Have you ever sat down with a pencil, a piece of paper and no distractions to draw out a Venn diagram of what would make your perfect job, a job perfectly suited to your skills, interest and ambitions? Well I have; my first draft involved space travel, excitement, adventure, riches beyond my wildest dreams and a short commute from home.
My second draft at a (slightly) more realistic list was more down to earth, but no less interesting for me. It involved the chance to make use of my history in local government, delivery of exciting digital solutions to real problems and the chance to work with an exciting group of people who don’t accept mediocrity regardless of who they are being measured against. Oh, and that short commute from home option made it through to this draft too.
Brilliantly enough, right at the centre of this Venn diagram of awesomeness is where my brand new job sits, which I will be beginning shortly. I’m moving to become the account manager for a digital publishing company who are expanding to deliver services to local government and needed someone with a working knowledge of digital along with the same for local government. Voila!
Technically speaking, it means I will for the first time in over eight years be outside of the public sector, though I will be working very closely with Councils to look at their digital needs and then to bring some top technical minds to the table to meet those needs. I’m tremendously excited by it and believe it will give me the chance to make even more of a difference to the wider world of local government than I could ever have done before.
So, why am I sharing this through this blog? What relevance can it have to this wider world?
Well, firstly it’ll mean I will be in a position to blog a lot more regularly. I’m looking forward to exploring once again all things local government and sharing my thoughts and opinions, even if the only outcome of that is to start a debate as to why others may disagree with me. I may find myself drawn more towards digital subjects, but that was ever the case as this is the world which fascinates me.
Secondly, I wanted to be honest, open and unambiguous about what I was doing. I want to keep blogging about the sector because, despite me sort-of-moving out of it I still firmly believe in it and the work local government does. This will be from as informed a position as possible, and will open up the opportunity to look at things from that outside perspective which may throw up some interesting angles. I will not be using this blog as a platform for selling the services of my new employer or any other organisation out there, though I make no apologies for referring to best practice wherever I see it (and am of course always happy to talk through all the things I am working on with anyone interested).
Finally, I wanted to share it because for me it is not a goodbye to local government. I, like many other people who have left the sector, will actually not be leaving it behind. In this day and age of spin-outs, community interest companies and a whole host of different organisational set-ups it almost doesn’t matter who it is that pays the wages; all that matters is that there are more ways than ever before for people to keep working hard to improve the services delivered to people, wherever they are.
I’m lucky enough to have found a brilliant company that believes that they are able to help councils improve the digital tools available to them and the websites which are so important to get right, and can’t wait to get started. Fingers crossed, this is the start of something very exciting indeed, and I hope to share as much of the journey with you all as I can.
Oh, and if any of you happen to be in the Victoria area and wanted to catch up and compare notes mid-June onwards, get in touch!