I remember very clearly getting ready and then driving to the old police headquarters. I had started just after nine which was a little first day luxury. As I waited in the reception area I had a sense of fear, excitement and a little dread not knowing what or who I was going to meet during the day. I had no idea where I would be based, who I would be sat alongside and the work that I would be given. What would the staff be like? What would the bosses be like? Where did communication sit within the organisation?
The morning was a whirl of meeting people who all looked far too busy to spend any time speaking to me, finding out that my office was in a different building and that the team was split over two sites. From being somewhere that I knew everyone and everything that was going on I was suddenly out of the loop, struggling to understand what was happening and wondering where I fitted into the team.
It was a less than glamourous start to my career with the organisation as I spent the vast proportion of the day clearing out the office and trying to work out what information I needed to keep. I concluded quite quickly that there was very little I needed to keep, particularly as the job had been vacant for more than six months. I also learnt very early on that I was going to be the dumping ground for all the things that staff didn’t want to deal with. Some of it was definitely within my remit but a lot of it wasn’t but in those very early days I was content to take the work and do my best with it.
There are very few people I worked with 15 years ago that are still within the team. But one remains and it is great to be able to discuss how much things have changed in 15 years mainly for the better.
At the end of that first day, I have to confess I was wondering whether it was the right move for me. This was mainly because I was back at the beginning having to build relationships, understand the organisation and feel confident enough to put forward ideas without the risk of ridicule. Even though it was working in the same sector it was very different to what I had been used to in my previous job.
As I look back on the 15 years there have been many ups and downs, some of which I will consider during the rest of the week, but generally more ups than downs. Communication has moved on massively and I work with some amazing people. On most days I can definitely say it was the right move.