Happy New Year…

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It’s been a busy start to 2017 and I can’t believe that the first half of January is almost behind me. Having bid farewell to self-employment at the end of 2016, my salaried job role is taking up most of my time these days, which is really positive. There’s a massive amount to learn, and at times I feel as if my brain will burst, but along with the challenges there are more than enough rewards to make up for it, and being part of a team is a dream come true.

My shifts are longer than I’m used to, but this became a lot easier once I settled back into my new routine after the Christmas break, and the bonus is that I’m getting fitter. I’m slowly getting used to the sheer volume of business meetings I’m now attending, along with various training days, and although my schedule is filling up with work it’s also being filled with fun stuff such as the monthly team breakfasts, and will soon include an ‘away day’!

Never in a million years did I ever imagine that my life could change so quickly and dramatically, which just goes to show that you never know what’s just around the next corner. If you want to move upwards you have to move forwards…

Team Breakfast…

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You know that you’ve landed well and truly on your feet when your manager arranges for everyone to enjoy a leisurely ‘team breakfast’ to thank us for simply doing our jobs. This morning, my colleagues and I were taken down to the canteen and treated to a full English, or whatever else we happened to fancy, and large coffees. I don’t eat meat or eggs so chose veggie sausage, hash brown, mushrooms, baked beans and toast, and I have to say it was very welcome indeed!

Suitably sustained, and finally ready to face the day, we returned to the office to get down to the business of the weekly team meeting; an opportunity for each and every one of us to update our co-workers on what we’ve been doing, what still needs to be completed and any issues or deadlines which need to be discussed. By the time we were all done and dusted it was almost lunchtime, although to be honest I wasn’t particularly hungry (can’t imagine why…)

Sometimes our jobs can be challenging, and we can begin to feel under-valued, but it’s small gestures like this that can make a huge difference to the working environment, and I applaud any bosses out there who show genuine appreciation to their staff.  Sometimes the little things really do mean a lot.

You’re Never Too Old…

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When your new boss is possibly younger than your children, it can make being the newbie at work seem even more of a challenge, but when you begin a brand new career in your fifties you simply have to get over it and get on with it. I’ve now completed the first week in my new job and although there’s been times when I’ve felt totally out of my depth, and have even questioned whether I was the right person for the role, with the help of my extremely supportive co-workers I’ve finally gained some much-needed confidence.

I was thrilled to find out that my office is full of house-plants, my desk has dual screen monitors and I can help myself to as many hot drinks as I can physically consume throughout the day. This is certainly worlds apart from anything I’ve ever experienced before and it’s amazing. I’ve also enjoyed a leisurely lunchtime stroll through the nearby meadows with my colleagues, watching massive, red dragonflies and pretty little butterflies, before sitting beside a lake in the sunshine for some girlie banter.

I know that there’s going to be plenty of challenges ahead, but I’m sure that if I can take the plunge and start a brand new job at the age of fifty four then anyone can!

When One Door Closes…

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Apparently another two open! Although I’d initially felt I’d dodged a bullet by not being offered a position after my recent job interview, it’s never nice to be rejected for anything. However, my philosophy is that everything happens for a reason and the Human Resources Department, who I’d previously been interviewed by, had obviously chosen to pass my CV around to other departments because within 48 hours I’d received not one but two potential offers of temporary work. Clearly I must’ve made a positive impression on the day, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.

Unfortunately, one of the jobs would’ve been unworkable around my current commitments so I politely declined, however the second one intrigued me and so I met with the manager for an ‘informal chat‘ the following afternoon. In reality this turned out to be another interview, which caught me slightly off-guard as I wasn’t prepared for it. Therefore, when an email arrived four days later offering me the position I couldn’t have been more surprised! Wow! This is a massive step up the career ladder for me, and even though the role is scheduled to end at Christmas, it’s put me firmly on a path which can only realistically lead to bigger and better things in the future. Pass the champers…!

Better Luck Next Time…

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I’ve just received the predicted email rejection regarding the new job I recently applied for and to be perfectly honest I’m quite relieved. I’d bitten off far more than I could possibly chew by applying for something I was always going to struggle with and I’d actually been quite worried about how I was going to manage. It wasn’t just the work itself but how to juggle all of my other commitments around it; there’s only seven days in a week and I’d need a day off at some point!

For the time being I shall focus on the work that I already have, and although I’ll always be on the lookout for new opportunities, I’ll put a bit more thought into the logistics before applying for another new post. Despite the fact that the panel interview was a terrifying ordeal, I’ve learnt a lot about how I could prepare myself better next time, so at least I can take some positives away from this experience, which will clearly put me in a much better position in the future. Onwards and upwards.

Another Interview…

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This week I spent a nerve-jangling ninety minutes being interviewed for yet another part-time job to go with all the other work I’m currently doing. I’m completely unqualified for the role and no matter how much I tweaked my CV I still couldn’t prove I had the essential skills required let alone the desirable ones, so when an email appeared offering me an interview I couldn’t quite believe it.

Sods law dictated that despite it being the official start of summer, the heavens opened as I left the house ensuring that I arrived thirty minutes later looking like a drowned rat. I’d been pre-warned about the ‘computer task’ I was to undertake, however, the very second I was seated in front of a screen my mind emptied, and by the end of the allocated fifteen minutes I’d only typed about three and a half lines. Then it was the panel interview, another terrifying ordeal involving people in suits interrogating me with random questions about scenarios that may or may not happen. I was so far out of my comfort zone I was practically in orbit, however I did the best I could, so if I’m not offered the position at least I’ll know that I couldn’t have done any more and it simply wasn’t to be. At least I tried.

Too Fast…

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When you receive an email from your new company offering fast-tracked promotions for a select few; and clearly you’re one of those they wish to promote; it comes as a bit of a shock, especially when you’ve only been working there for a year. To be honest, I had to read the email several times before it sank in, and even then I thought it had to be a clerical error, but apparently not.

My knee-jerk reaction would normally be to take up the offer, and within a week acquire a senior status. However, the reality is that with just twelve months worth of experience I currently feel under-equipped for the role, and I need at least one more year under my belt before I’ll be confident enough to take on such an important job. While the extra cash would be great, of course, and it’s a huge compliment to be asked, sometimes you just need to slow the pace down a little. Although I won’t be attending the required training this time, I haven’t turned down the promotion, I’ve simply put it on hold until I’m ready for the next big step. No matter how tempting, it’s not a particularly good idea to start running before you’ve mastered the art of walking.