We had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend in Herefordshire, including the lovely Sunday walk around Symonds Yat Here are some photos of the stunning views across some of England’s finest countryside.
So as we’re in lockdown, I contemplated writing a long wordy how to cope style blog, but I’m not a lifestyle coach and I’d be hypocritical if I started spouting how to stay sane stuff, so instead here’s some pics from last years trip to the Lake District, a memory of recent good times! For more info on the Lake District National Park click here
A little while ago I started to pull together our Instagram feeds so we could share our cat pics more, I’m sitll working on some issues in the plugin I have, but here’s a snapshot below. for the aggregated page (which for some reason won’t update) click here
It’s that time of year again! December 30th 2017, the day when lots of people start planning what to wear in order to see the beginning of 2018 in style. In our family we’ll be going for our annual curry (albeit at a different restaurant this year) and having a nice calm evening with a bit of TV or background music while we play a few games, maybe open a bottle of nice wine and gently welcome 2018 into our lives. But before the curry I always find it a good idea to review the last 12 months on a personal level, I do lots of evaluations of myself and my progress through the year regarding work related things, but I don’t very often sit back and review the personal achievements, family events etc. So what did 2017 see in the Ward world?
- RIAT 2017 – an awesome show of military might, this year we just did the one day trip and took the mother in law! The gallery can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qPCITLLSqgKQnZHZ2
- The Big Bear Hunt – back in our home city of Birmingham we spent a day hunting these artistic bears in glorious sunshine, several miles covered and 35 bears found, we have a few pics here: https://goo.gl/photos/N7X1LvKi32VehaHfA
- USA 2017 – we managed a fortnight over in the US, including a one dayer at Disney Magic Kingdom, it looked similar to when I visited 20 years previous, but a few newer rides and Disney characters made it just a magical (if not more so), gallery of the magic can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/cw66ug9HbV578wtG3
Yesterday, Saturday 15th July we went to RAF Fairford for the annual Royal International Air Tattoo #RIAT2017 This year was met with dull/wet weather in the AM but by the afternoon it had dried up and brightened up. Display teams reverted to flat displays and a few of the big boys (notably Typhoons) were called off or delayed until we had made it back to the car! Overall it was, as always, a great day out and I have this year (6th one in a row) managed to take some decent photos and videos, which I have spent the morning trying to pull into this site with a plugin. However, patience is wearing thin so here’s the link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qPCITLLSqgKQnZHZ2 Enjoy!
A quick timeline for you:
- April 2015 – Change job from BMS (as Infrastructure Manager) to Magna Interiors (IT Support Analyst)
- 31st August 2015 – Magna Interiors acquired by Grupo Antolin
- November 2015 – Personal decision made to start looking for a different job – bring on the LinkedIn messages/ Recruiter calls!
- 7th December 2015 – Job Offer from Dot Net IT (as Infrastructure Technician) – closer to home, slightly different role
- 4th January 2016 – Day 1 at Dot Net IT, have a good feeling about this one.
- 1st June 2016 – Surprise announcement of Epicor’s acquisition of Dot Net IT
- 6th November 2016 – Finally getting around to writing this post.
- 1 year 6 months 20 days since last day at BMS
- 4 different companies since then (due to takeovers)
- 3 different job titles in that time
- 1 car, 1 house, 1 wife, 1 cat
- 15 Customer locations
- 2 Company locations
- 9 Vehicles
- lots of miles (haven’t counted due to multiple vehicles!)
Most of our friends and family will be aware of our recent trip to Georgia, USA to see my Dad and Erin with their awesome 4 dogs! I have posted the photos from my phone onto a new gallery on here for all to see: USA 2016 Gallery We had a great 15 days with lots of sunshine, some great sight seeing and numerous American activities. Most importantly we had some quality family time which I think will be valued by all parties for some time to come. All in all we had an awesome visit, and can’t wait to get back out there!
Happy New Year to all, 2016 IS going to be a good year, I have a feeling! I am more than happy to say goodbye to 2015, compared to the previous few years it wasn’t one of stunning highlights, that said I did embark on some very adventurous challenges and came through them all with new knowledge, experience and determination. Hence the desire to make 2016 a year to remember! I made a decision at the end of last year to re-evaluate my career prospects and after getting on the books at 10+ recruitment companies, and having numerous conversations about where I was at, where I wanted to be, and what was needed to achieve those things, I realised it was more of a confidence thing than an ability issue. Confidence is one of those things that everyone possesses when in a comfortable environment, needless to say my last role never quite felt settled or comfortable, although I have made some great friends, got involved with some top spec systems and was involved in numerous challenges which we came out of smiling (eventually)! Without being comfortable we struggle to add anything to ourselves that makes us noticed, respected and useful in the eyes of those above. Throughout my life I have known where my natural abilities lie, and I have always had a crystal clear view of what I eventually want to end up doing/being… unfortunately low self esteem and lack of confidence has perhaps held me back at times, not having the guts to go that one step further and push those above to allow me to progress. Somehow I managed to find out about a company in my home town who do exactly what I wanted to be doing from the age of about 10! (I say somehow, it’s a complex riddle of friends of friends etc. It really is a “not what you know, but who you know” situation!) A few emails and an interview later and I was offered a job 1.3 miles from home, doing exactly the kind of thing I thought I could be good at! Roll on a few weeks, including the Christmas break, and on January 4th 2016 I started my first day at my new company. On Day 2 I was given my first customer, by the second week (last week at time of writing) I had had brought my first bit of money into the business on the back of liaising with my new customer, and had visited another customer, who will be keeping me very busy for the foreseeable future. Already I have made that jump from “running internal infrastructure” to “design, install, manage and maintain infrastructures for multiple business” – in 2 weeks! – All because somewhere deep inside myself I found that little bit of confidence to say “Yes I’d love to come for an interview”, “Yes I’d love to join your company”, and “Sorry, I have enjoyed my time but have found another opportunity I’d like to pursue”. Leaving a job is difficult, starting a new job is more difficult, those who know me well may think I make it look easy, but I promise you it isn’t! On top of the learning new things, meeting new colleagues, following new rules etc. you also have the learning how to fit your personal life in again. Fitting it in around new hours, days out in London etc. can be draining at first (trust me it’s a Sunday lunchtime and I’m still in my PJs!), but I am fortunate that my home life is as stable as possible, a loving wife who understands what I do, why I do it and how it affects what we can and cant do, extended family close enough who we can drop in on last minute just to say hi and use their kettle (Thanks Mom!), Family close enough via Internet that you can speak to them any time of day for a pep talk or just to say hi (Thanks Dad) – Life is great, 2016 will be great and I hope everyone can improve on 2015 whether it was a good one or a bad one is irrelevant, make this one count!
It has been 6 months since my last blog post on here! This is not the only thing that has been neglected in recent times, my entire online presence has become somewhat muted as I have thrown myself into the new role outlined in the previous post. 6 months is a long time in anyone’s career, and that is no different for me. I left the world of BMS and my lovely office with glass desk, leather chair and Alienware PC back in April, to join the world of Automotive Manufacturing. To some this would seem a strange move, why change from something that I enjoyed so much to something that carries a lot of risk? The answer is simple, a change was needed, I was in a comfortable job, but there was no innovation, no 21st century drive to have a best in class network and systems to rival those of our competitors. JD Edwards was perhaps not for me, I understand the basics of it, maybe (probably) I could’ve become an expert in time, but as support for my newer ideas lacked I decided it was time for the change. Then came the IT Support Analyst in a 200,00sq ft factory opportunity, a role which so far has provided me with a fantastic insight into how you should and should not run certain types of systems. There is a mixture of world-class systems mixed with outdated ideologies that just about work, but outside of automotive I’m not so sure. Things I love about this role are the technologies in use, all the Enterprise level Cisco networking, VMWare clustering, latest versions of Server OSes etc. I also have some great colleagues, some genuinely awesome people who help make the transition that little bit easier. I also enjoy being part of a proper IT team, I’ve done the one-man-band in an office (which has its place) and I really enjoy being a member of a team where the majority have more experience in the industry than I do, and where we can all bounce ideas around and come up with some nifty solutions to what can be very complex problems. In short, over the last 4 1/2 years since I left university I’ve had the opportunity to really develop my IT knowledge, my team skills, my leadership skills and my overall personality, I am a much more rounded person when I combine everything from these 2 roles, and even with the year at IBM during my degree. I don’t know what will come next, I have a great understanding of where I am, and I have a very good idea of where I want to be. Of course the 2 don’t completely marry up but that’s what ambition is all about.
Yes, it really has been that long. Almost 4 years since I left university and started my IT career at BMS. After 1413 days I am proud to say I feel a lot has been achieved; on a personal level I have graduated, rented my first flat, then my first house, and now have joined the property ladder. Oh, and also I got married last September. What a ride it has been, from the nervous 22 year old on the 6th June 2011 joining a technical team working on a product I’d never heard of, to the current dizzy heights of Infrastructure Manager with my own office, a beasty PC and every gadget in sight. When this post goes live I will have been at BMS for a grand total of 122,112,000 seconds, which when you break it down isn’t a bad thing at all. I’ve learnt a lot in my time at BMS, but now feels like the right time to take that next step and enter the big wide world once again. I still have the same passion I had 4 years ago for what I have always loved, technology is me, I’m a geek, nerd whatever you want to label it as is absolutely not an issue, I’m proud of who I am, what I do and what I have and will achieve. On Monday I will enter the realms of the manufacturing industry in what I believe is an exciting opportunity, and a chance to use some of my other skills such as Cisco networking once again. I am extremely nervous, and it’s very much a “watch this space” thing but I am prepared for the challenge and cannot wait. Out of 1413 days it’s very difficult to pick out a single moment that stands out above the rest, most of the extra curricular things are what tend to stick with me; the Christmas parties, Arrow Mill trips, Masterclasses, Chinese lunches, all the stuff that has given me such fond memories. The day job hasn’t been bad either, I’ve had a good few years to put my stamp on things, define new processes, buy new kit etc. And most importantly the people have been awesome. I’ve made some great friends, learnt one hell of a lot about life and careers and that’s definitely something I’m taking with me. I owe a lot to my BMS colleagues! So it’s a goodbye from me to a big chapter of my life, but a hello to new beginnings and adventures (with a nice 2 day gap called the weekend!) Thanks for reading 🙂