Woke up early morn scampering to find all the knickknacks that once filled up my backpack. I emptied it since March early this year and retired it into a forgotten corner of the house. The quarantine’s end wasn’t in sight, after all. All the things that I think I might need when in the office were all lined up on my desk — they are the following:
- water tumbler
- coffee tumbler
- laptop computer
- notebook and pen
- battery pack
- digital pouch
- toiletry pouch
The bag? Yes, it’s nowhere to be found. I was about to check a mountain of luggage one by one and thankfully, Jaycelle was half-awake to tell me that it might be in a box full of bags. There it was, my old army green friend.
A couple of weeks since lockdown (nearing April), Jaycelle and I made this major decision — for the lack of better words — to level up. It was scary, indeed, because the pandemic surprised us all. Most companies halted their hirings yet there I was with an offer on the table.
Fast forward to six months — this was an eventful week as I have passed the probationary period at Avaloq. The team’s trust and support has been tremendous. It is challenging — this role of a manager and individual contributor — nevertheless, everyone’s willingness in collaboration and their dedication to the craft made the ride rather smooth.
Here’s an excerpt from my third month evaluation, which I feel like will always ring true in my career.
What are your initial impressions of working with Avaloq? Have your expectations been fulfilled?
3 months could very well feel like a year of working in Avaloq — probably because almost every thing was done online. It will even be more challenging if there were physical interactions with people — getting to know their ways of working, finding the right balance between personalities, all in achieving a common goal of championing UX and elevating the knowledge and skills of the Avaloq UX design team.
Each step of the way, I would discover different kinds of terrain in Avaloq — mostly rugged hills and mountains. How to navigate it? Surely, you have to go around them or climb them. Stumbling blocks? You have to clear them for people following your lead. Some blocks can be arranged into stepping stones for us to reach higher levels.
What excites me is the big room for improvement that I am contributing to in filling. Accomplishments, they’re a bonus. There’s always what’s next.
I’m in the right place, at the right time
When I wished to transition to the next level in my career — Avaloq is the next level. It is global — I find myself collaborating with people who have widely different perspectives and knowledge which I learn from. The UX design team in Manila is solid and open for growth. It is a perfect combination of a conducive environment wherein I can grow and support others’ growth, as well.
Oh yeah, the reading list
- How the Best Forecasters Predict Events
- My design systems reading list.
- Creating connections
We spend hours, days, weeks, and months discussing and refining the perfect user experience for an app, yet we’re not that great in designing the experiences of our own lives? One thing COVID has proven is that we need our physical connections and the emotional support of one another.Anton Sten
- making computers better
- Average UX Improvements Are Shrinking Over Time
Tokyo, October 5, 2020 – NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced the acquisition of Avaloq Group AG (Avaloq), a leading Swiss financial software company. The acquisition of Avaloq will provide NEC with digital finance software and domain knowledge as it enters into the field globally and strengthens its business in the digital government field. The acquisition is expected to be worth 2.05 billion Swiss francs, and to be completed by April 2021, following the confirmation of necessary procedures and approvals for each organization.NEC acquires a leading Swiss financial software company, Avaloq
It’s now complete — all of the objectives I’ve gotten onto my notes. Now comes the challenging part of putting it together — connecting the dots — making sense of it all.
I’ll probably start making outlines and bullet points and eventually some framework for my first six months and beyond at Avaloq.
The team, finally
After four long days, I’ve finally met with the team exclusively. It’s surprising to even recognize some of the musical artists and bands that they like. Whew! I’m not too far off. So in a Venn diagram, you could see our circles nudged a bit together in this regard. I consider myself to be a kuya millennial both in age and role, anyway.
📻 🎸 🤘
They are a tight-knit group. As one of them said, “Gel naman kami.” I understood it as “they are already gelled together as a solid team”. In my mind I could imagine the gooey green mutagen ooze (sans Ninja Turtles) binding them together. It’s a good thing that it’s not Elmer’s Glue because if it were, where could I snugly fit in?
Next week, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty!
Today, the team and I had a smaller group of meet and greet along with our chapter lead who was directly leading the team before I came along. It was funny that suddenly, everyone’s device camera started malfunctioning when it was one’s turn to speak. Glad I took a bath today that I was able to show myself!
Relax. Have fun at work. Really enjoy the work that you do.
Oh yes. That’s what the head of design said to me during our one-on-one. But that was the last thing that he said. Prior that were all his good-natured wishes for the Manila design team.
I feel great about this new journey!
One by one, I’ve been filling in the blanks of my objectives in my first six months at Avaloq. I’ve already met with my line manager. Tomorrow, with my functional manager and chapter lead.
Today, I met everyone in the design team — my team in Manila and everyone else across the globe.
It is a challenging road ahead, indeed — especially that I still need to digest everything that has been handed down to me.
This is only the beginning.