The main thing is that I’m doing a unique job that’s ultimately serving the public. It’s not just about working on important, interesting systems – although that’s obviously great – it’s really about being part of an organisation that’s making a difference.
Every day, the data I’m analysing has the potential to inform policy. That’s quite a responsibility. So I’m concentrating a lot more on the ‘so what?’ aspect – when you’re thinking ‘how might this information fit into the bigger picture?’.
The biggest challenge is that we’re working in a very technical organisation. I’ve had to learn a lot of theory and put it into practice very quickly. We’re talking about very specific skills that I couldn’t have picked up in a previous job or at university.
On top of that, there are quite a few acronyms and terminology to get used to. But the training courses for new entrants have been very valuable to understanding how the organisation works and where I fit in. It’s pretty sociable here too, which helps a lot.
I’d say a willingness to learn and be challenged is a total must if you’re to succeed here. You have to be self-motivating and to take the opportunities that you’re offered. There’s a surprising level of autonomy here, so it’s important to manage your own learning and working. In my role, I’ve got the opportunity to travel as well.