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New job

After finishing my last job, I had the luxury of some time off job hunting.  Toss up between big commute again (lots of available great jobs, mostly further than previously) and trying to find something closer to home (unlikely in my current industry). And of course having a child is what puts the spanner in the works with job-hunting as a) you want to be able to spend time with the child and b) childcare have strict drop off and pick up times unless you’ve got family and even then a) is applicable.  So luckily within my 2 month time limit I’d set myself, a new job locally prevailed, and I’m now a week in.

A totally different company, and a totally different job.  Well, some transferable skills obviously, but different enough to be totally scary as to how I’m actually going to be able to pick it up as quickly as I’d be able to if it was the same job and industry I’d been in for the last 13 years.  The bonus is I’ve gone from a 90 odd mile commute to a 15 mile round trip.  But full time working is back in my life again.

There are some amusing (and not so amusing) differences I’ve noticed:

No canteen.

  • Oo er, I’ve never worked anywhere without a canteen, and not worked in a job that wasn’t about food.  I’m hoping that’ll mean I’ll get less hungry and will therefore eat less and lose weight.  However, at the end of my first week it’s Red Nose Day, so the obligatory cake bake is happening.  And there’s already been wedding cake brought in so the not eating as much isn’t looking good.
  • Not having a canteen also means there’s a lack of sociable lunches.  From what I’ve noticed, people tend to lope out the door in dribs and drabs on their own to nip into town or grab some lunch.  Every place I’ve worked before has been quite good about making sure new people are taken to lunch, and there’s been a good number of people religiously taking lunch each day.  I think having a canteen that opens on the dot of noon, does mean people are better at taking a lunch break.  Here’s there’s no specific time, so meetings seem to be put over lunch as everyone takes a totally different one.  But it’s an hour! I’ve never had a contracted hour for lunch.
  • My plan is to get out for a walk at lunch. It sounds like there’s a few who do go out, so I’m planning to ensure I walk. Have Fitbit, will walk (although I think today’s walk was scuppered by a flat battery on it). Will lose weight and get back on the get fit wagon.

Hot desking

Not convinced of this yet.  I’m sure it’s a good idea where you’ve got lots of people in and out all the time as they are here with home workers etc, but as a new person it’s a minefield.  I’d say I’m generally good with names and faces, but I’m a disaster here as I can’t match a person to a desk or place in the office, so am forgetting who I’ve met or not.  Thankfully there is a good intranet with pictures of most people….and not those horrendous first day pictures done for swipe cards (they don’t have those here either!), but nice ones that people add themselves.

I’m also finding it a minefield in a morning when I get in.  The whole ‘choosing where to sit’ thing.  Because it’s hot desks, you don’t get a picture of who works in which team.  Some people always sit in the same seat, others mix it up even those who work 5 days in the office.  Thinking I’ll gradually move around and hopefully meet a few people better that way.  Because it’s hot desks, there are…

Lockers (chuckles, makes me think of secondary school)

I don’t have one yet, but I’m sure I will once it’s allocated.  Very strange not to be able to set out my box of tissues, pen pot, stick up notices, put out my fruit bowl, the usual you do when you have a desk.

Dress code.

Beats me.  No-one told me what it was before starting, but I presumed it was casual business (no ties, no suits) given at my interview I turned up in suit and the interviewers weren’t in one.  So I’m going for general office wear, but it’s a real mix.  I’ve seen some people in jeans, some in trainers (which I think are leftovers from walking from the station), suits for visiting other businesses.  Strange.  But makes a change from my last company who were very prescriptive on what was or wasn’t allowed on mufti days.

Anyway, steep learning curve not only for me, but also change for N to get used to.

He’s in full time childcare (where he was on 4 ½ days, but had gone down to 2 nursery days while I was off) so think this week’s going to tire him out.  Thankfully he loves both nursery and spending time with his cousin (planning their taking over the farming community no doubt), so I didn’t have to worry about that.  In fact yesterday at nursery, he totally ignored the fact I’d turned up to pick him up even though he’d seen me.  Nothing like being engrossed in what you’re doing.

I did almost forget to give him breakfast this morning (he has it at home on non-nursery days) as I was just thinking milk at home and breakfast at childcare. Oops.  I remembered just in time.  So, the new (old) routine is getting bedded in.

What changes have you found when changing jobs?

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