Life has certainly taken a turn in a different direction from last year when I was in Ghana and Ethiopia. Since then I've visited my home town of Nottingham on a good many occasions by working there for a full 8 months. My mother and I (and my brother and father to a degree) became accomplices in experiencing Nottingham as bonnes vivantes, sampling Wagamama on cheap nights and on Champagne-suitable nights throwing the towel in and paying through the nose for our delicious dinners. I worked for a rather famous retail client for the last 8 months of 2011, and loved every minute of it. One: I was home. 2: the people were FABULOUS. 3. I got MEGA bargains (perhaps not quite as good when I consider the percentage of my salary I contributed to their overall turnover, but hey, they would have been happy!) and I have come away with friends for life.
Nottingham and my last experience was one of the most exciting times in my consulting career. Every day bringing something different (and challenging!) but the fantastic spirit of our team pulling us through at every single hurdle. And occasionally a small amount of sugar to keep us on the right path. Herewith I publicly out Sarah, Heather and Glenn for completely irresistible sweet treats. Oooh, I could just fancy a slice of lemon drizzle.
So after leaving the best project I've been on so far - with the best people - where could measure up next? Probably nowhere, I thought. And I wondered about where I could go next. I wondered in what direction I should be moving now.
And that direction, and that place, turned out to be America. A place I have always felt drawn to, and have made countless visits to in the past - to nearly half of its 50 states now, near enough. - and have felt excited to be a part of. "High performance in USA vs. UK will be different", I knew, and told myself - especially after experiencing the amazing work in play in Care International's Atlanta head office. So. Off to America. Easy. Errr, no. But did I get there? Yes I did. Ladies and Gentlemen, Jessica has flown across then pond once more.