My digital journey
I have a confession to make: I quite enjoy my job. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those people who raves about their work and is at their desk 18 hours a day. I still like going on holiday.
But I like my current job a whole lot better than the jobs I’ve had before. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz where she goes from black and white to colour. I’m in colour now.
What’s been troubling me is why: why do I like this job more than any other I’ve had?
Friday, where I work, designs and makes digital services, so more than half the people are software engineers, a mix of front-end, back-end and full-stack. The rest are UX designers, strategists, client partners and delivery managers, as you’d expect in a firm that’s a cross between management consultancy and digital service build.
But I’ve worked with techies before: I worked for an IT support provider. I’ve also worked for a consultancy-type business before in recruitment.
Friday is a relatively new company — six years old. But then I’ve worked for a start-up before too.
And from day-to-day I use not dissimilar skills at Friday to those I used in previous jobs — organisation skills mostly, making sure things get done on time and people know what they should be doing. I’m a delivery coordinator: I assist the delivery managers with diary management and the like. I’ve been working on a mini project with Cancer Research, one of Friday’s clients, to arrange all the user and stakeholder interviews and workshops. My aim is become a fully fledged delivery manager in 2016.
One of my previous jobs was paper-heavy: we spent one day a week just filing. I actually fell asleep in the filing room one day, I was so bored. Mind you, there are days at Friday when you can’t move for chart paper, diagrams and a blizzard of Post-it notes.
But I don’t get bored.
What makes the difference, then, is the people I work with. Yes, it’s still a techie environment, but the people are much more creative and interesting; they are less corporate and more relaxed. Where I’d worked before they had tried to be corporate — everyone wore suits everyday. That makes you behave in a certain way.
The people at Friday are much more diverse too: from different countries and different cultural backgrounds as well as different disciplines.
I wasn’t expecting Friday to be so warm, welcoming and friendly. I’d heard that digital agencies are full of people who think they are cool, people who are almost as clever as they think they are. That’s not how I regard myself. I didn’t expect to fit in. So I’ve been lucky to come into the agency world with Friday.
Don’t get me wrong: they are really bright people at Friday. Some of them are right brainboxes. But no one looks down at you if you haven’t been to the “right” university or you haven’t got a PhD.
Unlike other places I’ve worked, there’s no shouting or abusive behaviour. People at Friday get excited about what they do, but they deal with problems with maturity and humour. They like each other.
And the clients are nicer to us than they were to the IT support company. The clients tend to be more senior than people I’ve dealt with before. Consequently they show more respect: we are treated like trusted advisors, not like servants.
We in turn are more honest with clients. Before I was told what to say to clients, to bullshit them, but people can see through that.