Friday, 6 July 2012

A new job, a new start and a better foot?

I am happy to be able to announce today that I have a new job that will not require me to be on my feet. As I have made clear over the past few weeks it has been one of the hardest decisions of my life to give my a career in science, something I have been training for for nearly 7 years and that's without taking into account college. But as people who work in a science lab know the job can be very stressful on your feet and this is certainly something that I had to put up with in my job. The condition was manageable until recently when the pain just got too much and it seemed so stupid to be putting myself through that suffering when there are so many things that are more important in life. 

Luckily for me I have other interests which would likely lead to a job that is not only off of my feet but more secure in terms of day to day but also in the long term and would pay more from the start. This is the IT sector, going back to those A-Levels I mentioned I am happy to say that one of those was Computing and this coupled with my continued interest in computers, spreadsheets and programming, coupled with a 1st class result for my undergraduate degree meant I was a good candidate for graduate IT jobs that were looking for trainees. 

Now these jobs are probably not all that common but luckily for me one popped up in my local town, a job as a graduate IT analyst / programmer. Perfect for me, I had all of the attributes they were looking for and so I gave them my CV. From this I was very happy to hear that I had got through to the next stage which was an application form. This was quite long and detailed and I guess I must have filled it out really well because I got called out for a competency based interview. 

This interview was of course on their site, I was happy when I arrived to see how it was set up, it came across as much more mature and respectful that another interview I had been for which didn't strike me as the right set up from me but this place seemed really nice. Being me I arrived way to early and was left sitting in the waiting area but was called up and I was offered the lift and they seemed to recognise straight away that I might need help because of my foot but I didn't feel like they were judging me because of it. 

At this point the lady interviewing me offered me a drink and we sat down for what seemed like a friendly chat as much as an interview. I found her very easy to talk to and felt that she was finding the good, positive and transferable skills from what I was saying, we even got to talking and it came up how I got married recently and turns out she had her wedding reception in the same venue as we did. I think they liked the fact that I wanted to find a company to train me and where I could stay for a long time and they would feel the benefits of the training, so for once my lack of leaving the area and love for the area probably played into my hands. 

After this there was a bit of waiting until I found out I had been called back for an interview by my potential manager and a senior member of the team. I had to wait a couple of weeks for this interview and didn't know what to do with myself in this time. You see if I went onto the company site it was all about what they do and not what their programmers do as they work behind the scenes working on their internal systems. This meant that there was only so much I could teach myself about the company and I almost went into this second interview, the 4th stage, feeling very under prepared. 

Being me I again turned up early, only 10 minutes this time and I was called up basically straight away and was taken through to a different room from last time but I felt comfortable and was again offered a drink. This time it was 2 on 1 but I was just asked typically questions and how would I deal with certain situations. I was given a history of the company and an outline of the role and what to expect. I then asked loads of questions, I had come prepared and was genuinely interested in the position. We then again got into personal things and being married came up and where we went on honeymoon and then cricket was mentioned. I think my love of cricket came to my aid as well, the two interviewers were both very keen cricket followers and players and this got us into talking and before we knew it an hour had passed. Overall I felt that things went really well and I am going to enjoy working with people who like cricket, this is a far cry from where I work now where sport in general is pretty much ignored. 

Then came the wait, at the end I was told I would be contacted next week with the decision and  so I waited. I waited and I waited, By Friday I had pretty much lost hope and was resigned to sending them an e-mail on the Monday to confirm what I suspected, that I didn't have the job. Well I e-mailed them and they replied back that they were sorry for the delay but they ended up having an interview on Friday and need to see all candidates before making their choice but that one of their choices was me. I just needed to wait for them to draw up the contracts and contact me to go through the terms before I decided whether or not to accept. Well today I got those terms and was happy with them and therefore I have accepted and I am now looking forward to starting my training to become an IT analyst and programmer. 

I was so happy when I read the e-mail that I was going to be offered a position that I called my wife, texted my best mate and mother-in-law and was on the way to my parents so luckily I could tell them in person, Everyone was very happy for me, I now had a job which I could look to build a career in, off of my feet and hopefully staying local. The best thing was that of all of the jobs that I had found, of all of the jobs that I had applied for, of all of the companies that I had seen this was the one I wanted. Looking around when I was there I felt that I would fit in with the people and the company and feel that the job is great for me. I can't wait to start and I have just got to make the most of my few weeks off and of course I start the second week of radiotherapy on 16th July. I have now been informed that my contract is on the way and of the salary and start date and I am going to accept. What was even nicer was that in the e-mail they asked " are there any special considerations we need to look at for your desk/chair etc as we want you to be as comfortable as possible whilst at work. " How nice!

Thank you to everyone for your support through this hard time. People have given me the confidence to leave the PhD and realise that it was not just the right choice but it was the only choice and then also giving me the confidence to know that I can do these other jobs. To get offered the job on my first day off after leaving the other job was such a relief. Also thanks for the support people have given me on here, whether through a comment on one of the forums in support, a comment on here or agreeing to be interviewed on here it has all helped boost my confidence in my abilities and I will continue to make this blog as helpful and amazing as I can. Hopefully I can keep up to date and in touch with science through my endeavours on this blog and through my many friends who still work in the field.  

A happy day, a great day and a whole load of pressure off of my foot.