How I Learned The Value Of Time - And Where This Got Me

Clare Anderson
31st May 2021
 < 1 min read

I’m Alvin and I’m proud to say I am the Design Lead for an international telecoms engineering company’s biggest client! I can say this now with grace and confidence but believe me, the journey to get here has been far from easy! It’s taken a long while and many hurdles to realize the true value of time - and how much we take it for granted.

Looking back, I’m amazed at how much time I wasted, thoughtlessly, in high school and college. So much of my life was spent playing video games and falling into other rabbit holes that would take me nowhere. I always knew I wanted a leadership role in my career but the pandemic hit my mental health hard as I suddenly had too much time on my hands. I was desperately searching for something outside of myself to give my life meaning and direction. 

With hindsight, lockdown has ultimately helped me to mature and find infinitely more valuable ways of spending the finite amount of time we all have on this planet. I’ve discovered a true passion - trading stocks and cryptocurrencies online. This is particularly weird for me as I grew thinking money was bad. I always found it an uncomfortable and sensitive topic but I now realize that it’s a necessary and crucial part of enabling the life you want to live. Trading has shown me how to spend my free time wisely and focus on what I really want. It’s teaching me to watch and control my thoughts and emotions as not doing so can lead to disaster. 

But back to what I was saying about my leadership dream at work. It certainly didn’t materialize quickly. I spent so long being pushed from one project to the next - feeling directionless and unmotivated. Watching my colleagues grab the career growth opportunities I was so desperate for. My frustration grew and I felt like I was going nowhere. Time dragged on - seemingly endlessly - and aimlessly. Until I realized that I actually needed to demonstrate the leadership skills I knew I had. Show just how proactive I could be. Be patient and use the time I had wisely. 

It paid off. My efforts were noticed and rewarded - I was made the Design Lead for an enormous project with our client’s biggest (and very well known) client. We were given an inordinate amount of data to work on in an abnormally short time frame. It was all hands on deck and, as the Design Lead, I had to oversee the entire process and all the documentation relating to the project. I was the go-to person for handling all queries - and suddenly I knew how valuable the time I’d spent trading actually was. It has taught me how to be really organized and responsible - hugely helpful skills in a leadership role. It has also taught me discipline and focus - I know how to watch my thoughts and get myself back on track if need be. The super short timeframe for this project meant good communication and teamwork were essential. Crucially we weren’t allowed to overwork ourselves so we avoided mental and physical exhaustion. Balance is key to many things! 

I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to have been recognised in this way - I even won a ‘Positive Impact’ award! This was recognition of my efforts to make a difference with my colleagues, my community and our planet at large - the kudos was so appreciated. I love how much we are trusted and given the autonomy to do our best work and deliver what is needed, without question. I love the caring and supportive culture I am lucky enough to work in every day. I love how I’ve been encouraged and been given assistance to pursue my dream and reach my goals. I love how I’ve managed to make my leadership dream come true - through patience, self-belief and, most of all, making good use of my time. I am fulfilled and passionate about what I do, every day. Time is one of the most valuable things we have. Never forget it - and make the most of it - always!



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