Corporate objectives can be one of those mysteries when you get started in the Civil Service: you don’t really know what they mean, how you get one and what you should do with them. Luckily the Fast Stream sorts this one out for you in the beginning – on top of being thrown into a new working environment, a new job and learning how to navigate through the complexities of a Government department, you get a challenge to raise money for charity in your first six months. While all of this can feel like a bit much, I hugely enjoyed the Fund and believe corporate objectives are a fantastic opportunity that the Civil Service gives its employees. Without further ado: a rough guide on how you can make the most out of you first experience – the Fund.
- Get passionate!
This will now probably sound terribly cheesy, but I think what really makes the difference – be it with the Fund or other corporate objectives – is that you put your efforts into something that you genuinely care about. For the Fund we worked together with the Social Mobility Foundation to give people from low income backgrounds access to learning and development opportunities. Just doing small things like providing mentoring or organising insight days at work is incredibly rewarding, especially if you see how much this can make a difference to somebody else. As a consequence, this is something that has genuinely fascinated me and I am still mentoring and doing career support with SMF.
- Put some time aside for your corporate objective – every week
This is probably one of the most important bits and while sympathetic line managers are incredibly important, you can make life easier for both them and yourselves by blocking out some time for your corporate objective. This allows you to get some small bits and bobs done, but also raises awareness with your manager and will them make more receptive once something bigger comes up and you might want to take your day of for voluntary work (remember: every year you get some days of for volunteering). Don’t feel bad about working on your corporate objective during working hours or, even worse, decide to do it in your free time or on the weekend – it will only nurture frustration about something that you should enjoy.
- Enjoy it and do some crazy stuff!
The best thing about corporate objectives and the fund is that you are absolutely free in what and how you want to do this. Just take a moment and think: How great is it that your employer not only allows you to do some good, but also gives you the choice how you want to do it? And yes, that definitely means that you should do some crazy and fun stuff. Be it base jumping, organising a dance off or do something challenging – everything can be done for charity. I myself ran a half-marathon with a colleague – but with a hook: we decided to auction off our running costume. It wasn’t a particularly great idea as we ended up in a penguin and polar bear suit. Yes it was hot, yes it was a bad idea in hindsight – but it was great fun. And we managed to raise good money and apparently got a honorary spot for our finishing photo in SMF’s office. That’s all I could have asked for.