Today is a historic day as it is my first day starting my job as a civil servant in the energy industry. In my whole career lifespan, I had always been in the private sector. My last job was in the dimension stone industry working as a so called Senior Business Development Manager (it’s a mouthful so I decided to call it SBDM for short) was not so fulfilling, partly because of a commitment issue by the directors and shareholders, but that is a blog post for another day.
My new office is gorgeous to say the least. It is not a skyscraper by any means but a cozy 7 floored building with a rooftop garden, rain catchment tanks and solar panels. It comes equipped with the standard facilities like clean bathrooms (this is a must for me, if it is not clean it is not a proper bathroom), meeting rooms, pantries, dining hall and a little theater for seminars, not movies I was told during the orientation tour, although I prefer the latter. The building itself is shaped just like a diamond, with the lowest floor being the smallest and the highest floor being the largest in floor space, hence the dining room, boardroom, top executive officers and theater is on the top floor. I will be writing another post on the building later.
The office space setup is conservative, unlike modern offices which has a so-called open concept where everyone is sitting together. I was given a private cubicle, partitioned almost like a small room with one open end and equipped with a bookshelf, closet, store cupboard, L-shaped desk, 3 chairs (all from Diethelm I think; I don’t want to bang my head under my desk just to check out its brand), a PC and a telephone. Personally, I never believed in open concept offices. For one, I will never be able to focus on work and second, I don’t fancy people poking around my things.
While waiting for IT to setup my email and login credentials, I started making friends all around. They are all wonderful people and ever ready willing to help. My superiors are kind to me too and I really appreciate that very much. I am still trying to get use to the new environment since I had been out of work for almost a year. But all in all I feel that I am able to get use to it.
I am pleasantly surprised as I studied my new surroundings. From the external, most of us (I won’t say all) tend to judge the efficiency, language proficiency and honesty of civil servants based on a few viral videos on social media. In actual fact our government departments have one of the most efficient filing systems I had ever seen. There are almost zero cases of missing documents and everything is in their proper places. Processes implemented are meticulous to say the least and there are clear signs on “zero gift policy” from outsiders. All of them can speak and write quite well too. The organization has a vision and a mission, of which are being regarded with pride and perseverance.
I am posted to the Strategic Publications Unit under the Strategic Planning and Communications Department. I have zero publication experience, so I have to learn as I go along. I am sure I will be able to get all the help and guidance from my new colleagues.
I will take a deep breath and welcome my new beginning with an open mind.