https://pds.blog.parliament.uk/2017/08/18/learning-to-swim-at-parliament/

Learning to swim at Parliament

Do you remember that warning you got when you left primary school and went to big school? Moving from a little pond to a massive ocean but still the same sized fish?

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I can remember being excited and anticipating the good times ahead, but also very scared. Fast forward a few years and I felt the same way when I moved from working in an organisation of just five people to working for Parliament.

I’ve now been working as a content designer at PDS for a couple of months. After the first few weeks wondering what on earth was going on (and why did I have to go to so many inductions), I’m finally getting my head around working in a place with so many other people and teams.

Some days I really do miss working somewhere small

There’s definitely something nice about working in a small organisation. You get to know your team really well and you’re all very close. Most of the time, I knew what my colleagues were up to each day, doing at the weekend and were planning on having for dinner that night.

You can also get things done faster because your focus is so much smaller. If you have an idea about something, it’s likely that later that day you'll be making it happen. If you don’t, no one else will.

You also feel you have real ownership over the direction of the organisation. It’s nice to be able to see your ideas influence the strategy in a clear and obvious way.

But now I’m somewhere big, I love that too

One thing I really enjoy about working somewhere bigger is that there’s much more of a collaborative culture. That's especially true working in the content team at Parliament. You get to bounce ideas off other people who are all able to give you feedback and shape your plan of action. Your team members are all experts and it means you don’t ever feel alone in what you’re working on. A problem shared and all that.

Another great thing is that you feel like you’re constantly learning. And you’re learning about a massive amount of stuff. You’re learning about your role, Parliamentary procedure, what all sorts of old English words mean and what different MPs like to drink when you see them in the bar after work.

You also get the opportunity to see and do loads of different things. You meet so many people doing different jobs (now I see the benefits of all those inductions). You also get to do cool things. For example, I’ve visited the education centre and pretended to be a kid for an hour, went on a guided tour around the building and later on this year I’m going to see Hansard do a turn.

One of the best things has to be the wonder of Parliament because working somewhere big means you can go to some big and pretty amazing places. On my first day, my line manager took me around the Palace and I couldn’t stop thinking – this fish doesn’t mind this ocean!

* Featured image by amg1994 using Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

Interested in working at Parliament? Find out more about working in PDS

1 comment

  1. Paul Lappin

    Nice blog entry and a good reminder we all come from very different backgrounds. I came from a IT team of one when a I joined Parliament but the team I joined was much smaller than PDS now is back in 1997.

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