My first week

I’ve just finished my first week in my new job! Where do I begin?

Well, for starters, I actually knew where to go and how to get there. This is not as stupid as it sounds, bear with me… In my previous job, moving from company to company every couple of weeks, I had the “Monday Challenge” of working out where I had to be, and what time to set off to get there on time. I also had the pain (metaphorical and literal) of lugging round a hefty laptop. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Excuse the extended metaphor… In my last job I often didn’t know whether there would be anywhere for lunch nearby, or whether I’d been stationed in a warehouse in the dark depths of Essex, with no shops for miles. This week I knew exactly where I was and what facilities I’d have. A fridge AND a kettle? I told you I was living the dream.

Enough about the facilities. How about the job? I had been absolutely terrified about starting. I assumed I’d get dropped in at the deep end, and just told to get on with the job. Strangely, that hasn’t happened. Weird. Was it just my old company who thought that was a good idea? Instead, in my first couple of weeks I’m being eased in; I’ve had meetings with all the other staff to learn about their jobs and have a get to know each other chat. Everyone has been lovely. And not in a “nice to your face but I’m about to go and slag you off the moment you leave the room” kind of way.

With my corporate background, many of my new colleagues thought I’d have a “professional” perspective to offer the charity. Certainly, moving from a firm with 152,000 members of staff to a charity with around 25 was a big change. If I’m honest, I thought they’d be on completely different levels. A massive multi-national can obviously afford infrastructure that a little organisation cannot. Unexpectedly, though, I’m massively impressed with how professional my new workplace is. Yes, there are certain areas where they can’t compete, but overall I’m not noticing many big differences.

I’ve felt like there’s a real lack of hierarchy. Even though I’m not just new to the organisation, but to the job itself, everyone has treated me with respect, and asked my opinion and input as though it actually matters. Only a week in, it’s something I’ve noticed and which has made me feel all the more fired up about working there.

By contrast, the chain of command in my old job was so long it rivalled the Great Wall of China. I couldn’t tell you the CEO’s name, let alone what he (I’m assuming it was a he) looked like. In this job I’m sat about ten steps away from the CEO, who is involved in (rather than distant or totally removed from) the day-to-day running of the charity. Oh, and it’s a she.

Within a couple of days of joining I had a ninety minute meeting with the CEO, who shared her vision for the future of the charity. Her passion and drive were clear to see, and totally infectious. I felt really lucky and proud to be a part of the team who would make that vision come to life.

For a moment in that meeting my mind drifted. I recalled company-wide e-mails that were periodically sent around in my old company, telling us all about the “exciting” and “innovative” vision that management had. On my laptop, at least, these messages went straight to “trash”. I couldn’t understand how anyone could get fired up at the prospect of a massive corporate firm boosting its profits some more. At the end of the day, it didn’t mean anything good for us; just longer hours, more stress and the uncomfortable office atmosphere when the prospect of redundancies was announced.

Last night I woke up three times thinking of ideas for work. And that’s exciting! It’s a brilliant feeling that the random concepts that wake me up at 2am might actually be used, and that I’ll get to help put them in practice. It’s a far cry from when I used to wake up in the night panicking about how much I had to do and how little time I had to do it in.

Life is certainly different here, and for me it’s for the better. There’s no sinking feeling (yet!) when I wake up, hoping it’s a Saturday, and realising that there are several more days of slog to get through before another weekend. On Friday I somehow accidentally turned up to work an hour early, only to realise that the place wasn’t yet unlocked, and had to sit in a café nursing a cuppa.

I can’t wait to tell you more about it as the weeks go on. Hope you’ll read about it – I publish every Sunday. If you want it sent to your inbox automatically every week, there’s a link below. Thanks for reading! x

One thought on “My first week

  1. Wonderful to read this – esp the bit about ‘initiatives’ to maximise profits – so familiar. Glad you’re doing something meaningful now – it’s the only way anyone in work is going to be motivated. There will be challenges and reality won’t always live up to the idea, but as long as it’s more you, that’s what matters. Hope it turns out to be truly fulfilling.


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