1 year at Allied

It’s been a year since I returned to the world of the salaried, and to working in an office (three days a week) and I’m happy I made the right decision.

It’s been a fun, challenging year, but I think I’ve made the transition well; it’s been an adjustment for sure but I knew that, and part of me enjoys being in an office again – I didn’t realise how much I missed the camaraderie – although I still prefer working at my desk at home, next to a window (that I control), with my own coffee, and music but hey, life is a series of compromises and I’ve worked in much worse locations.

I joined a very small team doing very big things and that has meant, as I expected, that my experience has been useful at times but a cause of inner frustration at others. I can see where we need to get to from a business point of view, but for now I am contenting myself with the knowledge that we are building good things that will add value to the business and in time will build into a comprehensive set of improvements across all areas of … ok enough of the business talk! Basically, a lot of what we are doing is moving parts of the business away from spreadsheets and paper, challenging some of their existing processes as we move to a fully digital system. It’s challenging but rewarding work, especially as even the smallest of changes can have a large impact that is felt immediately.

It’s a world away from working on a big software project for months that the business end up not implementing anyway (coughs CYB).

It’s also been a lot of fun to be part of a company that is still growing, still performing better month on month, and still has plans for massive growth; add to that the family/entreprenurial spirit and things happen and change fast around here! Again from working in places where changes took months, at Allied we are able to pivot at speed and that’s usually a good sign for the future.

Of course there are downsides, with a small team, who is still ‘immature’ in process and not all that mature in industry years either, there are still things we need to improve on, and we find ourselves resource constrained a little too often given the ambitious plans we have, but even that has started to change in the year I’ve been here, with many good discussions helping to get better alignment between internal teams.

All in all it’s been a good first year. It’s a friendly place to work and given the industry we work in, I know we are making palpable changes to our customers lives, it’s something that is always there in the background, there’s always a sense of ‘for the greater good’. I don’t think I’ve worked somewhere so focused on the customer before and it’s a breath of fresh air.

I’ve learned a lot about myself too, I’m a lot more patient than I have been in the past and much better at detailed work. Two things I’ve always kinda derided myself for (list your faults… etc etc) that have seemingly sorted themselves out. Perhaps that’s just all the wisdom I have now, or simply because I’m older (same thing?), or perhaps my time as a contractor where I very quickly took the phrase ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’ to heart has helped me gain some perspective.

At Allied all of it is my circus and my monkeys too and I’m ok with that, if anything I’m revelling in the pressure of working on two high profile projects.

There are a lot of people who work at Allied who have been here for many many years and, so far at least, I see nothing to suggest that’ll be different for me. I’ve had those thoughts before and if I’ve learned nothing over my career it’s that jobs are fluid, but it definitely feels different these days. Again, maybe my age is at play, but is this my final job until I retire?

Anyway, one year in and all good.

Well, except from the fact they won’t give me a MacBook Pro (yet!).

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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