On Thursday I said farewell to my friends and colleagues at the Research Council and Monday I start my new role in Newport with the ONS.
I was sad to leave Swindon in the end – an element of this is probably ‘graduation goggles‘ but a bigger part is I was lucky enough to work with some genuinely lovely, talented and hard working people.
I stayed in the role 30 months – which I know doesn’t sound like much to most people but to me was virtually unheard of. The first year plus it was a dream job in many respects but unfortunately a combination of my taking on too much (and not delegating enough) and a particularly dysfunctional project I was drawn in to made the latter half of 2012 especially difficult and left me a bit broken by the Christmas period.
I won’t dwell on that though. When I started the organisation was still a little bit uncomfortable with embracing digital and in my own little way I like to think I have helped changed that over those two and a bit years.
The success of the blog, the Centenary website and the upcoming citizen science projects that will spin out of that, the experiments with the Annual Reviews – 1st with an early responsive site built in Ruby and then publishing ebooks for both Apple and Kindle, starting to take Twitter and Facebook more seriously as genuine channels, working with Wikimedia (which is continuing being led from outside the digital team), the use of WordPress and open source throughout the wider organisation (including for commentable documents and intranets) and the increased acknowledgement of the importance of analytics and data for decision making are all things I am proud of even if sometimes my involvement was peripheral.
My failure to deliver a new CMS and corporate website in that time however is beyond disappointing and will haunt me for a while I fear.
I’m confident the future of digital there is in safe hands though and just like I still do with Jisc I’ll continue to watch with interest in the months and years to come.
So Monday. I am excited and unusually nervous about this new role. It is a bigger role at a bigger organisation and while I’m pretty confident in my own abilities it is still quite daunting. Ever since I was offered the job I notice the ONS mentioned on every TV news story and in every newspaper – every. single. day.
It is undoubtably a wonderful opportunity though and after a long notice period I cannot wait to get started. Hopefully I will also return to regular blogging here as well now.