The search for an Aden shaped role

After the really great response to my post about finding something new I thought I would continue the openness with an update on what has been going on as well as forcing me to try and better define what I would like to do i.e. an Aden shaped role (this is not me weirdly talking in the third person but a phrase at least three people have used during meetings recently).

I had loads of meetings and calls in December with a whole host of different folk. I met only with people who had got in touch off the back of the post. I did also take the chance to meet with some other folk I already knew but largely I was meeting new people, which was great, not that meeting the people I already knew was not great also.

I had some great conversations where it became clear what it really was I wanted to do (creativity / making came out very strongly) it was also good to be challenged and understand maybe where I lacked the experience needed.

A few opportunities have presented themselves and hopefully things will progress well this month.

Back to work

My plan for January was to go into a more targeted investigation / pester mode and I will be working towards that in case none of the opportunities pan out.

I would like to start looking closer to home. I thinking a 50 mile radius of Sheffield i.e. Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham etc. The money and the work is in London it seems from my initial search, or maybe my network just skews that way and my meetings so far have been very much London-based. I am more than happy to work in London (and if truth be told I am drawn there) but am unable at the moment to do 5 days a week there.

I am looking for companies that can offer more flexible working i.e. 3 days in the city and 2 days working from home. That flexibility is very important to me wherever I work actually as it is how I have been working for the last two years and is a real help with family life.

If you can help me grow my network outside the capital (and inside) then that would be much appreciated.

Aden Shaped Role/Hole

As mentioned previously a few people have used this phrase unfortunately it has been attached to the phrase ‘We don’t have an Aden shaped role/hole at the moment’. I wish I had asked them to better clarify what they thought that was. I assume it is a mixture of how I am perceived on the web / because of my background in financial services and innovation / my voluptuous figure. From the conversations so far though it feels mostly to me like an Aden shaped role fits into one of these three things.

Product Management. Several conversations around this some that were far more delivery focused and maybe not as suited to my skills where as others were more around the design and direction of a product which was more suited. Certainly an area of interest and working for a specific company owning something specific would be a good challenge. The chance to grow a business/test out theories/get much closer to customer interactions would be excellent.

Planning. Instead of taking the in-house route the world of the digital agency certainly grabs my attention. The chance to really flex my creative muscles across a wide range of projects, products and brands is definitely the kind of work I would love to be doing. Working with a creative team to build out ideas.

Consultancy. The most obvious route to me it seemed upon leaving HSBC. Consult on innovation, large organisation culture / collaboration, financial services, digital transformation etc. etc. I want to learn a trade(s) and this seemed close to my recent work history where I was a multi skilled internal consultant of sorts. If any nice consultancy firms want to get in touch then let me know.


And that is where I currently am. Somewhere at the intersections of those three areas and like I said a few things are progressing well. I have a long list of follow-up meetings / reminders to get things scheduled. I am looking into the pros and cons of setting up as self-employed / a limited company to enable me to do some shorter term pieces of work. I am also putting the finishing touches on a better defined hire me post looking more into the kinds of things I believe in / want to work on / problems I would love to have a crack at etc. I am also finishing a few posts that are not about me thankfully.

I will be in Manchester on the 13th of January and I will be in London from the 27th-29th of January as I have been invited to attend the excellent Monkigras conference by the very nice James Redmond. if you want a chat while I am there, or anywhere else, then do let me know.

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