2022 in review

2022 has simultaneously been both my most productive and unproductive year at the same time, which really doesn’t make sense. But, I say that because my definition of what it means to be productive and making progress is changing. It used to be solely career focused, for example, how much tech knowledge am I learning? Am I working towards promotion? Is my personal brand growing? How many people am I helping? That was fine, but there was a whole area of my life that it didn’t include. The “life” part of the sought after “work/life balance”. This year life became my main priority and work and work related interests took a back seat.

I’ve been trying not to feel guilty about this, but I have spent so many years focused on growing my career that it’s been pretty difficult to put it on pause. It’s like seeing an F1 car whizzing around a track at 200mph on its way to their first win and saying wait, pause for a second, why don’t you focus on this other thing while every other driver passes them. But, it was necessary. In an ideal world, work would be a means to an end, not my whole identity. Even though I have fewer tech related milestones to talk about this year, in reality that’s actually a good thing.

Work

One of the coolest projects I got to work on was part of the Black Googler Network. We ran our annual hackathon and invited students from across the UK to join, and win prizes. Around 40 students came to the offices, worked all weekend to design and create their ideas and they presented them to a panel of judges who are senior leaders at Google. One of them was an angel investor that wanted to invest in the winning team’s idea because he thought it could be a great business.

BGN Hackathon attendees and volunteers

Speaking

Writing

Teaching

Life

We also moved into our own place, so it was the double whammy of life updates, getting married and moving house, within the space of a few months was pretty stressful.

Other cool things

Santorini sunset

2023

Sometimes life takes over and you just have to go with it. I’m honestly so glad I did. 2022 has been amazing.

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Tara Ojo

Software engineer @ Google. She speaks and writes about career progression and front-end development. @tara_ojo