Saturday 12 May, 2018

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Why speaking at MeasureCamp changed my career

Back in 2013, I took the decision to move jobs. To some, it might have looked like a step backwards/ sidewards but I left a (digital) managerial role for an (analytical) technical role. Putting it simply I wanted to do what I loved doing but full time.

The challenge of a new job (Performance Analyst for NICE – a gov.uk ALB) is traditionally familiarising yourself with the industry, the business, the processes and the people. But for me, that wasn’t the case. NICE was as they say nice. I had a really supportive boss/ colleagues who onboarded me really well and who gave me the freedom to drive “data-driven” thinking, but the challenge I had was I was THE performance analyst.

If I had something specific to ask, question or share it was a case of googling or trying to find a like-minded person from another gov.uk ALB. Some articles were relevant but some not. Often these people were well-respected individuals who I assumed had little time for me or my question (didn’t stop me asking though).

 

Probably like most, I heard of MeasureCamp socially just after one had happened, thinking: wow, I want to be there. So as an eager analyst I noted the next MeasureCamp date and began to follow various accounts/ hashtags. The release dates came and I tried to get a ticket. First release… too late, second release too late again, third…got one!

MeasureCamp VI courtesy http://www.ricardotayar.com

 

Then came the day. I was a newbie, but straight away (via Peter’s hand-up game) released I wasn’t alone, in fact, I was the majority. This made it easier for general chit-chat as you are all on a level learning playing field. In addition to this (newbie or not), I realised this wasn’t individuals together on a Saturday, it was a community which grew as the day went on.

By the end of the day; (as well as learning a lot) I had run an unplanned discussion session, I had met so many like-minded people and I wanted more.

 

In a first instance, this MeasureCamp filled a void. It was a conference for me. Secondly, it gave me an arena to share, ask questions and learn both on the day and between events. Win-Win for that “New Job” challenge.

But it gave me more:

  1. It gave me an opportunity to talk and present (very valuable life skill) in a controlled, respected environment. Boosting confidence but actually becoming a better speaker – even opening the doors to speak outside of my organisation.
  2. It gave me a network of colleagues bridging the void I had, but equally, it opened doors pan-government, pan-industry. Now I could bring people together rather than work in isolation.
  3. It gave me an opportunity to sense check my work, my take on the latest tools and tech, my value as a performance analyst.

 

Since this first MeasureCamp, I have attended, spoken at several more and co-ran a few including this inaugural Manchester MeasureCamp.

I can honestly say that first MeasureCamp changed my career path for the better. In fact, it continues to enrich it all the time: opening doors, creating co-work opportunities and making friendships.

The long-term value of speaking at MeasureCamp has been priceless, discussion-based sessions have enabled me to solve questions and build community tools; whilst formal speaking has opened the door to present worldwide.

 

The MeasureCamp community continues to grow, but it is our collective sharing/ learning that enables it, and for this reason, it’s why we have a Manchester event.

While reading something online is better than nothing; you cannot underestimate the value of a face-to-face community environment. If you are down to come to a MeasureCamp – get involved. If you want to have this career boost, then get a ticket and then get involved. We have over 21 MeasureCamp’s being run in cities worldwide, so get involved! You won’t be disappointed.

 

Dominic (@dh_analytics, dominichurst.com)

MeasureCamp Manchester committee member

 

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