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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Sunday, 18 March 2007

Wow - talk about change!

On Friday, 2nd March I attended an "urgent" meeting with my Vice-President.  Without knowing too much about what was going on, I thought I had some "bad feedback" heading my way - by ways of development needs.

I was prepared for the worst and was already thinking back on anything I could have done that could have resulted in some negative feedback or "room for improvement" comments.

I was quietly surprised that instead of experiencing this 'feedback' session, I was actually asked about an opportunity that my team wanted to offer me.

This involved working on a 12-week "assignment" (not a secondment) working on-site with our Partner bank in Greece.  This was one of those "humble" moments, as without getting ahead of myself, I wanted to find out "why me"?  Apparently, I have had some good feedback (which was nice to hear!) and that this opportunity was seen as something which I could "prove myself", not only personally but professionally.  Now, sensibly I wanted some time to think about it so advised that I would get back to him on Monday.

Over the weekend, I decided to have a close think of what I would get out of this assignment - personally and from a professional development perspective - and also as part of my longer term goals.  We all know that I am trying to push for that next big jump up the career ladder, and this arguably could be one part of this approach!  (That is, if I succeed!).

There were a few down-sides, being the first time I would be away from this "long period" of time from my friends and family, and being in a place that I've only visited once (also on business).  I wasn't really sure what to expect, and knew the first few weeks would be tough going!

...then came the work aspect - would I be cut out for it?  Could I make it a success, what would my remit be, and what would be the "success factors" of the assignment. I wanted to ensure all of these could be resolved before I go - as I need to be absolutely clear in my mind that whatever I do would be seen as a success - or at least implied as one!  More importantly, the 12wks remain as 12wks - although I could think of wors places to be if I had to stay out longer! :)

Monday came, and I think we all knew what my decision as going to be!  It was a resounding "yes"!   I couldn't "not" accept an opportunity offered to me in such a way, and more importantly, would allow me to get a lot out of it "for free".  This is not talking about the expenses - but the experience.  It's not every day that I would get this type of opportunity - also, it may never come again!!  So it was a "yes" and the more important question of "when do I go"!?  I was a bit scared that it was going to be a "tomorrow" response, but I managed to play the time-lines a little bit and allow me to close-off some of my current "business work".  Meaning, manage the transition to the other team members.  The tough bit will be reducing my work-commitments from about 110% down to about 20% in a week. 

I really can't wait for this opportunity, I know it will be tough - but sure will be exciting and I feel a bit of "fun" too!  I also want to try to explore the Country a little bit too.  As I will be based in Greece - there will sure be some opportunities (if I manage it!) to spend the weekends exploring some of the islands.  Wow!

More news to follow.  Greece here I come!

Well I'm just about ready to leave!
Written by abrigatti on 2007-03-24 13:54:08
Having sorted out my bits and bobs, I am just aout ready to leave.  
Been a bit of a roller-coaster over the last 2 weeks since receiving the news! Highs, lows and mixed emotions really!  
Work-related: I've transitioned a lot of my projects to the other Project Managers in my team. Phew - a bit weight lifted off my shoulders! 
Personally: mixed feelings really...on the positive, I can actually do with a break, as a few things haven't really gone "my way" of late. Could also take a 'time-out' from my folks and family too, sometimes I just want "my time" and I don't really get it where I am staying at the moment. Having said that, if it weren't the break in Greece, I would be moving out anyway! On a slightly different note (women front), still haven't managed to solve the immeidate issue. Bit of a flux really, but I guess I just have to be patience and I will the one for me! 'thou, a couple of push-backs of late are starting to really make me feel pretty crap! Going to miss my mates and friends - key down point really, and I guess also my family. 
In short, I am really excited, anxious, scared , emotional, up-for the challenge, all of the above and more! I'm now in the miindset of wanting to simply "go-out" there and start work and enjoy myself. 
My updates going forward
Written by abrigatti on 2007-04-07 17:28:25
Well, as I always intended to do, I will provide a diary of my experiences during the 12-week assignment. 
I will omit some of the more gruesome details, but hopefully give you a feel of what life was like...well all the good bits at least :) 
Hopefully will also be able to share some photo's as I remembered to take my camera with me!

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