Being the newbie at Future First Global…
My first 90 days… And it feels like I’ve been here forever! Which is definitely a positive thing! On Monday, it will be exactly three months since I arrived for my first day as Programme Officer for Future First Global. As with so many things, it feels both like yesterday, and forever ago. And as with any new job, there’s the excitement, apprehension, and nerves. Tied up in the new job there was also, for me, the broader life change of moving away from Bristol, where I’m from originally and where I had been living and working for the past two years. I’d panic moved down to London the weekend before I started, so the whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind.
It soon became clear it was going to stay that way, and that as a small charity I was going to be getting my hands dirty straight away.
Being thrown in at the deep end and feeling like a part of the team has been one of the things I’ve valued the most. From the solo call on my second day with a campaign partner who it turned out only spoke French (I don’t) and the subsequent check of my CV to confirm I hadn’t overplayed my French GCSE, to the fourth week trip out to Kenya for a team strategy week where I found myself building a five-year strategy with the rest of the team. I can certainly highly recommend spending a week living together an apartment in East Africa as a team building exercise.
There have been things I’ve stared at blankly and thought ‘where on earth do I start with this’ and things I’ve looked at and thought ‘bring it on’. Sometimes they are they are the same piece of work.
Since arriving, I’ve coordinated our global campaign Back to School Week, and begun to plan our long-term follow up Go Back, Give Back, talking with partners across the world to support them to deliver a campaign that works in their context. I’ve also supported on some of the consultancy work we are doing with organisations such as UK social work charity Frontline, and the Educaid network of schools in Sierra Leone. Due to the nature of being a small team I’m also doing things I wouldn’t normally, such as looking at IT systems (which has been a very steep learning curve) and social media management, which as someone who frequently gets notifications from Facebook telling me ‘you haven’t posted in a while’ has been somewhat intimidating.
New things get thrown at us every week. Therefore, I have to confess it’s been quite hard to nail down when people have asked ‘so what’s your new job?’
I have though started to be able to nail down what I get energy from in a job: variety; momentum and movement within an organisation and its work; working collaboratively; and being trusted and valued as a member of the team. I’ve certainly found all of those here, even if sometimes results in there being elements of the manic.
Most of all, moving jobs to Future First Global definitely bears out my previous experience: that in the non-profit sector, people really love, and deeply care about the work that they do. That, for me, makes for a working environment where you can forgive a little bit of chaos, and maybe even relish it.