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ckn

Career change

68 posts in this topic

Buy do you see? Do you?

Ps Said boy is well, and has had a career change. I won't post details but he's a happier pirate.

 

Just so long as he remains an Urban Dandy.

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15 years ago I was trudging along in a (at the time) steady, secure, but ultimately dull and ill paid job as manager of a stationary wholesalers. I knew I wanted more from my work life but didn't know exactly what. We had recently had a new computer system installed which I became heavily involved in and came to the realisation that I may have the aptitude for IT type work. However I left school with no qualifications (I left school at Easter and had to take time off work to go back into school to take my exams, so no real surprise that I didn't do too well :rolleyes:) so I needed to get onto the qualification ladder. Luckily my local college ran an access to higher education in IT course that gave you the equivalent of the necessary A levels in one year. So I packed in my steady, dull job and went back to school at the age of 38. I passed the access course with flying colours and managed to gain a place at the university of my choice,  Liverpool John Moores. There I did a sandwich course in computer studies and it was while on my placement year I got into my current career as a business intelligence consultant working at Heinz in Wigan. Once I left university I struggled to find work, but eventually managed to get regular work as a contractor, the contract market was pretty healthy at the time. Eventually I was headhunted by my current employer.

 

Jumping career was the best move of my life, even though I was pushing 40 at the time.

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15 years ago I was trudging along in a (at the time) steady, secure, but ultimately dull and ill paid job as manager of a stationary wholesalers.

which firm?

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the one David Brent worked for? :D

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which firm?

 

Probably one you've never heard of, it being a local family run place. AEC Supplies, Formby. Sadly they went bust earlier this year. I say sadly, I mean that for those who worked there; I have little sympathy for the bloke who owned it. He was very dismissive and ungracious when I handed in my notice, saying my move would amount to nothing. Since then I've worked all over the country, and occasionally in Europe for a wide variety of clients. Oh, and I now pay more in tax each month than the 'wage' they paid me.

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15 years ago I was trudging along in a (at the time) steady, secure, but ultimately dull and ill paid job as manager of a stationary wholesalers.

Was it not going anywhere?

Sorry, I'll get my coat.

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Was it not going anywhere?

Sorry, I'll get my coat.

There was a wholesaler that used a slogan along those lines...,

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There was a wholesaler that used a slogan along those lines...,

Was there a big market in selling holes?

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Made redundant from the private sector manufacturing and chemical industry at 38. Went into school teaching. Love the jjob and the clients, hate the paper work, the holidays are good but in summer a little too long. There used to be a Spunk Trumpet on here who said how easy teachers have it. Having had 16 years in one and 9 years in the other sector, I know by far what is the hardest, but most fulfilling.

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Made redundant from the private sector manufacturing and chemical industry at 38. Went into school teaching. Love the jjob and the clients, hate the paper work, the holidays are good but in summer a little too long. There used to be a Spunk Trumpet on here who said how easy teachers have it. Having had 16 years in one and 9 years in the other sector, I know by far what is the hardest, but most fulfilling.

 

Spunk Trumpet! An apt description in some cases. :shout:

 

Also like the description "clients". :)

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Well... I suppose an update to this one is in order now.  After a few months of negotiation, contractual stuff and scope setting, I'm starting my nice new role in the NHS on Monday.  Well under half my normal day rate plus a no-expenses contract helping them move to the new reorganised structure.  In summary, they're getting someone who has done this job for years in some of the biggest, nastiest and ugliest companies in the world, delivering everything on time, on budget and to the right scope for the rate of a very inexperienced and very junior project manager.

 

I decided to stop complaining about public sector maladministration from the outside by putting myself into the firing line and try to do the bloody thing properly, seeing if it's the people in the system or just the whole system that's broken.  I was specifically brought in because I had no NHS experience, I think that says enough as it is, all of those with NHS experience were binned in the first round.

 

The big positive for me is that it cuts my commute to 30 minutes each way from my typical 2.5 hours each way for London work.  4 hours of my life back from my working day is worth every penny of the reduced rate.

 

So.. that's it for my consultancy business and private sector work for a while.  Who knows, if I like it I may just close down that part of my business.  It won't be missed.

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Good luck. I had worked in electronics and instrumentation for, up to my decision to quit, all my working life. I put my hand up and volunteered to take redundancy without a plan in mind as to what to do. I was sick of all the travel, going to japan for one day and then flying back the next day was the one that I think did it.

 

I then  finished up in local government doing something I am really interested in, writing software. 1 mile to work and back and very little other travel, less money, more relaxed. Its worth it.

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Well... I suppose an update to this one is in order now.  After a few months of negotiation, contractual stuff and scope setting, I'm starting my nice new role in the NHS on Monday.  Well under half my normal day rate plus a no-expenses contract helping them move to the new reorganised structure.  In summary, they're getting someone who has done this job for years in some of the biggest, nastiest and ugliest companies in the world, delivering everything on time, on budget and to the right scope for the rate of a very inexperienced and very junior project manager.

 

I decided to stop complaining about public sector maladministration from the outside by putting myself into the firing line and try to do the bloody thing properly, seeing if it's the people in the system or just the whole system that's broken.  I was specifically brought in because I had no NHS experience, I think that says enough as it is, all of those with NHS experience were binned in the first round.

 

The big positive for me is that it cuts my commute to 30 minutes each way from my typical 2.5 hours each way for London work.  4 hours of my life back from my working day is worth every penny of the reduced rate.

 

So.. that's it for my consultancy business and private sector work for a while.  Who knows, if I like it I may just close down that part of my business.  It won't be missed.

 

Good luck, I've got lots of friends working in the NHS and I think they are all in need of some good news and 'positive change'.

 

 

May the Force be with you....

 

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Well... I suppose an update to this one is in order now.  After a few months of negotiation, contractual stuff and scope setting, I'm starting my nice new role in the NHS on Monday.  Well under half my normal day rate plus a no-expenses contract helping them move to the new reorganised structure.  In summary, they're getting someone who has done this job for years in some of the biggest, nastiest and ugliest companies in the world, delivering everything on time, on budget and to the right scope for the rate of a very inexperienced and very junior project manager.

 

I decided to stop complaining about public sector maladministration from the outside by putting myself into the firing line and try to do the bloody thing properly, seeing if it's the people in the system or just the whole system that's broken.  I was specifically brought in because I had no NHS experience, I think that says enough as it is, all of those with NHS experience were binned in the first round.

 

The big positive for me is that it cuts my commute to 30 minutes each way from my typical 2.5 hours each way for London work.  4 hours of my life back from my working day is worth every penny of the reduced rate.

 

So.. that's it for my consultancy business and private sector work for a while.  Who knows, if I like it I may just close down that part of my business.  It won't be missed.

Good luck and hope it goes well.

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Well... I suppose an update to this one is in order now.  After a few months of negotiation, contractual stuff and scope setting, I'm starting my nice new role in the NHS on Monday.  Well under half my normal day rate plus a no-expenses contract helping them move to the new reorganised structure.  In summary, they're getting someone who has done this job for years in some of the biggest, nastiest and ugliest companies in the world, delivering everything on time, on budget and to the right scope for the rate of a very inexperienced and very junior project manager.

 

I decided to stop complaining about public sector maladministration from the outside by putting myself into the firing line and try to do the bloody thing properly, seeing if it's the people in the system or just the whole system that's broken.  I was specifically brought in because I had no NHS experience, I think that says enough as it is, all of those with NHS experience were binned in the first round.

 

The big positive for me is that it cuts my commute to 30 minutes each way from my typical 2.5 hours each way for London work.  4 hours of my life back from my working day is worth every penny of the reduced rate.

 

So.. that's it for my consultancy business and private sector work for a while.  Who knows, if I like it I may just close down that part of my business.  It won't be missed.

Good luck with it mate

I know you won't regret it

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Best of luck, Craig, and I hope that, when you finish,  you can feel that you have made a difference.

 

Try not to be too upset when your prgramme is hampered by bone idleness and incompetence in some of the admin staff ... the public services are a magnet for those types.

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I now understand why many people get ground under by the system in the NHS.  One week in and I see otherwise good people churned around so much by that system until they just hang on to their job causing as few ripples as possible.  One lady working for me has had to reapply for her job and had her job changed so many times that she's not had the same job description for more than six months out of the last decade or so.  She has been offered voluntary redundancy 15 times in the last decade because of changes to her job description or role reorganisation.

 

It's like a child's play toy.  Idiot politician or very senior manager has an idea while on the toilet then implements that idea immediately without thought to consequences.  Then there's the clinical staff, they hold so much power that if they chose to disband all the IT systems and use chalk and slate then that's what'd happen, they have utterly unfettered power in many areas outside their experience.  Then there's the major reorganisations that have left some areas with too much money to spend and no idea what to do with it other that "must spend or lose it next year" while other areas, especially some of the narrower remit legacy trusts such as mental health, have been left with just enough money to barely pay for their staff, never mind other ongoing costs.

 

The fixer in me could easily come up with hundreds of ways to make this better but very few of them sound good from a politician's perspective.  For example, many of the "targets" I've seen so far are all about managers and politicians looking good rather than actually delivering better service to patients.  As it stands, one week in, if I had to make one top-down choice, it would be on new initiatives "Does this make providing service to patients easier?  If not then it's rejected."  A very simple example, their IT helpdesk staff have a target of a maximum time on a call, this was brought in so that they can answer more calls in a day, but what if you have a doctor struggling to get a poorly implemented clinical system working that's essential to their day job, should they be cut off after 5 minutes with a tick in the box of "call answered" rather than "problem resolved"?  If it takes 30 minutes to resolve a call then that's what it takes, but then the fact that it took 30 minutes should flag up either a fault in the overall system causing the problem or a training need for that doctor rather than simply concentrating on the impact on the helpdesk.

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Then there's the clinical staff, they hold so much power that if they chose to disband all the IT systems and use chalk and slate then that's what'd happen, they have utterly unfettered power in many areas outside their experience.  

 

I work for one of their professional organisations.  The arrogance is staggering.  I have been in a meeting where one said the following word for word, "I've just done a fifteen hour shift where I saved a man's life so I know how to draft a contract."

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I work for one of their professional organisations. The arrogance is staggering. I have been in a meeting where one said the following word for word, "I've just done a fifteen hour shift where I saved a man's life so I know how to draft a contract."

Absolutely, the mantra knocking health service managers has been a populist one for years, but entirely stupid.

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Absolutely, the mantra knocking health service managers has been a populist one for years, but entirely stupid.

Not entirely.  I had one meeting this week with one manager who told me I had to spend a set pot of money before April or it would be handed back, my immediate view was "OK, hand it back then as I don't need to spend until maybe June or July and I have budget for that".  You'd think I'd suggested we run round the building naked, in January, going by the shocked looks on some of the faces in the meeting.  I think there's a lot of very entrenched views that would see these people sacked in very short order if in a well run commercial organisation.

 

There are other very good managers who I see clearly fighting to do things properly but they just mark themselves out as "not the right culture" and don't get on very well.

 

I think I need to do a lot of thinking on how I can help with this.  I'm hoping it's not blind arrogance in my intentions to change things for the better!

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I expect that are boundaries and restrictions on what you can do, a framework to work within, just as anywhere and in  sense you can only do what you can do.  

 

The "mantra" of knocking health service managers can't be entirely wromng, either  but I suspect that it is just a subset of the failings there can be in middle management everywhere...nor personal failings but structural failings in the role - another version of the squeezed middle.

 

more after  tea!

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I work for one of their professional organisations.  The arrogance is staggering.  I have been in a meeting where one said the following word for word, "I've just done a fifteen hour shift where I saved a man's life so I know how to draft a contract."

 

Fugg me!

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Not entirely.  I had one meeting this week with one manager who told me I had to spend a set pot of money before April or it would be handed back, my immediate view was "OK, hand it back then as I don't need to spend until maybe June or July and I have budget for that".  You'd think I'd suggested we run round the building naked, in January, going by the shocked looks on some of the faces in the meeting.  I think there's a lot of very entrenched views that would see these people sacked in very short order if in a well run commercial organisation.

 

There are other very good managers who I see clearly fighting to do things properly but they just mark themselves out as "not the right culture" and don't get on very well.

 

I think I need to do a lot of thinking on how I can help with this.  I'm hoping it's not blind arrogance in my intentions to change things for the better!

 

I wish you well in your efforts to change the management culture. I hope you have the power to influence decision-making at a high enough level for your way to prevail. The problem with the "hand it back" attitude was that you handed it back this year and your budget for next year was then reduced as well because you obviously didn't need it.

 

As I said, "Good luck!" Those attitudes do need to be changed.

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ckn, reading what you have had to say, makes me realise, somehow, the NHS has to be free of being a political football. Until such time, it will continue to be a political pawn, being manipulated by those who not only don't understand the NHS, but in all probability, don't use it, whilst those who at the sharp end, both patients and employees, continue to suffer their consequences.

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