Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Work/Life Balance..

Wednesday, 18 June 2008 00:49 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I thought I’d share a bit of a perspective on working for a company I enjoy working for, in a city I enjoy living in. I’m working for a large US multinational, we make some cool stuff, have the ability to solve business problems through smart adoption and deployment of technology, we innovate and invest heavily in R&D and I’m living in Christchurch, New Zealand – sound terrible so far?

We lived in Auckland for 9 years and our intention was always to come back and settle with family and friends, the challenge we had was that I love working for Microsoft and I wasn’t ready to close that book. Microsoft as an employer invests heavily in training, soft skills, has a great culture and provides a wealth of opportunities to employees in New Zealand as well as around the globe. So I wanted the best of all worlds – and I managed to get it.

If I look back at the decision making process of moving back down to Christchurch, and some of the conversations I had with my management, One of the questions that stands out for me, was “How effective do you think you can be down South?” – My response is simple – Microsoft is a technology company, we have designed, built, tested and released a wealth of solutions that enable people to work from pretty much anywhere in the world. I’m not a person who gives up easily, and distance will be no barrier to me being able to do my job based in Christchurch, as well as contributing to the New Zealand business and beyond.

So rather than preaching, I thought I’d flip it around and ask some questions -

Where else can you work for a company that:

· Has a strong focus on helping the greater good of people through giving programmes for Health and Education as well as enabling staff to do payed volunteer work

· Wants to retain great staff and enables them to live and work from most locations around the world

· Make it right – If we do fall over our feet, will stand up, we are accountable and ensure the customer is looked after appropriately

· Has changed the way we live our lives though self belief, hard work, great people, technology, and research and development

· Drives employee behaviour heavily by customer satisfaction – the reality is that happy customers buy more

· Has a very long term view of research and development – Out of failures comes an opportunity to learn and grow and ability to re-use learnings

· If at first we don’t succeed, we try, try again

· Has produced some kick-arse software and hardware

· Has a flat management structure and promotes the ability to escalate and communicate when appropriate

· Has nice finishing touches to make your working week easier – fresh fruit to all floors, an acceptance that we all work hard, and therefore also need to play hard, recognises that people may have different work styles and measures on output rather than legacy work patterns

Why am I bleating on about this? Since moving back down in Christchurch, I’ve come across a lot of old friends, who are happy-ish with their job, and see this as it. I find myself very fortunate to be paid to do my hobby, work for an organisation that I enjoy working for, and living in a great city that offers what we are looking for as a family, and to be apart of something bigger than Christchurch and New Zealand. Moral of the Story – If you are going to spend a large amount of you’re life doing something, why the hell not do something you enjoy doing!

Nick.

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