I have always been a bit of an over-achiever. I was a smart kid in a small town beyond the vast limits of Sydney City, and there were maybe 250 kids in my Primary school, total. So my childhood was full of accolades and people thinking I was great. It didn’t really set me up well for life in the real world, because I came to expect those kinds of congratulatory remarks by default. I was able to sail through high school and university with only the most cursory of efforts. My marks were okay, but certainly not as high as they could have been if I had actually applied myself. Then again, I guess this is common to all teenagers of any level of ability.
About eight years ago I started really studying Japanese. At the time I was working as a technician at a very large and well-known building, but I was just one of many faces in the crowd there. I had already been in the workforce for about 5 years and the reality of having to actually work had hit home. I had slowly clawed myself from nowhere to somewhere, yet it was nowhere near the levels of appreciation that I thought that I had deserved. So, after slacking off in the education department, I realised that I really needed to get another language under my belt if I really wanted to get out there and noticed.
During the three and a half years of after-work classes, I consoled myself and the apparently slow progress with the fact that one day I might actually be able to do business in Japan. Little did I know just exactly what that would entail.
Since then, I had actually made a name for myself at my old employer, and became known to practically every department. The CEO and the Directors often called upon me to provide advice, and I was the youngest head of department there. I was picked up by a new company, initially as a pre-sales engineer and then as a GM. I also have completed a Master’s degree and have had a baby. I’ve been to Japan about 10 times in the last 2 years, have met with suppliers, distributors and customers, and have found myself doing exactly the kind of work I had hoped for in the tiny classroom eight years ago.
These shifts, however, have all seemed pretty organic. It is hard to notice that sometimes those things that you have been wishing for have actually happened. And then, when you look back on them, it seems like it took no time at all.
I have recently been asked to consider another large move. The details are not 100% worked out, and as I know that there is the possibility that my professional and personal life have crossed over I will not go into details yet, however it seems to be the next logical step in the growth of myself and also my company. Once confirmed I will hopefully have a lot of topics to cover in this blog! It will be a challenging assignment that will require me to learn a lot of new things (some of which I am starting to study now). I am looking for a place to do a brain dump of this learning from time to time, as that is one way that does actually help me learn things; reading, understanding and then re-synthesizing the information for other people’s use.
There have been a few discussions in comments about these kinds of topics, so if you would like me to comment on personal development in the “posts” and leave the creative writing to the “pages” please get back to me below. I am hoping that from Mid-November I will be able to comment on my upcoming transition more freely. My work is mostly as a business person, with lots of travel, dealing across cultures, and ultimately finding out how we can supply our customers with something of value. I hope that I can write something here that will make any of you that are following a similar path have a less turbulent journey.
Or I can go back to posting Hanako fan fics. Honestly, just tell me what you guys would prefer!
Today’s photo is from the Shinkansen museum in Nagoya. It is a great place to spend a few hours between Tokyo and Osaka, and it actually has a lot of information in English for those that struggle with Kanji (myself included when it comes to technical matters). Interesting point; a Shinkansen train hits the platform at 70Kmph (about 43Mph). Considering that Sydney trains rarely get about 50Kmph I think that is pretty damned cool.
Oh, and of course there is another Arctic Gale. Apologies for not writing so much, but the wife is heavy with Number 2 at the moment so this means that I have to look after Number 1 on the weekends, meaning almost no free time.