Changing jobs during a pandemic, just before Christmas, isn’t usually the best laid plan of mice and men. But for Jim Borland, Triangle’s Implementation Lead (Scotland), the opportunity to work at Triangle was too hard to resist…
“I saw the role of Implementation Lead as an opportunity to do something different and worthwhile, learn new skills and meet new people (albeit virtually), and help support others making big changes in their lives. That in turn would provide me with the motivation to look forward to each working day, instead of looking back with a degree of disappointment.”
When’s the best time to change jobs?
Just before Christmas probably isn’t an ideal time, especially in the midst of a pandemic. I expect a lot of people would be more inclined towards the status quo and not opening themselves up to any more potential risk, but that’s the time I happened to start working with the team behind the Outcomes Star.
Prior to this, I was in a stable, well-paid job that utilised my skills, with working hours and a flexibility around them that was good for the work / life balance. Nevertheless, everything was very much the same day after day. Looking back, the phrase ‘Ground hog Day’ springs to mind, as each day merged into one, and I was left at the end of it thinking, “What did I actually achieve?” Generally, the answer was “nothing” or “not a lot” and, whilst there was no pressure on me to do any more than I was, I found myself becoming really de-motivated and wanting to feel as if I was contributing more during my working day, rather than just being present. So, something needed to change.
Making that change
When I reflect on the past 40 odd years of my working life, a lot of career changes have happened around Christmas time. The opportunity to move to Triangle was no different in timing, so maybe it was fate telling me to move on and do something different. So that’s what I did!
It was fascinating to me when speaking to former colleagues before I left, that the most common statements said to me were – “I’m really sorry you’re leaving” and “I wish it were me”. I think that speaks volumes and if anything gave me some justification about my decision to move on.
I saw the role of Implementation Lead as an opportunity to do something different and worthwhile, learn new skills and meet new people (albeit virtually), and help support others making big changes in their lives. That in turn would provide me with the motivation to look forward to each working day, instead of looking back with a degree of disappointment.
Working with Triangle
After I started, the first thing that struck me was how welcoming everyone was and how willing they were to spend time with me to explain about their roles and their experiences (good and challenging) and help me to settle in and feel part of the team. I know that’s generally part of any induction, but for me, this felt very genuine and not just a thing that had to be done. I’ve never worked anywhere else, where everyone from the Directors down to staff on the ground (and everyone in-between) took the time to talk to me and welcome me to my new role.
That meant a lot to me and again, it’s interesting speaking to the other new members of the Triangle team who have felt the same about their own onboarding experience; I think it’s something that everyone should take a great deal of pride in.
As for my role, so far, it’s everything I thought it would be. It’s busy and at times challenging as I get to grips with new working practices and processes, especially the IT whilst working remotely!
But perhaps the biggest difference to how you would normally start a new job, is that this introduction to Triangle, and all the other meetings I’ve had since I started, have taken place remotely. That, is in no way strange due to the circumstances we find ourselves in. However, it does give me the opportunity of meeting people away from the traditional formal ‘face to face’ settings within an office. With our current ways of working, I get to see people in their natural environment, without any ‘professional’ trappings around them.
For me, being able to look past the person to see the art on their wall, what their workspace looks like, what’s out of their window and being able to speak to them when they’re sitting on a couch or at the kitchen table surrounded by their children and partners, rather than across an office table, gives me more of flavour of the ‘real’ person. In my opinion, that can only lead to more honest and open relationships, which in turn enhances the whole of the work experience.
As a result, this ‘positive’ impact of the pandemic, in causing us to change from the traditional working methods, has hopefully been beneficial and given us a better understanding of each other, rather than just a work ‘image’ of a colleague.
So, as I finish looking back over my first few months in my new job, I can honestly say I’m glad I made the move. It’s been a good start and provides a solid base from which I can build on.