gilest.org

Projects 6-12
2017 in review

A sticker I made while at Defra, with the words THINK BIG, DO SMALL THINGS

Last time I wrote about work, things seemed to be going ok. They still are. The second half of the year was busier than the first.

Projects 6 and 7 were small pieces of work for dotEveryone and new conveyancing start-up Juno. Project 8 was my trip to Vienna to see the It’s ok poster on show as part of the Biennale.

Project 12 saw me starting work at HM Land Registry, helping a newly-formed digital team explain itself both internally and externally. I’ve taken on this task alongside my ongoing work at Defra (project 2); juggling the two is probably going to be my biggest challenge for the first part of 2018.

Luckily my bosses at both places are understanding people, so I have them to thank for the flexibility that allows me to even think about doing both things at once.

There are some other, smaller engagements bubbling in the pot, and hopefully some of them will turn into something more substantial in the new year.

Doing things properly

A few weeks before Christmas, a new contact casually said: “Haven’t you got something a bit more official than a Gmail account?”

Something clicked in my head, and I realised I needed to take steps to separate my personal and professional online identities, which had been intertwingled for many years on my gilest.org website.

A few evenings of mucking about with CSS got me to this: a new website for my professional portfolio and thinking-out-loud. From now on, gilest.org will be purely personal stuff. Or at least until I go back to intertwingling.

Not bad for year 1

Back when I wrote Project 0, I was fearful for the year ahead. I’d arrogantly expected work to fall in my lap straight after Christmas, but it took a bit longer than that.

Since February though, I’ve had plenty to do. I’ve done more than the minimum number of working days that I set as a target. The mixture of large, long-term engagements with smaller, day-or-so here-and-there ones has kept things interesting and provided a bit of variety in routine.

I’m still travelling a lot, and often, but less than I used to. Which means more time at home with the family.

I still miss the team I used to work with at GDS, but this year I’ve met and worked with more talented, clever, and inspiring people than I can count. The team at Defra is a particularly fabulous one, stuffed full of clever, lively, funny and talented people. It’s a privilege to work with them.

One individual who deserves special mention is Emily Webber. I’ve now worked alongside her at GDS, Defra and HM Land Registry. In each and every place, she’s been an inspiration and a delight to work with. Thanks for everything, Emily.

2017 in numbers

3 foreign countries visited (Greece, Denmark, Austria).

4 Slack teams joined (and 2 deleted).

12 projects undertaken.

41 (approx) nights away from home.

53 invoices sent (50 of them paid on time).

166 bookmarks saved.

£3,700 (approx) spent on train tickets.

21,536 minutes of music listened to, by 1,192 different artists; 230 songs skipped along the way.

Like most people, I’m making most of life up as I go along, most of the time. Sometimes it feels chaotic. Sometimes everything works out. My experience so far suggests that running a small business is much the same.

I think I’m ready for year 2, and projects 13 and beyond. Doing things properly; or at least, as properly as I can.


(30 December 2017)

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