A few highlights:

I graduated, moved to Dublin and started my first job at Google, joined a great team, moved in with one of my best friends from Cape Town, had friends come visit us in our new home, watched Manchester United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford, watched Serena Williams beat Sharapova at the US Open, attended MAXHOSA Africa’s show at New York Fashion Week, went to Tokyo to watch the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup, visited Silicon Valley where I toured the Tesla factory and listened to Trevor Noah give a keynote at a conference, watched the Lakers vs Golden State Warriors at Chase Center, spent time in Copenhagen and London. (A mouthful!)

The numbers: 

  • Time away from home: 7 months
  • Continents visited: 4
  • Countries visited: 6
  • Cities visited: 9
  • Google offices visited: 8
  • Flights taken: 30 (24 of which were after moving overseas!)

A brief reflection:

I started off 2019 with the following theme: exponential growth.

I don’t think I could’ve have asked for a better year of just that. And although it has been tough and I have found myself feeling completely out of depth, I’ve realised that discomfort is the most conducive setting for growth.

Allow me to explain: starting work at Google was daunting. I’ve often felt wildly inadequate and experience strong cases of imposter syndrome. However, it took a chat with my (outgoing) manager, José, to help me make sense of it all. Zé (as we know him) told me the following in one of our one-to-ones:

There are four stages that you’ll go through in any new role:

  1. Unconscious incompetence
  2. Conscious incompetence
  3. Conscious competence
  4. Unconscious competence

The nature of working for a tech giant is such that it feels like I’ve never quite reached stage 3 before falling back to stage 2 all over again. However, I’ve taken comfort in knowing that the constant back and forth between 2 and 3 is where I have been learning exponentially.

My biggest learnings from 2019: 

  1. Take the time to be in tune with yourself. I added meditation, journaling and reading to my new 5am morning routine this year. The results? I feel way more in control of my focus, motivation, emotional well-being and even energy levels (I’ll write a piece on my morning routine in due time).
  2. Understanding my why.

In closing:

I write this blog post while on my flight back to South Africa for the first time in 7 months. (I’m heading back a week earlier than initially planned to surprise my mom for her birthday!)

I’ve really missed home, my family and my friends and I am really looking forward to spending quality time with the people who mean the most to me. And yes, I’m looking forward to the sun, the braais, the amapiano and the Castle Lite too!

After recharging the batteries and reclaiming my melanin, I’ll return to Dublin and look to tackle my focus for 2020: growing [others] exponentially. 

And as José always says: up and to the right! 

“Up and to the right!”
Myself, Zé, Goodman and Kristin

2 thoughts on “My 2019: an Executive Summary”

  1. Hi Sash, I’m happy you’re home for the Xmas vacation and of course mum’s birthday.
    I really enjoyed the update on your blog, it’s interesting and your growth is noteworthy. Well done! and continue to make us proud.
    lots of love and happy festive season.
    A.Jaya 💞

  2. I don’t know how I came about your page browsing through LinkedIn only by God’s grace. But I must say you are truly an inspiration and as a university student I must say learning with you is so beautiful. Please keep doing what you are doing.

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