Thursday, 18 June 2009

Where next?

Many people have amusing and witty titles for their blogs. I knew that I would probably not be able to match what many of my friends have so creatively come up with, so I thought that I would go with a phrase that has pretty much summed up my life over the last 3 years in particular.

"Where next?" is something that I have found myself wondering on many occasions because of the experiences of the last 3 years.

For those that don't know, which is probably a lot of old friends seeing as I have been so terrible at staying in touch, I have been working for a Norwegian software company that specializes in media intelligence. Whenever I say that to people, they instantly think of James Bond parallels, and seem really interested in the explanation that follows. When they realize that there are no similarities, interest tends to wane.

Nonetheless, they are usually surprised to find that I actually love my job.

I have many friends that work for some of the largest companies in the world, who moan and complain about their jobs, and really hate going into work each day. One of the reasons that I can't even imagine what that might feel like is that I genuinely love what I do, and it has a lot to do with the 'Where next?' adventure that I have so frequently found myself embarking on over the last 3 years.

Way back at the start of 2006 I made a decision to take things a little more seriously. I had been playing paintball for a professional team in the UK that was made up of a group of players who had far more talent than I did. I knew that I was never going to make it big in the sport, and felt that bearing in mind that my parents had spent hundreds of thousands on my education, I should probably make use of it and look for a job.

The job that I found turned out to be far more than an average run of the mill job.

The 'Where next?' theme started in January 2007 at 1am in Monaco. I was on the annual company kick off, staying at a 5* hotel in Monaco when the Director of the UK region asked me if I ever had ambitions to work in the US. I told him (without thinking things through - I know, not a total shock to those that know me!) that if he had a ticket for me, I would leave the following day.

Needless to say, 10 days later I found myself in San Francisco, and the start of my 'Where next?' journey that then took me to San Diego 2 months later, to Silicon Valley 10 months later, back to London a year after that, then back to San Francisco after 3 months.

In between these lengthy stays, I have been to India, Dubai, Norway, Sweden, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique and St Lucia, Miami, Austin, New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Las Vegas

I have moved a lot, experienced a lot, and had the time of my life. I have made friends in more countries than I could ever hope to remember, and know that should I want to visit places like Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Buenos Aires or Melbourne, I won't need to shell out for a hotel :)

I have always been pretty adventurous when it comes to new things. And that has found its way into my professional life as well with work.

After working for Meltwater News for 3 years I moved to a sister company Meltwater Drive for 2 days before being part of the founding team of 3 of a new subsidiary called Meltwater Buzz.

I am sitting in London as I write this post rather than pack for my next 'Where next?' adventure.

Tomorrow is Hungary, and I am really looking forward to it.

It has been a busy month, that started in London, then moved to the sunny dunes of the Arabian Gulf, London then Sweden, Hungary tomorrow and then 'home' to San Francisco in less than two weeks.

I am sure that after being back in San Francisco for a few months I will be again confronted with the 'Where next?' question, and I could not be more excited about it.


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