The week that started Monday, 10th June 2019

News, just in

My main headlines: I’m planning a sabbatical and figuring out what’s important for me in that. I’ve enrolled on an online course about giving advice & guidance. Trees are majestic beings.

So, the whole point of weeknotes is to have highlights of the week, but I struggle to write summaries, so we’ll see how that goes…

Interesting articles I read this week

Do you avoid conflict? Do you seek conflict?

A mind map for career planning

Not from this week, but found useful in the past and want to share:
How to build a Voltron manager and get the support you deserve

I’ve been thinking about self care, again, still. I’m really proud that I value wellbeing highly, and I won’t apologise for that.

I’m delivering a workshop about wellbeing and recovering from burnout this Saturday in Nottingham.

Writing: On dating my inner artist

Last week I shared some of my writing for feedback with my writing group. Now I feel like maybe what I shared actually isn’t crap. My fellow writers identified a lot of good stuff there, as well as so much potential for improving it further. And I’m so excited by that! I got such great and useful feedback that I wanted to cry.

This week, I took my artist on a date to the Poetry Library. Hadn’t been in ages. I spent a long time with Emily Dickinson’s The Gorgeous Nothings.

I scheduled Artist Dates for the future: Tree walks with the London Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Some other ideas I had for Artist Dates:

  • Library crawl! Like a pub crawl, but with libraries, and maybe trees
  • Choir, or karaoke
  • Dance classes locally

I have 2 friends I’m doing the Artist Way with, and it is making such a difference.

What’s going on for me as an agilist?

So, about certification…

I’ve leaned away from certifications for the last 3 years. I didn’t need a piece of paper to get a good job as a Scrum Master. As I stated to a room of new, aspiring & established scrum masters: I’m not certified; I’m just experienced.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about different ways of investing in my learning & development as an agilist. In 2017, I attended a lot of agile meetups, roughly 1.5 per week. In 2018, I learned about Liberating Structures and jumped in with both feet. I started co-organising the LS London user group and I co-led an immersion workshop in November. This year, I’ve continued leading LS stuff, designing & delivering workshops in Seattle for the LS Global Gathering and continuing to organise the London user group. I’ve been designing and leading other workshops too, including Practical self care & Community Care at Afrotech Fest.

Anyway, I’m intending to get certified as a Professional Scrum Master. If you’re interested, there are lots of conversations online about PSM vs CSM. PSM, Professional Scrum Master, is by; CSM, Certified Scrum Master, is by Scrum Alliance.

Agile knowledge sharing

I’m continuing to support and learn from new, aspiring & established Scrum Masters at Black Scrum Masters London. It’s brilliant. Highly recommend. And, I’ll be making more time for my favourite agile meetups in a month’s time.

I may attend Lean Kanban Central Europe, in November, in Hamburg. One of many Lean Kanban events.

On studying and sabbaticals, where I am & what I’m thinking

I’m planning a sabbatical of sorts. Some of the elements that are important for me:

  • Resting
  • Holidaying, probably a staycation at home, or elsewhere in the UK
  • Volunteering
  • Self-employment
  • Studying

I want to explore fields that interest me, such as ‘life’ coaching, career guidance, writing. These are all things I’m currently doing in some ways, and I want to put more energy into them for a limited time and see how I find that.


Helping folks with career guidance

I love CVs.

It’s one of my weird hobbies.

I love going through job descriptions and CVs, finding the gaps, and helping people improve their applications.

This week, I’ve helped a few folks with their applications, which has been super fun.

It’s nice having a weird hobby.

I did some research on the National Careers website about being a careers adviser and about being a life coach. As a result, I attended a college open day, and enrolled on a part-time course in giving advice and guidance.

I’m considering another part-time course in counselling skills.

These skills are useful for career advising, life coaching and a whole heap of other stuff.

It’s pretty exciting.

Really recommend going to an open day if you’re wondering about your learning and development. I found it so useful to talk with tutors there. Massively helped that I had done a little research before and knew which courses interested me, otherwise it would have been information overload. I needed those clear priorities to make the most of my time there.

On self-care: How I took care of myself this week

I meditated with other gender diverse folks on Sunday night, online. I think it was my first time doing group mediation over the Internet. Was pretty great.

I spent a lot of time with trees this week.

I went foraging for cherries and elderflowers with friends; 3 generations of folks hanging out in the park together, which was awesome.

I tasted fresh redcurrants for the first time. They’re amazing! Totally different from the sad & sour things at the bottom of frozen berry mixes.

I saw artichokes growing for the first time.

I spent quality time with friends this week, mostly dining in or eating out.

I had savoury porridge for the first time, made by a friend, and it was surprisingly moreish.

I danced for hours at a friend’s birthday party.

One of my friends asked me:

How are you going to do self care tonight?

Such a powerful question. I really appreciated it.

How will you?