I’m conscious that I’ve not written anything here for many months since I signed on the dotted line to join my current employer, a global investment bank in Birmingham. Initially things were just too busy and more recently I’ve not known what to write, but with a new year comes a renewed enthusiasm for picking up habits which have lapsed and a motivation to start writing.
The new job has been going well and I’ve learnt an awful lot in the past 7 months or so. I’m enjoying working in a truly global team, perhaps spending more time on the phone working with colleagues in Frankfurt than I do talking to those sat next to me here in Birmingham. I’ve enjoyed my visits to Germany too and have been brushing up on my basic German, although I’m still not confident enough to use it on my colleagues. I do enjoy listening to them though and trying to work out what they are saying. It has also been interesting to learn about some of the more quirky aspects of German employment law. Last summer, shortly after I joined, I spent 5 weeks delivering training to our 2015 Global Graduate class, which was an amazing experience and I am looking forward to doing the same again this year when the next cohort joins.
As with many things in life, often things don’t always turn out as you expect and my initial plan to relocate permanently to the West Midlands is one of those things. Not long after I started my new role, my partner got promoted in his job in the North West, which was a great opportunity for him and one he could not turn down. Unfortunately for me, he is really loving the new challenge, so for now the plans to relocate are on hold. That means I’m dividing my time between Birmingham (where I work), Wolverhampton (where I sleep Mon-Thurs) and Cheshire (where I spend weekends) and am very well acquainted with both the M6 Motorway and Birmingham New Street station. It isn’t an ideal situation, but it works for now. The mother-in-law is looking after the dog quite a bit, as well as feeding and housing me during the week. Surprisingly the biggest challenge isn’t getting back and forth between the West Midlands and Cheshire, but actually the commute between Wolves and Birmingham during the week can be somewhat frustrating. Considering it is not far at all, it takes much longer than you would expect and I am fed up of getting stuck five minutes out of New Street Station!
One other thing I am missing is the Manchester CIPD community, in particular the Public Policy Panel. I’m never around during the week to attend Manchester branch events and I’ve not managed to make it to any Birmingham or Black Country CIPD events yet, although I do hope to change that this year. I also miss the L&D Connect community as I am less able to get on twitter than I was before (all social media is blocked at work and I also have less time), but I do try to catch up on social media on the train and also try to check into the #LDinsight chats during my Friday morning commute. I read a lot more than I manage to post, so apologies for lack of comments/responses/retweets – that doesn’t mean your content is not appreciated!
To update you all on one of last year’s resolutions – the piano learning didn’t quite go to plan either. I was improving right up until I started working away from home and then since then I’ve barely touched the keys. When I did play a few times over Christmas I was frustrated I was nearly back to where I was a year before. I know I need to start practising again, but it is harder to pick up than blogging when you are in a different place to the piano. At least if I have internet access I’ll never be in a different place to my blog! So for now this is on hold – maybe next year will be the year I learn to play properly with two hands.