In my professional life, what started out as a great year went down a rocky path towards the middle of the year and then recovered nicely by autumn. In the first quarter of the year, the business unit I worked passed a really big audit successfully. It was an important psychological victory that demonstrated that we run our business in a controlled manner. And certainly it make the long hours put in worth it.
Towards the middle of the year, I was asked to move to new opportunities. Perhaps a bit sad at first, it was difficult to remain downbeat. I had already decided with with my boss at the time (in December 2008) that fourth quarter 2008 was the right time to move to new opportunities (I have a habit of not staying in jobs more than 2 years or so...a benefit of working at such a large company like IBM is the ability to grow and develop in different areas). So with the support of mentors and colleagues, I moved out of the direct security, risk management, and business compliance areas into a business operations role. The transition from a mostly technical role to a business role has been bumpy, but essential. Both for the new learning opportunities it has presented and for the new challgenes it has brought with it. Additionally, because I also truly believe that too few technical people fail to understand that business and technology intersect each other, not run parallel to each other. So I remain excited about what 2009 will bring and the new initiatives that come along with it.
Personally speaking, it's also been a very mixed bag. Let's take the positive sides first.
Relationships - In November, Alex and I celebrated the time we first met 2 years ago. I get on very well with his family and like every relationship it is work, but well worth the effort.
Travels - I got the opportunity to visit a new country last year, Cyprus, adding to the list of countries I have visited. Alex and I spent 2 great weeks there and came across great new best friends (Zoe and Phil), whom we hope to see in Stockholm or London this year. We also made new friends from the Netherlands (Pelle, Brian, and Mario), whom we'll visit on Queens day.
Personal Interests - My Swedish lessons are going great. To the point where I can understand 95% of what everyone says. And now with my professor I am working on writing and speaking. I expect to increase fluency in both aspects by the end of the summer (I need to work on my shyness). I have also completed the outlines of a book I am writing with a goal of creating the first draft by 2010. I have yet to copyright the book title and concept so I can't share much other than it's a book about business and life. The publishing process is quite intensive I have learned, so I have been moving slowly. I was also elated to see a democrat win the election (I acually preferred Hillary but Obama is an acceptable alternative).
Health - I exited 2008 just as healthy as I had entered it, with the positive exception that in the fourth quarter I incorporated regular workouts back into my routine.
On the negative sides (let's not dwell too much on those), I haven't kept in touch with my entire family as frequently as I had set out to do so I need to re-focus my energy on that. A planned trip to the US to visit family for Thanksgiving had to be cancelled, but I will correct that with a new planned visit in July. The health of my family is important so I want to keep a focus on that as well. And of course, I think the recession that we are in has impacted all of us in one way or another. So far my friends and loved ones seem to be weathering the storm okay, and my hope is that they continue to do so.
So, let me close this out by saying thanks to all of my friend near and far for being a part of my 2008. And I wish you and yours nothing but happiness and success for 2009.
P.S. For those of us more technically inclined, besides e-mail, I am reachable the following ways as well:
Facebook - www.facebook.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/RodneyCornelius
LiveJournal - http://rcornelius.livejournal.com/
Skype - Shared on request
MSN - Shared on request