Out with the old... and in with the New

Happy New Year blogpeeps!

Yes, unbelievably, it's 2019 already.

Looking back over the year just gone, it was a big year from a working point of view - finally through that long-planned promotion, which made for a much more comfortable festive season, financially speaking.

I'll also freely admit that it hasn't been the easiest of times from the point of personal confidence, both in work and 'real' life.  Somehow life and work and changes just got on top of me quite a bit, and my confidence in my own abilities suffered as a result.

So... we have a new year, and a new start, physically, emotionally, and more confidently.

Things are moving on at work, albeit slowly.  Our 'mini-team' has completed a piece of work that we're in the process of finalising before it can go live.  And the 'main project' has been given a bit of a reboot, with a different approach.  It's quite early days in the new version of the project, so I'm not sure how much co…!

OK, well I got a bit behind in my posting again didn't I?  Last one was in July!!

So many things happening again.  So... let's start where we left off then.

When last I blogged, I was in the middle of negotiations for salary, and I was left as the sole developer in charge of my project.

Well, the negotiations concluded, and salary finally started to be paid at the end of August...and by Christmas they might have got round to paying the correct amount...grr.  (Maybe a big growl for another ranty post..)

I've also started working a 4-day week, as my new wages are making it worthwhile to do so.  Not sure how well that's currently sitting with my body, though.  But I'll get there, hopefully before they sort out all the salary workings...

I've also now got 'people' to work with, and have had a couple of new projects come my way.  More about such stuff in the next couple of posts though, otherwise this one will be ridiculously long.

Going to try and get back …

The down and dirty

The past few weeks and months have been dominated by one major thought... the job applications/regrading or whatever they want to call our recruitment campaign.  Not just for me but for a large percentage of my colleagues and fellow trainees too.

So (a couple of weeks ago now) we were faced with the next hurdle on the way to it all being 'real' - salary negotiations!  Eek!

Now I'm not going to go into details of the how much we all got, cos that's not for public consumption.  Suffice to say that a colleague was offered more than me and I negotiated to get the same figure, as did another colleague.

But the whole process feels just 'weird' - sordid somehow.  I know it shouldn't, it's normal practice in outside industry, but in a civil service setting then it feels wrong to be negotiating at all. (dyed in the wool civil servant here, it'll be 29 years this year!)

But I can't complain, as the resultant figure is close to the maximum payable for staf…

Leaving me a Basket Case

Argh - sometimes you get those days/weeks/months where the whole rollercoaster is just too much.

Last week was one of those.  (this post even sat in a draft half-done state during the whole rollercoaster ride as I was too rattled even to finish off my post)

For a couple of weeks now, I've been left as the sole developer in charge of my project.  Ongoing for a period of 4 months while the senior is off on shared parental leave.

Now - some or maybe even many of the expectations I've got on me are my own, I have a list of things that I should be able to put work into fixing.  But, faced with the responsibility for it all on my own, all of a sudden the knowledge began to leak from my brains.  And, the more I worried about it, the more panic set in and the less I could think straight.  When asking colleagues to help, I didn't even understand the questions they were asking to help me, let alone their potential solutions. Argh!!

So - eventually - I opened up - not directly to the…

A reserved update

Well - the job application has finally updated to 'Application Reserved' - i.e. you have met the required standard and will be on a reserve list for 6 months.

So eventually (with hopefully more speed than the process so far...) I will be a (substantive - yippeeeeeeee!!) HEO, having successfully jumped over EO in the middle.

My favourite part was the interviewer's comments though which were very positive:

"She gained all the development experience she has got now by sheer determination and finding opportunities herself. She did lot of self-learning and very keen learner. She will definitely make a good junior software engineer."

I'm not usually much of a one for blowing my own trumpet, but having fought so many fights to get this far, and having to continually keep up that learning and add to it to stay afloat, I will admit to a teeny touch of pride there.

I'll keep you all posted about postings as soon as I know more - although we're all hoping to just b…

What makes a Team?

Now this is one of those posts where I feel the need to acknowledge my own failings alongside my perceptions of other people at the same time - I'm naturally quite introverted and find certain cultures harder to break into than others.

I'm not going to break into historical nonsense here about teams in my distant past, as with some notable exceptions (my BFF and another couple of friends), I have consigned most of that to the land known as Before, they are the things and people and situations that made me who I am today, but they are not the experiences that I want to define my career going forwards.

So what I will natter about are the 2 project teams I've worked with since leaving training (the land of After).

My first team, from the outside, seemed like a bit of a dysfunctional family, we sometimes got on each other's nerves (thank goodness for the boss man's Headphone Rule to give us some personal space occasionally).  But when it came to working together, there…

From terror to confidence - aka 'feel the fear and do it anyway'

It's weird how our brains work isn't it?

Just a week ago I was sitting in a state of panic (to the point of tearing up) at the thought of the impending parental leave of my senior developer (which will leave me in sole charge of development work on our team for 4 months).

As a Bank Holiday week, I've had only 2 days in the office, but for the first time in a long time, we sat down with the system in front of us and worked on some simple changes TOGETHER.  I'll come back more to that capitalisation in a later post, but I think that exercise, and addressing some of the main kinds of change that I would be expected to deal with in the next few months, made a massive difference in the confidence I have that I won't simply drown the second the senior goes on leave.  I have another 3 days left with him this week, so I am hoping for more of the same.

I also think that doing a mental 'brain dump' here on the blog is kind of cathartic, if it's out here on screen…