The New Job

The first rule of the new job is that I don’t talk about the new job. This, and the level of technical depth are the primary things different about my new role.
That and I have to go into an office every day. That’s a big change for me!
There are pros and cons to working remotely. The obvious advantage is a really flexible work day — especially when your team is global. When people saw me out and about during the day, they’d say “not working today?” and I’d answer “I’m always working.” That was the trade-off: my schedule was flexible, but I was never more than a glance at my cell phone away from work. That, and when I traveled, work became a 24-hour-a-day type gig.
This role has very little travel, much of it within the same time zone, but it is a regular in-the-office role. Discipline around calendaring, e-mail and IM collaboration and conference calling is replaced with much more real-time interaction that can happen anytime between 7:30am and 6:00pm. Combine that with a 45 minute commute and nightmare parking, and you’ve got some culture shock to deal with.

Aside from that adjustment, however, its been a pretty easy transition. I asked them to help me hit the ground running, and they took the request seriously. Within seconds of signing-in with my new network credentials my inbox and calendar were full, and I was participating in meetings right away. Fortunately, I’m pretty plug-and-play here. Most jobs have an aspect of “fake it until you know it” but learning the org is really the only curve here. There’s lots of similarity between what I was doing before, and what I’m doing now — with the exception that this job is much more technical than my last one — but I’ve been able to keep those skills up, so that stuff still comes pretty easy.
The team is fantastic too; very committed and passionate. Its a relatively new group, so I get to be a part of figuring out how we grow. There are some lifestyle differences between me and my team that will take some time and energy to work around once Nic and the kids get here — I need to balance the commute and home life along with this work culture — but my new manager and teammates are awesome, and I think once its clear that I’m up to speed and not going to drop the ball, that’ll work itself out.
I’m still living in a temporary apartment, which kind of sucks. In a couple weeks I’ll fly home to oversee the movers, then the whole family will fly here to move into a different temporary apartment until our house is ready. Once we get the house that’ll be the last big rock done — then comes the smaller but still important stuff like where we go to church, what will schooling look like for the kids, where will we find community…etc.
But one thing at a time.
My first visitor arrives later today — I’m looking forward to showing my dad around our new home!

Cross Country Road Trip 2012

What an incredible privilege it was to drive across the great country of Canada a couple weeks ago. From South Western Ontario to about the middle of British Columbia, the trip tools 6 days — at an average of about 7 hours of driving a day. I didn’t take the most efficient route, rather I took the one that would let me see as much of Canada as possible. I don’t think I truly appreciated either the size, or the varied beauty of my home country until I made this trek. It took two solid days just to get out of Ontario alone!
The incredible thing was the different environments I drove through. Ontario was spotted with lakes, the roads surrounded by either massive evergreens, or carved out of the rocky Canadian shield. Manitoba and Saskatchewan were defined by endless fields of green and yellow, and blue sky as far as you could see. Alberta transitioned into the mountains that defined most of my time in B.C.

And in every little town, and in every city were the faces of my fellow Canadians — free of fear and malice, not defined by one of two available political positions. We are more united in our simple, hard-working intelligence, perhaps not the most welcoming folks in the world, but not unkind, and never arrogant about the strength of our nation and its resilient, steady stand against the forces tearing apart so many other countries right now. Its no surprise to me that we are the brunt of many jokes south of the border, humbly self-deprecating as we often are — we take these things on the chin, quietly confident that our motherland raises good, level-headed people who’s impact on the world stage is made in measured, thoughtful and generally pretty peaceful ways.
If you’ve never driven across this beautiful country, I highly recommend it. It’s not a trip to be made lightly — and it helps to have a sturdy car to escort you across it — but it is so worth the challenge.
Oh ya, and the parts of America I saw were pretty neat too; the last pic up there is in Washington State — our new home!