Weeknotes 4 of 2023

My family returned recently from 3 weeks in New Zealand — a long overdue jaunt to visit my partner’s side of the family and meet his niece…

Weeknotes 4 of 2023
Shells I collected from my daily beach walks

My family returned recently from 3 weeks in New Zealand — a long overdue jaunt to visit my partner’s side of the family and meet his niece and nephew. It was wonderful and the first proper holiday and amount of time away I’ve taken from work since before covid.

I expected to come back to work rejuvenated, energized, full of plans for the future, but instead I came back feeling … annoyed. Annoyed at how nothing really changes in 3 weeks, and at how we don’t have any good, consistent communications channels for me to say hello and catch up on what I’ve missed. Annoyed at my own optimism and hopefulness.

I thought that has been sitting in my head and heart as I get back into work, is how frustrated I am that it’s been nearly 18 months since I revived the design community, and we’re still no closer to having its importance recognized in a tangible way. And how tired I am of constant context switching, from designer to community manager. I feel like I am doing both badly. Both those jobs deserve more attention than I am able to give. Especially as I went through some feedback on our community and stumbled on this quote:

“I almost left the public service and it was only by connecting to other designers in the community that I felt I could find the right place for me.”


What went well:

  • My holiday obv. But as much as I loved being away, I am also enjoying a routine again, and my own bed.
  • I spent a bunch of time this week going through results from a questionnaire I ran with designers — there’s lots of meaty stuff in there, stuff I can use to create some urgency around work we’re doing (see above.) I’ve already turned some of these insightys into a business case for an official community leader position so I’m hoping that gets traction
  • I ran an open forum space for the design community and we had some really good discussions. I also shared some of the findings from the questionnaire and people told me they felt very validated by what I’m putting together and hopeful for the impact it could have
  • I finalised our next design community meetup and I’m super excited for it!
  • Our team started daily standups while I was away and it’s been great. Since I joined BC Gov, none of my teams have done standup meetings, just written standups or nothing at all, and I forgot how valuable it is for my focus and sense of belonging to say good morning to people. I’ve often felt unmoored from my teams here and this is a connection I realize now that I needed.
  • I made two conference submissions so fingers crossed
  • While I was away my change management blog post got picked up on twitter and noticed — I’m stoked to see it resonates with other public servants

What’s not gone as well

  • General feelings of discontent I mentioned above
  • While I was away, I started to feel some urgency around the lack of research and design training in the BC government, and that I wanted to be part of solving that. But — between my regular job (designer) and my other job (community lead), I don’t have the capacity, mentally or time-wise. That sucks.
  • Also I have several work-related blog posts in my drafts that I am itching to write. But again — with two fulltime jobs in one, I don’t have time.
  • Still catching up on sleep after a long period of travelling.

Inspired by

Reading, watching, listening