Shaad Hamid

Oxford SEO and PPC Consultant/Blogger

Looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012


I remember this time last year, I was working two jobs – one was an internship and the other was at the cinema – not having a clue where life would take me. I had literally just got engaged to my girlfriend, and had quite a substantial loan to pay off. Working 60-70 hours a week, a typical day for me would be to wake up at 6:30am, get my brother to drop me off at work, take a shower at the sports centre (the house I live in has a stupid toilet rota so either I take the slot between 5:30am-6:00am or wait till after 7:30am, which was too late for me), sit down at my desk by 8:30am and finish work at 5:00pm. Now for normal people, this is when work usually ends, but in my case, I had to take the U1 bus into town (which would reach town at exactly 5:47pm) and I’d have 13 minutes to run to the cinema, change into my uniform and clock-in at work by 6.00pm. Generally I finish either at 10:30pm or 12 midnight (depending on the shift). This was my routine between October 2010 to February 2011. So, like I said before, this time last year, I was just keeping on keeping on.

Did I think it was all worth it? Hell yeah! I was lucky I had two jobs, one paid my bills while the other helped me build a career. I am ever so grateful to both my past employers for giving me the opportunity to achieve both my career and financial goals. There were many people who (quite rightly) told me that I was out of my mind! One of my boss’s who cared for me so much that he wanted to intervene and restrict the number of hours I work, fearing for my health. But to my own surprise and to those around me I was able to manage and maintain my energy levels during that time period. In hindsight, I guess what kept me going was my personal goals I set myself to achieve. I’ve always had a habit of taking stock of my achievements during the year gone by and making new ones for the year ahead.

Last year, my three main goals were:

  • Save enough for my wedding
  • Make sure I don’t miss my monthly loan payments
  • Get a permanent job that match and challenge my skills

Today, I am a married man, who is still making monthly payments to my loan and have secured a job role that challenges and excite me every single day. I now earn the same salary I did working two jobs and I have evenings and weekends off which to me is something I will always be ever so grateful for.

So in keeping with my tradition, here are my goals for 2012:

  • Be debt free,
  • Sort out my work visa,
  • Rent a decent house,
  • Sponsor my wife so we’d be able to live a proper married life together,
  • Get my drivers licence,
  • Achieve advanced SEO status,
  • Learn to hand-code websites,
  • Present to an audience all that I know about search engine and social media marketing and finally,
  • make sure I donate to charity a minimum of 10% of my monthly savings

I’m not entirely sure if I could actually achieve all these goals this coming year, but having written them down, I feel motivated and excited to wake up everyday wanting to give my best. So hopefully this time next year, I’d be able to say I’ve ticked all of the above.

Having said that, have you got a list of goals you’re committed to achieving in the coming year to make 2012 your absolute best? If so please feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Image by Wouter Kiel on Flikr

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Author: Shaad Hamid

Shaad used to be an Oxford based SEO and PPC blogger, consultant and citizen journalist. He has recently moved to Dubai and is currently working as an SEO Account Manager at DigitasLBi. He is passionate about internet marketing and is the SEO lead for numerous clients from diverse sectors such as FMCG to Travel & Tourism. Find Shaad on Google