This month marks my first year working with Decision Focus. What an exciting rollercoaster it has been! Starting at any new company can be a personal challenge as you adjust to a new working style. My career has changed dramatically. Here’s my story and why I am now enjoying the GRC buzz at Decision Focus.
The Swaps I’ve Made
I worked for many years travelling the world, meeting clients onsite. I was living out of a suitcase, and I loved every minute. One day I was in Malaysia, and the next in the US. I was helping clients with “urgent” tech issues and finding modems unplugged! Every day was different. Then the world changed for everybody.
At first, I was scared, even worried about the future of business relationships.
COVID hit, and I found myself unable to travel to see clients. Tools such as Skype, Slack, and Teams became business-critical to any organisation. It became clear what I needed to do. I needed to find a new employer that shared my desire and beliefs. One that enjoyed serving customers and forming meaningful relationships.
The New Normal
It was time to rethink my career plans. It was a significant change for somebody who had always thrived on meeting clients in person. However, coupled with the fact I had a young family at home, it was time to make a radical change. I needed a fresh career perspective. It was time to embrace the “new way of working”.
I’ve swapped planes, trains, and automobiles for Zoom, Teams, and Slack.
Travelling was inspiring. Whether a few hours in the office, a day with a client or a week travelling to see clients in other timezones. Now that I work from home, I only interact with clients online. It’s a whole new type of working environment. One that you have to get your head around so you can work in the best way possible.
The Daily Challenges Of Working Remotely
Making the change to work remote was a challenging and stressful process. There will always be a level of uncertainty when you work differently. Is working remotely ‘a game changer’? Does it allow ‘healthier’ work-life balances? These are questions employees have asked over the last few years.
Here are some of the most common challenges I faced:
- Dealing with unwanted distractions that you would not get in an office
- No day-to-day personal interactions
- Lack of a definitive routine
- Finding inspiration when you spend every day inside the same four walls
Setting “Tom Hours” and Work Hours
I’ve managed to find a system that has helped me control the structure of my working day. I now refer to this work-life balance as “Tom Hours” and “Work Hours”. I have created a working environment that works for me by establishing a routine. Walking the dog and running at lunchtime are now my new “decompression times”.
Listening Is The Client Relationship Building Secret Weapon
Working at Decision Focus has helped me create closer relationships with clients. I never imagined that this would be the case. Listening is now more critical than it ever was. You have to squeeze client interactions into hour-long blocks, a significant change from spending days onsite.
You end up having a better feel for clients' needs and desires.
Requirements gathering has become a fine art. When you have short, condensed meetings, it makes you hyper-aware of the clients' responses to questions. Not only that, but it makes you super organised, especially when it comes to note-taking. Before long, you are finetuning new skills and building stellar relationships.
Looking To The Future
As human beings, we always need social interaction. I may never get to train somebody in a snow-covered static caravan in the Lake District again. Or hold a celebrity pet dog in Hollywood. But it doesn't matter. The world is different now, and it's time to get my kicks elsewhere!
I had previously thrived in on-site face-to-face client relationships as it helped to counter my introverted personality. But now, I have found a company that matches my current career aspirations. I am finding new and exciting ways to build rapport with clients and strengthen relationships.
I’m also learning and using new skills, such as:
- Self Discipline
- Creating routines that work
- Marking clear boundaries
Why I Love Working At Decision Focus
After hitting a career roadblock, joining Decision Focus has given me everything I needed, and I haven’t looked back. I feel lucky to have found a company that shares my ethos. Decision Focus can help you get over any hurdles on your career track. I am already onboarding new starters as well.
Here is a small selection of things that Decision Focus does to support remote working teams:
- Cultivates an atmosphere of trust, with very little micro-management but inspirational leadership!
- Employees understand they are supported and empowered whilst working remotely. There is somebody available to answer questions at any time.
- Allowing employees to find the work/life balance they need. But also giving them the room they need to develop professionally.
- Continually improving onboarding techniques to ensure remote workers find their feet quickly and comfortably when joining Decision Focus.
A Nourishing Working Environment At Decision Focus
I had cared too much about fitting in at work in the past. This unnecessary attention had harmed my mental health at times, making me feel unhappy. Working at Decision Focus is like a breath of fresh air. The company doesn't expect me to ‘conform’ or toe any ‘company lines’. I can be the real me and excel as a person.
I am proud of exactly who I am, and for that, I am thankful.
If you are searching for a better work-life balance, contact Decision Focus. Your mind will open up to a new career path that will be far more rewarding. It will create a new positive way of working that you will love. You can have the confidence of working with a progressive team that finds solutions for every client.