When opportunity first came knocking this wasn’t the plan – that was to take a career break and return to Hull City Council when the offer came to an end. But because the work has nothing to do with my day job and coincided with the busiest period in Hull’s BSF programme it caused headaches.
So despite my love for local government, and despite being conscious of how hard it might be to return, I’m walking away. I’m ditching the security of a contract with 16 months left to run and my ‘gold-plated’ pension. I’m leaving the relationships I’ve built over the last 3.5 years. I’m even choosing to spend part of every week in #thatLondon.
And I’m doing all of that for six months’ work. Risky? Cavalier? Unwise? Perhaps, but I think the opportunity is worth it.
So three weeks ago I took a day off work and travelled south. I’d asked Louise Kidney (who has swapped localgov for GDS herself) what I should expect from her new colleagues. Nothing she’d said prepared me to finish the day using a wall as my canvas to present back work I’d been set a couple of hours to complete.
Prepared or not my scrawl did the trick and I start as a Business Analyst on May 28th.
I first blogged in April 2009 on Blogspot and this is my 81st post. My blog doesn’t have a particular focus, this is a place where I write about the things that interest me. It isn’t therefore a ‘public sector’ blog, it’s not a work blog and it’s not official but I don’t hide who I am or where I work and sometimes I do write about it.
A couple of weeks ago #lgovsm (a weekly hour long, hosted and themed, discussion about the use of social media within local government) looked at blogging. 610 tweets have been captured on SearchHash but my follow up from it was to think about four questions – Why should we blog? Why don’t we? How can we get past those hurdles? What more could be done with blogs?
Last night I was at an event hosted by the University of York called ‘Professional Connect’. This was a great idea – a chance for current students to find out more from alumni who are already on the inside. There were three streams – finance, management and law; media, journalism and publishing; and government, public and charity sector.
My life is pretty transparent – if you Google me you’ll find a pretty lengthy trail of bits and pieces strewn across the internet (although I claim no connection at all to Beat The Rator, whatever that is).
I like freedom. I like openness. I like sharing.
If you follow me on Twitter, are my friend on Facebook or read this blog then there’s very little you won’t quickly learn about me. And I’m entirely comfortable with that.
It’s a mighty peculiar way of developing your staff but local authorities are reluctant to not attend the conferences.
After all what if something is missed?
And more importantly how else will this good practice get spread and learning take place?
I think I was musing about what I’d do for my dissertation when I first hunted for conversations about the internet, public services and democracy. I’m pretty sure that’s how I stumbled upon Liz Azyan’s Twitterati.
A little knowledge is definitely a dangerous thing.
Without that little bit of knowledge the last 18 months would have looked quite different. I’m once again reminded of my good fortune in coming across the digital community of people who are passionate about the nature of public services and the shape of democracy. They’re a diverse bunch who think and scheme but, crucially, they’re also doing and teaching; collaborating and sharing. Continue reading Alternatives?→