Almost one year ago I started working for the ISC as Java developer. In this year plenty changed. When I started working at the ISC, as my role suggested, I was supposed to be developing software for different IBM clients. This work was supposed to be fully carried out from Groningen. A couple of months after I started at the ISC I got my first project as Project Management Officer in Amersfoort.
Being in a high priority – high risk project it meant that I had to go and work from Amersfoort. I, as many of my colleagues, was very happy about this opportunity. So, for six months I lived in a hotel in Amersfoort. Here I could eat out everyday and sort of enjoy luxuries that one usually only has once a year while on holiday.
Once my first project ended I was recruited for a very technical project in Amsterdam. So once again, I packed my hand luggage and went to a hotel. This time the traveling period was planned for 9 weeks. During this time I would get acquainted with my entire team and project activities, so that afterwords I could carry out my working tasks from Groningen.
One week ago these 9 weeks ended.
During these two projects, while working and living somewhere else, I found myself trying to find the right balance between my work in one city and my life in another. This was not very easy, specially as between projects I got married and had to plan the entire wedding. There was definitely much more I wanted to do than what I actually had time for. This experience made me aware of how difficult it is to recognize and accept your own limitations. As a result of this, I learned to say no.
Even though the ISC is a very open organization, where ISCers are willing to help each other and go the extra mile to perform as expected. Nonetheless, once your limits are being met, it is understandable to say no. This can actually be very good for your career as you will find yourself doing things that you really want and can, instead of running around trying to accomplish everything that comes around plus your own personal commitments. Even though this was very difficult for me to first accept, once I did, I found myself more at peace.
Since last Monday I am working again in our ISC office in Groningen. This now feels a bit like coming back home. Although I still need to catch up with all the ISCers hired in the past months, it feels like if I never left. On the personal side, I now have more time to meet up with friends, reaching a better balance between the work and private life.