An exciting element of the Fast Stream is the ability to move all around the country, experiencing new opportunities in both your work and personal life. There are incredible jobs available nationwide, the heart of Whitehall is not always found next store to Big Ben but in the hard working civil servants across the country.
I spent my first placement working for the Department of Work and Pensions in the North West visiting new places across the region, including Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. I was the Health and Well-being lead for the job centres within this region and was responsible for creating and implementing a strategy to increase the awareness and support for staff in these high pressure front facing environments.
During this time, I built and sustained a wonderful network of colleagues who continue to support my development and ambitions. I spent time learning from colleagues within these job centres, understanding how operational delivery works on the ground and the challenges and rewards of having a customer facing role. This has given me a greater appreciation for the importance of considering the implementation earlier in the policy process for sustainable results to work in reality and ensure that the civil service is a great place to work.
Since completing this role, I decided a change of scenery would be beneficial for both my career and personal development so I packed my bags and off to capital city I went. My first thoughts were why does everyone walk so fast and why are there so many coffee shops in Whitehall? Nearly 1 year later I still ponder these questions.
Moving to a new place is big and scary but ultimately develops you ability to deal with scenarios outside of the conventional work scenarios. It encourages you to embrace different opportunities, friends and experiences.
The fast stream provides you with so many opportunities to network and make new friends that wherever you will be based you will be supported. I now live with a fellow fast streamer I met on the 3 day induction and we have stayed close friends throughout my move back up North and our time in London.
Central and regional work are two very different experiences but both were equally important to my development. London centric work perhaps affords you more diverse networking opportunities, however regional work provides you with a greater appreciation for the range and detailed work that colleagues conduct across the country and how to integrate that into future policy making.
Often some of the most rewarding work happens outside of the Whitehall bubble and shouldn’t be dismissed because it is isn’t London based. If you get the opportunity, I would definitely take it!!