three 10K runs a week.

On Tuesday/Wednesday I attended an internal conference where eating and drinking healthy wasn’t an option really. I mean, knowing HR is reading my blog ;-), there is always an option, but less discipline I guess. One night to make friends with up to 180 people from our international territory. That’s a lot of people to meet, a lot of networking. A great event though and speaking as well as listening to our CEO was encouraging. I love what I am doing and believe this company is right. We are on a journey and it is a journey I enjoy. People I enjoy. Amazing technology. We are winning. And no, I am not only writing this since HR is listening in. I am writing this as I think there are similarities between my CEO, my MD and myself. This sounds weird, but besides the early morning routines (this sounds weird, doesn’t it), we also seem to understand and enjoy business. Different level of experience of course and backgrounds, and motivations, but overall I can spot a theme. That’s amazing.

I had probably one of the shortest commutes from the conference. It happened in Brighton. So when I got home Wednesday afternoon I caught up on some sleep and then on some work. The next day I was back at my 5 am routine. It killed me at the conference given I was in bed very late and naturally woke by 5, but on Thursday my 10K was refreshing. I started my physio exercises again and taking ibuprofen, so I am hopeful to get on top of my leg pain soon. I also had 9 hours sleep that night which helped immensely to get back to normal.

The remainder of the week was rather busy. A lot of things to organise, conferences to prepare, personal stuff to sort out. Two weeks out from my citizenship ceremony, which I found out is free of charge after all, the government agreed that the status of EU citizens would not change post Brexit. I feel at ease knowing that soon I don’t have to worry about it anymore. No one likes dealing with government processes I don’t think. So putting it all to an end to apply for a passport will be nice. A bit of closure. Britain is home for me. Here is where my family is and here is where I belong.

Trains seem to run fine at the moment. I don’t want to jinx it but since I started my job 6 weeks ago, I can take a direct train again to get to the office for 9 am. That is nice. An easier commute, reliable most days and a more convenient one. However, the train is older and doesn’t cope that well with the old tracks. So slightly more uncomfortable. I find myself typing this blog on Thursday morning. A sunny day, a windy day. The wind woke me up a few times at night. Winter is not quite gone yet, and according to the calendar spring wont’ t start until 21 March. Despite my wife thinking it is the 1st of March. I look forward to the summer, to more fun with the boys. outside, sitting on the patio. To enjoy nature and nature’s warmth. To connect with the roots. But let’s not get sentimental.

Life has been good to us. I am pleased and happy with what we have. My life as a whole. The challenges it comes with. The love from my boys and discussions we have. The challenges we work through as parents. The ‘treadmill weekends’ of going to parties and entertaining the family. I enjoy to be able to help, to make a difference to things. I am content yet hungry for more. I am eager to step up and take on more. And hopefully I will eventually. With patience, consistency and integrity, I am confident to take things further. Life is great.

Have an amazing week ahead.
Best,
Volker

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Sunday Column (306)

Another week. At time of writing this post, second time around due to the WordPress app not saving the draft, I am sitting on a cold carriage on the 7.29 from Brighton.

This train became famous this week, as it was in the press. I have been complaining about it a lot before, that we always arrive 10 minutes late, but rumours now have it this train is never on time. Even the Prime Minister got involved and journalists flocked on the train to interview people. Allegedly it is on time less than 30% of all journeys. A bit appalling.

It leads me to my most favourite subject, which I was trying to avoid. The train system is in shambles. Worst about it, at least to my mind, is the reliance on the train. Whilst I believe the majority of the population commutes by car, the ones that commute by train, and particular for an hour or more like myself, need to rely on it. With close to a month’s salary this service is not worth what we pay for. The constant rail fare increase without the felt modernisation isn’t fair or value for money, whilst we are stuck without alternatives. And I suppose that is where my grief comes from: I have no choice but to use a highly priced service that doesn’t offer value for money.

Maybe a lifestyle change is in order? A local job, working from home or for a sole online business? Not being able to rely on trains, on a service, which you are dependent on, e.g. you don’t have an alternative for, is crippling. We are in 2015 not 1896.

Never mind. It sometimes makes for good yet boring and repetitive conversation. Sometimes, you get more work done before you arrive in the office. But no 9 am meetings. I am restricted by my train company. The argument of course is to get an earlier train which there are two: one leaves 9 minutes earlier and arrives 10 minutes earlier but is totally full, no seat and standing only for an hour. The one I take has plenty of table seats, from carriage 2 downwards. So quite a luxurious travel in comparison to some services (see, it isn’t all bad). The other direct, earlier alternative train is 50 minutes earlier, yet somewhat it gets me into the office too early, I miss out on breakfast with the children and would have to restructure my whole day. Of course, a train in between would be great, but I don’t say that because it is necessary but because the late running of our service makes it a necessity almost. In other words, bring the “7.29” in on time and we are all happy or make it 10 minutes early to arrive late on the current scheduled time?!

I guess this week was about trains. Much better than the draft I had before. Next week my air travel starts again. Also, whilst physical transport, my physio seems to pay off with less problems and pains during my 10K runs which I do twice a week. It all moves in the right direction.

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I have been up early to do the physio and do it regularly, together with my weight training. I am back to the weight I had 6 months ago! It comes to show that routine and habit is what drives a base line efficiency. I will cover more about that over at tidWOWS in due course. A 5 am start followed by some gentle physio and a bench press session whilst catching up on productivity podcasts set me up nicely for the day. The only drawback is that the kids usually wake up the moment I finish showering, so I am missing almost an hour of early morning writing and meditating. Having said that, to spend the first hour of your day with the two most important people in the world is something I am truly grateful for! I can always work on the train… I very much enjoy the time in the morning. As it happens they sleep longer on the days I take the dog out for an hour in the morning, so it makes me question if they might know?

So back to 2015 and the now. I am pushing forward. Productivity, meeting A-Players and thinking about the future, defining the strategy, my strategy. I am refining my strategy. Improving. Pushing further forward. Becoming and being an A-player.

Life is good. I enjoy what I am doing, the space I operate in. This was a good week!

Have a fantastic 7 days ahead of you, make sure you make the most of every single one.
Volker

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Sunday Column (257)

An exciting week lies behind me. I started my new job with a trip to Eindhoven and a day in Amsterdam, flying back late on Wednesday. The UK was full of storm and rain. I sat on the plane and felt like I arrived: A new challenge to evangelise, position and sell targeting in real time based on TV ads triggering the delivery. A new chapter in the RTB (real time bidding) ecosystem. Connecting broadcast to online ads. Yes, I am very excited!

We came a long way in our industry, and more technology is now enabling us to do more sophisticated things, to make ads more relevant to the users. As I like to tell my stories, four years ago a company that recently filed an IPO still worked off excel sheets. So the rumours anyway. For me this stands as a testament that the industry came a long way, a very long way and is slowly but surely growing up. Pure awesomeness 😉

Another thing I am equally excited about is tomorrow, my son’s third birthday. It feels like no time since he was born. He still doesn’t sleep through but charms himself through everything, cuteness 10/10 we were told. There is going to be lots of fun ahead as he grows older.

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Whilst travelling I enjoyed an app called “7 quick fit“, an app allowing you to do strength exercises only using your own body weight, finishing 30 second long stints of push ups, jumping jacks etc. in 7 minutes. Ideal when travelling and yet still exhausting. I enjoyed it and might do it more often, potentially additionally to my gym sessions. We shall see. I also would like to find a sauna routine as (miraculous) I haven’t been ill yet. Both my new boss and colleagues have had the flu, also my wife and kids. But I am in a lot better shape than I was before Christmas. 2014 WILL be my fittest year (ever) yet.

If there was anything to moan about this week it would have to be Easyjet’s flight from Amsterdam to London Gatwick. I couldn’t get speedy boarding, ending up in the back of the plane. The flight then was delayed by 35 minutes and with such a short flight one hardly get anything finished, almost not even the glass of red 😉 Luckily the service was switched on and quick…

Tube strikes. Transport problems. Bad weather. We just cannot control everything, can we? I am working hard to accept the fact to not being able to and not getting annoyed at situations you cannot change. Having had a few days off really helped me to improve my state of mind. With the help of my coach I feel like I achieved everlasting change. That was the aim. 2014 will be awesome and already is!

Is life that simple? Surely not. A friend’s dad passed away this week. Cancer. It reminds me of posts I wrote before that we need to really try and prevent diseases by living healthy, staying active and eating well. But even then there is no guarantee that we will be spared. My thoughts are with his family.

As I famously wrote before, from Buddhism, the suffering stops for the one that leaves us and our pain increases. We are still here and need to cope with the endless suffering.

Let me finish here for this week. I got a day off to celebrate tomorrow and I tell you, I am so looking forward to it!!! The best present is the one from me (no bias), a remote controlled monster truck. It is so much fun to play with it….. :-))

Have a fantastic week.

Volker

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Sunday Column (233)

Thank you.

Thank you first of all for your compliments and the visits and comments on my post about the job hunt. A lot of people felt for me, had similar experience, and were astonished how open and honest I was describing my feelings and experiences. It could happen to you. Why not talk about it?

Thank you for your support. All of you!

I am humbled. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about productivity and coaching. I tried different topics but ended up writing about me, my life and my feelings. I am happy it resonates with you. I am happy that you are finding it useful. This means a lot to me!

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This week saw me returning to work. Start-up. Technology. Media. Lots to do, prioritisation, focus and energy needed. I got it. Making it back to my 5 am exercise routine, my Rotary meetings and new projects. The company is called Adizio. The first week felt like I have been there for ages already. Just imagine me in a few months 😉

Also there is a book I read about personal development: What got you here won’t get you there. Last but not least my involvement with the advisory board for ad:tech and iMedia. Both events which I supported over the years (not least launched ad:tech in Germany many years ago), and events that will be getting more popular again and delivering on what the industry wants. Watch this space!

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Often people ask me where I take the time from to write my posts, do all of what I am doing and more. I sleep but not more than six hours really. I have two hours train journey each day to GTD (Getting Things Done), and I can be very disciplined. I have drive. I want to get somewhere.

What am I aiming for? I guess I want to change the world. A bit at a time. I would like to make the famous dent into the universe of which Steve Jobs spoke. Things grow over my head too. But I am learning to focus more. I like pushing myself, and the recent break helped me to reflect. And for my job? I want to make RTB mainstream and transparent, away from ‘black magic and hidden margins’. Oh yes, I am motivated 🙂

Anyway, it is weekend, and time to spend as much time as possible with my boys. A night in the tent is planned. Not being able to see them in the week make weekends even more precious. Particularly if they are long ones. I can now properly focus on them. No worries about jobs. No worries but the boys and the wife!

Enough said. I hope you had a great weekend, and hope you spend some quality time with some loved ones too. We had great fun, and ….

….don’t forget, we ain’t back to work until Tuesday 🙂

Cheers,
Volker

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Sunday Column (228)

I started this column sitting in an air conditioned Starbucks, my home when I am in town these days. Water, coffee, vanilla ice drinks. My hiding place, place to charge my phone and connect to free wifi. What else to ask for?

The air conditioning is probably the main one this week. Not that we should complain about the weather in Britain, but it seems extreme. Too hot, too wet, too windy. There seems to be no constant in the weather. Given it is an island and hence you have more changing weather, I am not surprised the weather is the most talked about thing in the country.

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However, Britain is not build to cope with either extremes: snow or heat waves. Most people cannot enjoy a hot summer and if you are in a city it drains you massively. Having said that, my juice diet from earlier this week really helped me to stay active, not to waste energy on digesting food, and hopefully it helped to detox a bit too. I am less bothered to sleep badly, and I am not surprised the kids don’t sleep well. Bad luck for those that booked a summer holiday in Spain, you could have saved the money by going to St. James’s Park instead.

That is what I did this week. I finished a few meetings early and went back down memory lane. It was the first park I saw in London, and the first one I spent a lot of hours in during my lunch breaks at my first job. It was also the park I spent all my breaks in (if any) when launching a start up over 3.5 years ago. This place is somewhat a natural place for me to go to and reflect, relax and clear my head. Difficult in 33 degrees Celsius though.

I finished most of my consulting jobs this week but might take in a smaller project or two shortly. All depends… Life is full of surprises and whilst we often, at least I do not, understand the meaning until much later in life, a lot of things happen for a reason. People you meet. People you watch. Reactions you get. For instance, from back this last winter, I owed a cobbler down the street from my work a cup of tea. He repaired something for free. I never got around doing it, so went back this week and he was super surprised and pleased I came back. But why wouldn’t I? Sometimes it takes a while for things to make sense, to be the right time etc. This week was the week. A few good deeds I did. I am trying to improve my karma, be a better person and contribute more. Daily.

I have tried to spend more quality time with the kids too. This has worked only with some success as I had a super busy week. When you are looking for a job it is an all day business where you are busy all day. It is like working for yourself, selling yourself constantly, building a pipe line and making things happen. One day I will go back to a routine, for better or for worse.

On another note, at Rotary this week, we listened to a talk about South Korea and its people’s dedication to support their country by working hard, giving beyond expectations, deliver quality and even, to bail out the government, donating jewellery to raise money. An identification and dedication unheard of which results in companies like Hyundai or Samsung being market leaders in what they do. I suppose closest would have been Germany’s commitment after the 2nd world war to rebuild the country, again similar to Korea after their war.

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It makes me philosophise and reconnect to my Buddhist thoughts this week where I mentioned that anything you do, see or feel is in your mind. And you control your mind. You can achieve anything if you believe in it. Believe! Make it happen!

Making it happen brings me to another topic: my job hunt. Whilst I am maybe a bit picky with which company I want to work for, I found what I thought was an exciting tech company. However, after 2 weeks and an offer they withdrew that and so I will venture on to the next opportunity. Like a Stehaufmaennchen, the game isn’t over until the ball is in the net. The contract not signed until the ink is dry on the paper. Not unheard of but bad business practise to withdraw an offer, but whatever reasons they had, the ones they told me were unreasonable. I wish them best of luck, and as I keep saying, things happen for a reason.

Onwards and Upwards. Maybe time to set up on my own after all.

So watch this space.
Volker

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Sunday Column (227)

IMG_1733 What else could you wish for but a week of sunshine. It takes a toll on body, sleeping habits and water consumption, but hey, this is good, right? Why complain about a heat wave we were waiting for for many years? And, I am still off work and can enjoy it.

To cover the job hunt: It is, as always in a small community of digital marketing, a balancing act. You don’t want to jeopardise people’s friendships over favours. But friendships outlast company gigs. It is about you, the whole life is about you and not the association with a product. Once you realise that, choosing becomes easier. Having said that, there is one cutting edge product/company I’d like to work for 🙂

When I think cutting edge, pushing boundaries and making things happen, I keep getting back to this free fall pictures from Redbull/Felix Baumgartner. I cannot say how much I am impressed by this guy and his attitude to stress, personal development, making things happen, getting things done. Wow.

I have had a lot of time to reflect over the past few weeks. I heard stories from old colleagues, feedback from them and so on. I believe the worst thing sometimes is to get confirmation that some thoughts you have are right. And the thing I need to learn, still, is to let go. I am not talking about my old company but about life in general. Don’t hang on to things you missed or what could have been. Also, be confident about your knowledge, trust your gut and be prepared to stand up for your opinion. We all make mistakes, but take the step, make the decision for better or for worse. Don’t look back but forward. Be bold. Let go and focus on yourself, your life, as this is the important bit. Everything else will sort itself out, so don’t waste your energy on other people’s problems but make them part of your solution. Hope that makes sense. It is a bit like an energy exchange.

What you are made of, what you want to achieve in life, and what defines you doesn’t always have to be related to your work. For me it often does and I enjoy working. Always have done and the next position won’t be different. I enjoy building new things, driving things forward, making things happen and working my butt off. That’s me. Hands on. Networking. I almost think that for the past few years I neglected some things. I need to improve that. Who do I think I am having figured it all out. There is so much more to learn. And now is the time, I enjoy learning.

Another thing that made me think this week was Joe Cross who fastened with fruit and vegetable juices for 60 days, lost lots of weight, and cured himself from a disease. The body is capable of curing itself if you give it the opportunity. If you having a roller coaster ride you eat for comfort, you ease your stress with alcohol or you smoke. That is not the way forward, convenience food will kill you! I will try parts of that diet and wish I had seen this when I first took voluntary redundancy as I could have tried this out for the past 60 days. I could be quite slim and really fit now 🙂

Another quote I came across this week says: Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion. I couldn’t agree more and cannot wait to follow my passion! It is about positive stress, so defined by a close friend and mentor, enjoying the strain you have and turning it into passion, and ultimately profit. Onwards and upwards, let’s get things done.

On that note, the kids love learning and asking things too. Colin for instance said the other day: look dad, the sky has the same colour as the ocean. It will take a couple of years for him to understand how everything is connected but it is so good recapping it for yourself and appreciating how complex life is. Don’t get too hung up on it though. It might just do your head in trying to explain a few things but isn’t it great to help the little explorers to conquer life and understand it? I enjoy being a teacher, dad and mentor. Family life really eases in at the moment, I enjoy being around the wee people. I even managed two hours with R the other day. Not easy but I managed. I cannot wait to see them grow up and being able to support them. Make their life the best they can have. And they will decide how to define that of course, however showing them the odd shortcut will help either way.

Maybe a bit of a reflective post this week. I hope you understand. Putting things into perspective is very important for me, not taking everything for granted. That is true for work, life, family and health. I want to be around to see my kids grow up.

Btw, you might have noticed that I changed my profile picture. Do you like it or do I look too serious?

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (222)

Another quick week because I have been busy. Looking for a job, trying to engage with the family and having a part-time project is a lot harder work than going to work it seems. This is not to moan but you have to chase every lead if you are looking for the right next job, talk to recruiters and have interviews. This is very time consuming but of course very important to do. Necessary even.

There is a lot of pressure on me finding a job. If you accept redundancy you usually aren’t in a hurry, and financially this might be right. However, when your wife and children have one routine and you have another, you have different expectations on how your day plans out than them. This can cause friction. So the rush, whilst still money driven, is also for the ease of routine to master life in bigger strides. Monday mornings get a whole new meaning 😉

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At the moment, trying to fit in a dentist or making time for the pub seems difficult, yet it comes down to planning around those dates. What if an interview crops up then? Prioritising is key. So at time if writing I am on my way into London again. A few meetings and the Rotary. Tomorrow I am going back for a conference to network and speak with people there about more opportunities. It will be good, a great industry get together.

The weekends are planned to a certain extend. Summer is in town and I can hear the sausages sizzling on the BBQ this weekend. A summer fayre at the local school, and Colin’s first swimming class. Actually it was a great weekend. With a massage, Colin’s first proper swimming class, a fun summer fayre and great BBQ with friends. Lots of sunshine and a great walk on the Ditchling Beacon to round it up.

The world seems at ease, a cool breeze blowing over the growing grass, and a quiet environment strengthen that we made the right decision to buy so far out of London. Saturday marked the one year mark. A year ago we moved to Hassocks, had a small but significant building project and lots of plans. Some came true, some we are working on. We are happy, it is a good place to bring up the kids, good schools, high living value what Germans call “Freizeitwert“. Cycling, mountain biking to be precise, swimming, walking or hiking and the small butcher down the road, the play farm, the old pub, local produce for food and drink. It reminds me of childhood, safety, peace and contentment. Life is good if you stop a second and have a look at it you will discover it too. The smell of freshly cut grass, the local boy delivering the paper.

I enjoy life but despite my situation I am almost too busy. I need to learn how to let go more often, to put the phone down and live the moment. Being in the here and now. Helping Colin to learn cycling. Teach Rohan to be less of a ‘pickle’ and let him teach me patience. The list goes on 🙂

I picked up this quote from a newsletter this week: If we choose a job because we’re good at it, we may not love to do it. But if we choose a job we love, we’ll also be very good at it. Like Steve Jobs quote that if we find the thing we want to do in life, we will know it, in our heart! My next job is really important to me. I would like to do something that is cutting edge, with prospects to grow big and really enjoy it. Some place I can try some new things out based on trust (and analysis and strategy of course) to make a difference to the company and put it on the map. I am ready for the next fight to disturb the industry.

Anyway. For now I am exhausted. A long weekend finishes and we got some catching up to do before I have a few big days planned next week – including Colin’s 4th birthday. It seems like yesterday him being in the moses basket, 36 degrees inside the living room (a hot summer!), and I was hunting for a job too. Life works in mysterious ways.

Embrace it.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (219)

This week’s Sunday Column has been written a bit in a rush to be honest. I have been at a whisky show in Saturday, enjoying a few drams. Sunday I first went to the park with the boys and then to a 4th birthday party where it was very sunny. I really enjoyed family time today.

I have been reflecting on this blog a bit. It is going for 6 years and I have changed direction, style, columns and regular features. This blog is an outlet for my thoughts and interests. The close friend will notice when I am unhappier and when I am happier but the general public might not notice. And this hasn’t always to do with work, we all have mood swings for various reasons. However I like to think of me being balanced and calm, not a shouting or loud person. I like talking about life and the blog is an outlet.

Since I got a bit more time flexibility at the moment, I noticed by writing a book that it helps me to process things. I enjoy writing and voicing my opinion, never aiming to offend anyone.

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This quote is very true and kind of matches my situation. I have this nagging voice saying to find a job whilst there is another voice in my head saying, now is your chance to do something by yourself. What has life in store for me? I trust the universe and things to fall into place. I believe things happen for a reason and also believe in Karma. However, I don’t rely on it. I am not sitting at home waiting for things to happen. I am proactive, make use of my time and work on concepts and plans to pursue. And maybe the big job is around the corner or if not, I might do my own thing or some interim work. I am 3 weeks out of my job and every day I discover new opportunities of different kinds. It is amazing and one needs to focus on the right ones, having a lot of patience. You don’t have one interview and a job, in my line of work and position a row of interviews are essential from both sides.

Patience: I am practising. Passion I got. Drive to succeed, learning how a product works, understanding the space I am operating in. I want and will succeed in whatever I do because I give 110%. I am passionate about work. That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes or know everything.

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Of course I am selling myself here (why wouldn’t I?) – but the bottom line is that you will always have a challenge in any part of a job you haven’t had before. I want to learn more and I am passionate about management. That’s what my book is about. But after almost 10 years in the job, having an MBA and a fast track career, I still need to learn. The next 10 years will be very exciting for me. I cannot quite grasp the path ahead of me, but I am excited about it already.

As the picture says. I put in the work. And even my grandmother used to say: “Volker you are going to be ok. You work hard and you get along with people.” I will never forgot that. A mantra.

And just to update the folks, the kids are great and we look forward to Colin’s birthday and the holidays. And they enjoy me being around more although I have been very busy. To bath them. And to mend the train tracks, and to mend the toys. All clouds have a silver lining 🙂

Love and Kindness to you all,
Volker

PS: I didn’t touch on my philosophy Buddhism but all thoughts are pre written. I might change that column to something else this summer. We shall see. Writing a blog can be work too 🙂 but I love it.

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