Hello 2012!

Time is 5.30am 1st January 2012. Happy new year!

I was supposed to have written this blog before 12 midnight so I could at least say goodbye to 2011.

2011 is over… and so is my hope of being able to live overseas, a dream I had cherished since Joel was born. With Joel entering formal education in 2 days’ time, there is little opportunity to fulfill my dream anytime soon. The next earliest window would probably be after Benjamin finishes his junior college, at least 16 years from now. I would be 46 years old. Well that’s not too bad.

Looking back at 2011, my most memorable highlight would be the presentation I made to CM about our department’s strategic direction and plans. It wasn’t just about being in CM, it was about how I helped the department to get their headcount, about the approval to work across functional lines (my idea) and more importantly, about how I survived the office politics and emerged stronger.

Last year, this time, I told myself that I would quit the moment I passed my one year mark. I even had a countdown on my calendar. But I guess deep down, I was no quitter. Not that I am an achiever, I am just too stubborn to give up. So I came up with a presentation about social media and presented it to the supervisors in January.

That laid the path for my boss to pull me into the planning function of the department. As well as being the assistant budget officer, I had the opportunity to have a bird’s eye view of the department’s operations. From there, I suggested that we should work towards a more cross functional model so that idea generation is not limited and that we could work more closely with one another.

My boss gave my idea its worth but the rest of the supervisors were not impressed. So it was laid to rest. Then during our budget review meeting, we got grilled by the corporate division on how we ran the department and I felt indignant. They refused to give us our proposed headcount!

So once again my boss rallied his planning team to help him come up with a counter. Based on my perception of the situation, it seemed to me that the management’s biggest grouse was that we were not supporting the schemes enough. So I suggested that we should go back with a proposal that would allow us to work more closely with them using my earlier cross functional model.

That hit the jackpot. I came up with the presentation and then there I was presenting my idea to the CM. And we got our headcount. Later during my work chat with my boss, he told me that he was very pleased with my performance. I was surprised. Because other than helping him put things in order at the department level, I haven’t been really efficient in my other work commitments. I was like taking forever to complete projects.

He told me that I will continue to be in the planning function in 2012. In fact, I was the only person he could shortlist because of my ability to see the forest from the trees. So it goes that sometimes it is not about being efficient but being effective. Doing the right things. And I thank God for this gift of discernment.

But life isn’t just about work. Because of what I had proven myself capable of, my bosses were willing to accede to my request to go on part time arrangement for family life reasons. I found out that going on part time isn’t a right, it is a privilege and I am really grateful that events laid out to make this possible.

So looking forward to 2012, what is there to expect? In fact, I am looking at many news in my life –

1. Shorter working hours, less pay but not necessarily less work

2. New office with a window view

3. New colleagues – with the departure of my two good friends, I’ll be looking at a total of 6 new faces

4. New laptops – I am writing this blog on my new laptop, an Asus K43S to replace my 4 year old Toshiba and my office will be issuing me a new HP portable notebook

5. New bag – a classic Burberry! Theo bought it for Christmas and it was the bestest gift I ever got. I didn’t get to live overseas but I finally got those classic checks!

6. New commitment – with Joel going to Primary school and me staying home to watch over his progress and perhaps eventually doing without a domestic helper

7. Our first investment property as part of my long term plan to become a property magnate

Some hopes for 2012 –

1. That the world will not end on 21 December 2012, my children are still so young and I haven’t had the chance to travel around the world

2. To go on our first family trip overseas

3. For my mum’s conversion

4. My department operations will intertwine more closely with those of the organisation

Lastly, looking forward to year of closer focus on God and family life.

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