Goals and an update on my major announcement

First my update to the announcement…

Last week I announced that I was leaving my previous employer of 4+ years and taking a different position elsewhere. I wanted to give a brief update on the response to my farewell email and my observations of the new job so far. That job was my first one out of college and it was weird making the announcement and leaving the only office environment I have known. I did feel like I learned so much in the consulting industry and I am sure there are aspects of it that I will miss.  I will definitely miss the people – hopefully they will still want to hang out from time to time. Time will only tell.

My observations are my new employer are pretty positive right now. I am trying to complete all of the required paperwork and get down to business in my current role. I’ve work with many of the people within the information security team, but not specifically with many of the people in the team that I am on. It is a little different and will take a little getting used to, but I think there’s a high chance of success. Things move a little slower in industry and I’m already seeing that now. For example, I’m still waiting access to some forms that are supposed to be “pushed” out to new hires. I do admit that I did start right after the holidays and I am sure there is a lot of backlog.

The one major thing I’ve noticed is the focus on work / life balance and the pace of the office. It is definitely expected to put in a solid 8 hours of work a day, but after that, and as long as you are getting your work done, you don’t need to sign in at home or stay late at the office. Sometimes it may be necessary, but it definitely is not expected. This leads me to a point about goals.

One of the reasons I decided that it was time to leave consulting was because I wanted to pursue personal goals. Due to the nature of consulting, you could be called upon at a moment’s notice to travel to a different city or respond to a client problem/incident. While this happened infrequently, I respected and understood this part of the profession. I didn’t feel right making a committment to an organization, class, or group and all of sudden not being able to give a 100% of my effort because I had to called away to my job.

I wanted to post these thoughts in order to provide some perspective on the first update of my 2009 goals. Shortly after the year began, I posted my goals which included learning a foreign language. As luck would have it, I found a Chinese language class about a 5 minute drive away from my house! It meets twice a week for 1 hour in the evening. I have had two classes so far and am enjoying it. Everyone told me that learning Chinese would be difficult. So far, I have to say I am having difficulties on a couple of the tones. The only way for me to improve is to practice it. I also a little bit of trouble with the “z” and “j” words. Other than that, I’m really glad I signed up for the class. I would like to continue the classes for the entire year if possible and as a long term goal become fluent in Chinese.

Warming up for 2009 training season….

I must admit getting back into the swing of training for races has been more difficult than past years. I left the country on a much needed overseas adventure to India (I plan on writing about this in an upcoming post) for 20 days, 3 of which were spent in New York City recovering from jet lag and catching up with friends. Once I returned from India, I spent a day at the office and headed to Iowa for the holidays. I spent 4 days in Iowa and returned to Minneapolis, where I became extremely ill with stomach cramps. Needless to say, I took it easy for the next two days and came back in to the office. By then it was New Year’s eve. Originally, I was thinking about doing something because it would be my first New Year’s eve in Minneapolis, instead, I wanted to take it easy on my body and not partake in excessive festivities.

Out of the entire month of December, I ran a grand total of 1 day (New Year’s eve). I proceeded to run on January 1st and 2nd as well to start warming up for my 2009 training plans. I intend to continue warming up with 3-4 miles runs during this week and possibly into next week and then start training for a marathon. I also want to add weight lifting back into the routine.

I am not yet sure which marathon I will be doing. I have some ideas and have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 possible choices. I do know that the race has to be in May or June and that I want to run a half marathon as part of the training.

Another new training thing for me will be the elimination of the consumption of beer while I am training for the marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I like beer alot. The problem is that it does not contribute to my overall fitness. I want to see what happens to my body when I able to eliminate beer for a substantial amount of time.

Overall, I am about 34 seconds off my 8min/mile pace. Not that I plan on running this pace in actually races, but I would like to get back to be able to run 6 miles in 48 minutes. Running at a 8:34min/mile pace isn’t bad considering I didn’t run for 30 days in December. For right now, I will have to be content with that.