Yesterday - December 19, 2008 - was a special day for me. We had finished our project just a week back (we were working on it since August 2008, i.e. it took ~4.5 months), and informal feedback from the client came on December 18, 2008 (formal feedback is still to come).
The feedback was not just positive, it was mind-blowing! The client was very pleased with our work, and especially applauded the practices and processes used by us, as well as the quality of our deliverable. And my company's top brass was extremely happy as well.
So, each of the 5 team members was awarded an Outstanding Client Service Award in the company-wide meeting yesterday (the core team consisted of 5 people, and 2 more people were conducting higher level works). It felt quite nice to receive the award. All the hard work that the team had put in paid off nicely.
At the personal level, I feel that all the diligence and hard work I had put in paid for me. Those late nights when I would be busy consuming, digesting and marking reports from Forrester, Gartner and IDC (and sometimes Burton, Jupiter, Ovum and Yankee too); those train journeys from and to home, when I would be studying research papers and white papers - all that has paid off in the form of a satisfied client, a happy team, elated company officials, and personal satisfaction (of course, this is the result of a combined team effort).
However, after this initial success, I feel more responsibility now. This success is past now, and looking ahead, the bar of expectations is higher. The next project is visibly tougher (it's the same client - pleased with our work, they've given us a significantly more challenging project this time). I hope I am able to deliver even better this time.