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A new recruit to BEIS writes…
“Following the unexpected opportunity 3 years ago to take a redundancy package from my oil and gas company employer of 24 years, I found myself with the prospect of ‘needing something to do’ at (what I continually told myself was) the young age of 57. I felt I had ‘done’ the oil and gas business and felt no desire to do the same thing in another oil company. My wife agreed that I was not ready to be at home (“married for love not for lunch”).
Two thoughts for a change in career came to mind A) Becoming a Secondary School Science Teacher and B) Working on Brexit. Both of these satisfied my desire to do something I was interested in, would expose me to new experiences and allow me to be outside my comfort zone. I also thought that my experience and mindset would suit me well for both. I investigated both. I wrote to the Departments of International Trade and EU Exit requesting a Brexit job, and copying my CV. I received a standard letter referring me to the Civil Service Website and to keep an eye out for suitable jobs.
After seeing an advert with the Department of Education for teachers, I enquired and was encouraged(badgered?) to apply. To cut a long story short, I was accepted at Sussex University to train to be a Science Teacher. After 16 months, I qualified with a PGCE (with merit), but one year further on sadly realised that teaching was too stressful and time-consuming for me. Respect to all teachers everywhere!
Still wanting to contribute, I followed up on plan B), and applied for 4 jobs being advertised on the Civil Service website in BEIS, DExEU and DIT. These were very varied, but I went on what looked interesting and (having no knowledge of Civil Service titles) used salary as a guide for what was likely to be appropriate. Following one panel interview, I was offered a Grade 7 position. Following a short allocation process here I am!
What is interesting to me is the observations that I have noticed from discussions with friends and colleagues outside the Civil Service.
A few weeks ago I attended a seminar in the Conference Centre talking about one of the key Strategic focal points, namely Aging. The presentation began with a slide on how future career paths may look. I strongly feel that late life career changes will become more of the norm, as people look to be useful and do fulfilling work after their main careers may be over.”
After 5 months in my role as a manager in BEIS EU Exit Planning, I feel that I have become well integrated into the BEIS family. It took a little while to become accustomed to the way that the Civil Service operates (there are lots of acronyms!) but I now feel like part of the furniture. The work is challenging, varied and absolutely fascinating. I find that my life experience and opinions are valued and appreciated. There is no doubt that I feel that I have ended up in the right place, and that this is the start of an exciting new career.
Written by Anthony Phillips.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy