Expect The Unexpected…

karen waddy

Although I’m technically on a ‘career-break’, when I received an email last week asking if I’d like my name to be put forward for some work in a massive Computer Science Department I couldn’t resist so I agreed; not really expecting anything to come of it. A few days later I had a call on my mobile inviting me for an “informal chat”,┬áso today I popped down there just to find out a bit more about what they were looking for. I was in the office at noon and by 2pm I’d had a phone call offering me the position! Stunned doesn’t begin to cover it.

Turns out that everything I’d learnt in my previous post is exactly what they wanted from an administrator, so next week I will unexpectedly begin the next new chapter in my career. Who could have predicted that before the end of 2017 I’d be employed alongside people working with Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Robotics, Cloud Computing and a whole lot more? It just goes to show that you really never know what’s just around the corner…

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Career Break…

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Well, after thirteen months in the department my ‘temporary’ contract finally came to an end I’m now taking the opportunity to have some much needed R ‘n’ R before I begin the next phase of my career.

After an emotional final week, when I was treated to a fabulous night out with the girls, followed by a cooked breakfast in the canteen and then a third treat; a G&T in the bar where I was unexpectedly presented with gifts and a card; I’ve shut down my lovely new PC for the very last time and am now taking a bit of time out to decide what my next step will be.

I’ll continue to do a bit of casual work here and there so I have a few pennies coming in, but it’s important that after working so hard to build up my experience, (and my bank balance), I now step back, re-focus and look forward to the next exciting job opportunity.

For now, however, I’m just going to sit down, relax, and enjoy what’s left of the British
Summer…

Sick Pay…

Paid Time Off Clock Words Employee Medical Sick Leave

When you’re self-employed it’s really simple; if you don’t work you don’t get any money. However, now that I’ve ditched self-employment to become a bona fide employee I’m discovering the benefit of ‘sick pay‘. What a truly marvellous phenomenon it is!

After suffering with persistent cough, instead of continuing to struggle in to work in order to ensure I could afford to pay my bills, I was able to take a couple of days off so that my poor old lungs could recover, without me getting stressed out over money. Being able to rest at home fully focussed on simply getting better was not only good for my physical health but also my mental well-being.

This is actually a win-win situation all round as not only was I able to return to work fighting fit within a relatively short period of time, my co-workers no longer had to listening to me hacking up my lungs all day. Result!

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.