It’s been hard work, but I’m glad that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and into a totally different area.
What did I learn?
1. Managing someone else’s time is very different to managing your own, even if you consider yourself to be fairly organised
2. A Government department is a big place. Working in a private office is a great way to explore it, and build contacts
3. Presentation is just as important as content
4. Digital has a lot to offer senior colleagues in their day-to-day work, but it will take time to become the norm
5. The true meaning of information overload. Like any large organisation, there’s just too much email, too much news and commentary, and not enough time to absorb it all and make it useful
6. The importance of a strong coffee in the morning
On a more positive note, I have had my eyes opened to lots more of the work that the Department does, and have a much better understanding of competing priorities, and where digital fits in this context.
It may be a while before I volunteer for something similar again, but in the meantime the experience has given me a lot to think about.