Starting a new role is always exciting, but the new challenges can come with apprehension that things will work out well. Having made a substantial commitment in preparing for interviews, relocating or leaving a previous role, we hope we’ve made the right decision.
Thankfully I have had a fantastic few weeks since first joining the GolfNow team in Belfast, and I’m really excited about my new role as Product Owner inside their technology division.
The first few weeks for a Product Owner are all about getting a good understanding of the entire business, from its products to its stakeholders. One thing I particularly like about working on the product team is that you’re never just working inside your division, but rather considering how the work you do will affect the entire business.
To build great products that deliver on their goals requires considering the company as a whole; that means ongoing communication with staff across the business, which makes the role tremendously interesting.
As a golf fan and someone who has played the game from a young age, I have the rare benefit of being able to combine my work with a personal hobby of mine, helping create products that I’ll use myself. While it’s not essential, there’s no doubt that being a user of the products you’re creating can help you better understand the problem you’re trying to solve and what the solution should be. It makes it easier to be honest when you ask yourself, “would I use this product?”
In my previous roles I worked primarily in a startup environment, collaborating with small teams on early stage ideas, and even founding a startup of my own. While this work is very exciting, it’s also very uncertain and incredibly demanding. It’s nice to switch direction and join a company that encourages that same entrepreneurial approach while having a solid foundation of customers, a great team and the resources to do things on a big scale.
As a subsidiary company of Comcast—one of the biggest companies in the world—GolfNow has truly global ambitions, so there are lots of exciting opportunities as I look ahead. I’m excited about getting to work on my first project and challenging myself in new ways.
The first week I joined happened to be the week of the Irish Open, which was great timing; On Thursday, GolfNow brought the staff to the event for a company day out. This was a great chance for me to meet members of the team in a relaxed environment. It’s very apparent that there is a great culture here at GolfNow, where my colleagues have been very welcoming and helpful in answering all of my annoying questions over this first few weeks, including “How do I use this phone?” This type of culture is a credit to the directors of the company since the support and atmosphere come from the top.
GolfNow just recently moved to a new state-of-the-art office space in Belfast down at City Quays. It’s easily the most impressive office facility I’ve ever worked in, and the type of place you look forward to coming to work in each morning. It is this kind of investment in their people that has helped GolfNow win “Belfast’s Best Company To Work For” award two years in a row. The office’s grand opening last week included a number of visiting staff from our US Orlando office. Mike McCarley, president of the Golf Channel, spoke superbly about the vision for the company and the inspiring story of how BRS Golf, founded here in Belfast, merged with GolfNow to expand the business. We even had a floating island green set up on the water outside the office where, after work, staff enjoyed a few beers in the sun and hit golf balls out on to the green, as evidenced by the photo of me below, I could get used to this…