It’s almost a year since I left JMU to come work for the council, so I’ve been in some what of a reflective mood for the last week, thinking about how it’s all changed and thinking back to what I’ve done over the last 12 months.
It’s been a roller-coaster of a year really, especially when you consider that I had my last job for 7 years and in the space of 12 months, I’ve had two gone from developer, to manager and next month will be acting up to head of service during a transition.
The first thing I think when I look back is how I so much needed to leave that job (JMU). All the years of fighting the system to do anything, being constantly restricted by both the academic and political environment in the institution meant that I really had a lot of self doubt about both my technical abilities and my ability to actually do an honest days work.
At the time I said and I didn’t realise how true it was to become, but I considered the Developer job in the council a side step, a way off the JMU treadmill, something to open up both my horizons and my opportunities for progression. Of-course even i didn’t envisage going for the management job within 6 months, but actually it turns out 6 months out of JMU was all it took to show me how stifling it had been.
I am loving my current job. I consider myself much more of a people person than a sitting in a dark room coding one (although I do enjoy getting my head down a knocking out code), and yes even I think that some-days I have more meetings than is healthy, but talking to people, solving problems and giving advice is a cool job to have*.
The other really bit change is in my confidence levels, as I’ve said JMU was somewhat stifling, but it knocked so much confidence out of me it’s untrue. 12 months ago I would have said that i was outspoken, alaways belived in what i said and would tell anyone who would listen, but really looking at my day to day routine now, and the types of things I do everyday. I was a doddering fool, who was unsure of most things, knew that change was never going to come of it, so sat on most things because it was the easy way to live.
I don’t want you to get the impression that JMU was all bad, or indeed that the council is all good. The people in JMU are great people, and I do miss some of the office banter and camaraderie. There are technical areas where JMU is/was streets ahead, and while I knew this at the time, moving to another organisation just proves it. The council like any 19,000 employee organisation has it’s politics and I would imagine after a few more years it will get to me in similar ways to the politics of JMU, and my desk is somewhat small and my PC slow 0 but at the moment I change jobs so often these things arn’t getting me down.
So in summary: goshIi love my new job and my old one was worse that I realised 12 months ago.
*there may be a little more to it than this, but these are the peopley bits I really enjoy