I’ve always been a morning person. Coffee, breakfast, jump on the bike or on the train, and get going for the day ahead. Partly this is due to the way I was brought up, and partly reflecting the energy of some of the inspiring people I have worked with in the past 15 years.

Since joining Helpful I’m even more of a morning person. I am generally pretty excited about getting on with a to-do list that never seems to get any shorter, but is packed full of interesting and varied work. Mixing the challenges of growing a small business, winning new work and delivering projects (training, web builds and strategic support) seems a pretty perfect mix of activities to me.

It isn’t without challenges though. I’m on a steep learning curve when it comes to project management, having spent five years dealing with work that has either felt very reactive, or extremely drawn out. None of our projects come with the luxury of protracted timescales, or rarely with the immediacy of ‘just get it done’ – clients want to be involved, and make decisions. Honestly: I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In fact, the pipeline of new work has been so full at times that we’ve made some tough choices about only working with clients who want to be involved and learn. Providing endless routine support or maintenance to organisations that don’t really care about their own capability isn’t a business I or any of my colleagues want to be in.

A new job is also a great time to make some tweaks to working habits too. I’m working even less in email than ever before, which is brilliant for me and probably frustrating for everyone else. The Business is GREAT itch finally won and I bought a Brompton. London has opened up for me in a way I never thought possible. I’m a little more fit and much of the aggravation of public transport has gone. And with such a mix of sectors and types of project each day, my reading has changed for the better. I can dip in and out of the echo chambers of old, while freeing up time to find out how digital works in all sorts of other organisations and territories.Scotrail sleeper from a moving window

Crucially, as well as learning a lot, I also feel able to apply lots of experience and put a few old ghosts to rest too. In particular, digital in press office. More on that another time.

Finally, I couldn’t write about my first six months at Helpful without mentioning the sleeper train. We’ve been working in Scotland at various times and used the sleeper to make the most of busy schedules. I am a total convert to the faded glamour and practicality. Rubbery egg and Euston station never seemed so appealing as they do now.

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/simonvarwell/