Twenty Nineteen

2019 was a rough year. I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way, for reasons personal, professional and/or political. In the intrest of focusing on the positive and shining a light towards more of what I want in 2020, here are two achievements that defined my 2019:

My first hires as a manager

Thanks to the largest single project we’ve ever tackled, we were able to add two full-time members to the Arcweb design team in 2019. These were my first two hires as a manager.

Hiring forced me to be thoughtful about what the roles actually required, rather than just defaulting to a number of years of experience or a list of design tools as prerequisites. It also gave me a chance to think about the existing team as an entity, and consider what it needed to thrive and grow.

It was of utmost importance to me to run a fair, inclusive hiring process. This meant not stopping once I had found a candidate who could do the job in question, as counter-intuitive as that sounds.

I was especially focused on not putting too much burden on the candidates with countless rounds of all-day interviews and design tests and such. To facilitate this, I needed to learn to trust my hiring team and take their counsel.

I am exceptionally proud of the hiring process as a whole in both cases, and I look forward to what Arcweb’s newly-augmented design team can accomplish in 2020.

“Hiring” a therapist

I’ve been seeing a therapist since early last year. For reasons that are not that interesting or relevant, I stopped seeing her early this year. To find a new therapist, I didn’t just pick a name out of an online listing and cross my fingers. Rather, I ran an interview process.

I made a list of candidates using Psychology Today’s wonderful website. I made some exploratory phone calls and, armed with what I had learned from my first therapy experience, I scheduled three in-person sessions. I treated these sessions as interviews (I was transparent about my process with each candidate), and used them to determine whether they were right for me and my specific therapeutic goals.

This was… scary as hell. It’s hard enough to open up once, but to three different people, not knowing whether you’ll continue the relationship? But the results were worth it. Committing to a process led me to finding the perfect therapist for me, rather than satisficed with an earlier candidate who was “good enough.”

NB: I am very lucky and privileged to be able to access mental health care. Many are not. If you believe therapy is out of reach for you, take a look at this calculator. The help you need may be more in reach than you think.

Len Damico @len