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Week 2022#51: transitions
Preparing and going through big transitions in life
🔭 Outlook for 2023
This is a mix of goals and predictions for 2023, based on what I consider likely to happen given my energy levels and recent events.
Make it through probation at Bolt and become a valued member of the company
Be present for my father, as he is very likely to transition into the next world in 2023
Get the house in Sweden ready for summer and generate some income with it at last (ideally, break-even for 2023)
As I wrote the above, I realized there are a couple of points missing. Right now, I’d like to consciously leave them out, because I don’t see myself consciously working on those due to limited resources:
finding a partner: given that I want a family eventually, I can’t postpone this forever, but right now there is so much going on that I don’t feel emotionally available enough for offering myself to a relationship. Time will tell!
fitness goals: with wanting to be in Germany and working regularly at an office in Tallinn, I expect a significant part of my energy to go back into designing new habits. As a result, I don’t expect massive changes to my body in the next six months but aim more at staying in the shape I’m in currently and building solid habits fit for a changing environment.
What I’ve learned
You are a product of your environment. After working remotely for almost 8 years, I decided to give office life another shot and found that when done well (like it’s done at Bolt), it can give great results. During my first week, I left my phone in my coat pocket and only checked it during lunch to guide some activities in my private life that need to happen during the day.
This was so refreshing!
Why did this happen now?
A desire to perform
Giving office life a fair chance means treating it seriously. Thanks to Thorsten Ball for bringing up the sports analogy of showing up to every training session in order to be able to perform at a high level.
To me, Bolt is a world-class company: they operate in many countries around the world, on multiple continents, while fostering a culture of personal growth and treating people decently.
In line with the sports analogy, on a personal level this means:
to be part of the team, I need to show up for the training sessions (= “regular workdays”). Training sessions are for keeping everything running, making small improvements to things that are done regularly, and creating bonds between people;
this is a team sport, so working well with others and getting others to work well with each other is part of the work. Trust is built by making and keeping commitments;
the training sessions are what prepare us for “game day”: the days when stakes are high and outcomes count. I don’t know yet what these days will look like, but I’m sure there will be trying times of some kind or another.
Positive peer pressure
Since Bolt invested so much into their people, HQ, and culture, going to the HQ feels like going to a really nice gym: a space full of people, working towards a shared goal, but everyone working on their own personal challenges.
In that environment, I feel the need to give my best, to prove to myself that I’m worthy of being here.
Of course, there are two sides to that coin, but right now this feels like the right challenge for me.
The onboarding and my first week at Bolt have been exceptionally smooth: everything “just worked” and I could hit the ground running almost immediately.
There is a culture of written documentation and most of my questions had answers in written form in Confluence.
This gives me the feeling of a strong foundation: there is an environment that supports continuous improvement, so any effort I expend in this environment does not seem like a wasted one.
Expectation vs Reality
For this week, I set my expectations really low, because there were so many unknowns:
I’ll spend Christmas with my family: yes! I’m staying with my mother in Aschaffenburg and together we visited my father in the hospital 🕯️🎄
By Friday, I’ll have the feeling that the move to Bolt was the right one: yes! It’s a fertile ground for personal growth.
I’ll make it safely to Germany: yes! Tired of travel, I was a bit worried about trains not running and having to spend a night in Frankfurt. All went well in the end.
I’ll meet friends in Aschaffenburg: Thorsten is sick, unfortunately, but I had more than one chance to spend time with my kindergarten-friend Fabian. Three-hour discussions about economics, politics, philosophy, and history are much more fun in person!
A lot! So much, it actually feels more like two weeks compressed into one:
got the prognosis that my father is most likely already on his journey to the next world: the “final evaluation” of whether he is going to be fit for another round of chemotherapy is tomorrow, but no matter how that goes, it can only delay the inevitable. This weighs heavily on me, and since it’s the first time I have had to face the reality of death in my close family, it’s also a new situation for me.
had excellent onboarding at Bolt: putting in 8 hours of focused work is tough, and at the end of the day I was really tired, but it also felt really satisfying.
fell behind my goals for Talking To Strangers: I really didn’t want to let down my mentor, but I failed to deliver an action plan for Talking To Strangers. While I expected the first week at Bolt to be intense, I failed to predict that I’d be useless in the evenings.
booked flights back to Germany: dealing with impending death in the family is really, really, draining. I realized that I will need regular breaks from this, so my plan is to spend a week in Tallinn to recharge my batteries, before returning to Aschaffenburg for another week. If this turns out to be workable, I’m going to plan around “commuting” between Tallinn and Frankfurt more regularly.