Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reflections on the job so far. . .

My new job (5 months on) has some interesting challenges and involves working with a group who have been in the field for decades. They have a wealth of knowledge which can be a bit intimidating at times.

Some days it is a bit of a struggle to remind myself that I too am a professional with my own knowledge, I haven’t had as much time to accumulate the knowledge that my colleagues have, but I do have particular skills that allow me to draw on what they know and turn it into viable strategies.

I had my first performance management session here yesterday and it went very well. I think if I can keep up the work I am doing I would be welcome to stay on if a position becomes available at the end of my secondment. I’d like this – not much point going back to where I came from if they don’t have a Strategic Policy and Planning function any more.

I miss some of my former colleagues though – there were some great minds doing amazing work in a difficult environment and it was the best preparation for what I am doing now. I don’t think I would be able to apply the same level of intellectual rigour to my work if I hadn’t experienced the last 18 months there.

I have found that I need to have a heightened political awareness in this job, and I’m finding that there are a number of political bloggers out there that are thought provoking. I tend to sample a spectrum of opinions to get some balance. I’ve also taken to participating in discussion in comments links as an additional mental exercise – it really does improve my ability to critically analyse what is going on in my own area of interest if I’ve done my mental gym session each day.

On a coffee note – the dark roast has much more body to it than my first mild roast – really impressive. A coffee importer is prepared to sell me PNG, Columbian, Kenyan, Ethiopian or other beans in 5kg lots at a reasonable price so I will buy a few lots and experiment with blends as well.

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