4 January 2020 - Review of the year 2019

Welcome to the new year, a new decade but before I get into all that, I'd like to take a moment to reflect back over the past year, 2019 and how's it been for me.

Last New Year's Eve I shared my celebrations Gemma Blezard and, while I confess there was alcohol involved, I did agree to join the Ladies Be Architects movement and help them with process and general organisation.  Together in January we delivered a LBA Solution Design workshop for the London Admins Community Group. LBA Solution Design Workshop

In June, as part of the LBA, we were asked to be Keynote speakers for the inaugural Yeur Dreamin' conference in Amsterdam. The four of us joined together to create a talk about identifying and realising your goals to a mixed ability audience of 350 Trailblazers. It was certainly a special moment for us all to be asked and deliver a presentation of this kind.

It was soon after that I had to weigh up my extra curricular commitments. I was moving into a higher leadership role and couldn't maintain everything that I was volunteering to do in my spare time; London Admins Community Group, London's Calling Community Conference, this blog; Diary of a Saasy Girl and the Ladies Be Architects. Something had to go and it was a case of last in, first out. I wish the Ladies success and continue to support them.

It was around this time that I had a podcast produced to document my career to date and the new challenge I was about to face. With thanks Lee Durrant, Co-Founder and CEO, of Resource on Demand to their 'Rodcast' https://www.resourceondemand.com/salesforce-career-conversations-amanda-interview/

Back to my other labours of love and to the London Admins. It's been another content rich year for the group as it continues to grow year on year. We average around 70 attendees each month and now securing venues becomes harder due to our size. If you're reading this and have a venue that you're willing to host us in, or be a sponsor, or have content to share then I'd love to hear from you.

We added a new feature this year called Interview an Admin. The brainchild of Claire Jones, co-leader, it has been a great success to showcase some of our regulars and hear their stories. I am grateful to Paul Foley (interviewed by Will Turner) for sharing his in particular. Leaving Ireland to secure a 6 week job placement in London that he turned around into a permanent Admin role. It just shows the career potential by using this technology.

Interview an Admin also gives those who aren't used to speaking in front of others the opportunity to 'have a go'. This was the case for Dipika Dabasia who admittedly, I did spring on at the last moment, and who shone like a star with her performance. It's amazing what you can achieve. 

In addition we brought back the mentor scheme, paring up over 40 individuals who offered to be mentors or who were looking for mentorship. 

I'm thankful for my co-leaders Matt Morris and Claire Jones. Together we pull off events each month that keep people returning, whether it be the content, venues, sponsors, our general whit and the occasional cake, it all makes for fun which in turn makes for an enjoyable passion. In October, we celebrated our 5th birthday in super cake style.

My other labour of love is London's Calling. It was my forth time speaking at the conference and my first official year as an organiser of the event. As chief food orderer it was my place to ensure everything was ship-shape, or at least that was my excuse for trying one of the very many cupcakes provided by Salesforce to celebrate their 20th birthday, which just happened to be on the same day. I also launched VIPie for all the pie lovers out there which turned into a hot contest. 

Proud to work along side such a slick team to produce one of the most admired Community Conferences globally. We are now busy putting together the 2020 event and are excited to say we are in a new venue, allowing us to expand on attendee numbers. It's going to be a great day. There's still tickets available so for more information head to: http://www.londonscalling.net/

More speaking opportunities were available to me in 2019, in addition to London's Calling and the keynote at Yeur Dreamin'. I took to the stage in May for the London World Tour to give my presentation on Managing Change Without Losing Focus on Delivery. 

In June, at Yeur Dreamin' in Amsterdam I kicked off the day with my talk on Top Tips on a Successful CPQ Implementation, before a costume change into sunflowers for the grand keynote finale with the Ladies. 

The very next day I was invited to speak at the inaugural Yeur Leadin' event. This time I shared my experiences as a Community Group Leader and event management tips with a presentation called Aim Higher! How to be an effective event manager.  

In October I was selected to speak at Inspire East Community Conference in Cambridge and delivered a trio of talks across the day, (I was busy!). I kicked off with How to Manage an Effective Global Team, followed by a talk from Accidental Admin to CTO, that documented my career to date and then accompanied by a stellar cast for a panel discussing How Not to Screw Up your Next Salesforce Project.

This left me to the last of my speaking obligations of the year with 2 slots at Dreamforce. The first was with the AppExchange to speak "All About AppExchange", a breakout panel session to talk about our selected Apps that we have used in Orgs and our top tips on what to look out for when selecting an App. My second was a Circles of Success session on how to Declutter Your Org. 

2019 has been another surprisingly full year, which is no bad thing. Career wise, I have bounced around different roles, both in a permanent and in a contracting field. The Tax Man will despair of my accounts as he tries to fathom it all out. It was a year of saying 'yes' and taking a leap into opportunities that haven't previously been open to me and giving them a go. It was also a year of being brave and having the confidence in myself to walk away from things when they weren't right and couldn't be made good, no matter how hard I tried. Sometimes, for self preservation, it's better to call it quits. It was a year of realising that we are only here the once and to make the most of the time we have. Be there for those who need you, give back and most importantly, enjoy all the things you do. Take happiness from the simple things and allow some decadence to make it special. As I look forward to a New Year and new decade my personal goal is is clear; to maintain happiness.


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