Parting is such sweet sorrow 


With only a few days of my 13 week notice period left, it’s really starting to hit me that I’ve made a choice to leave an organisation which I’m very fond of and a lot of people I’ve loved working with.  Even now I still care.  I want to make sure the new team are in as strong a position as possible to take over the reins and I want them to be set up for success.  I want to make sure that any projects or programmes of work that I’ve been involved in are left in a good shape and that I have done everything I can do to support them.

Some very lovely people have been saying some very nice things for the last few weeks and I won’t list them out because my head will swell unbelievably and I may not get out the doors of the building this evening.  

Beautiful flowers have begun to appear on my desk which yesterday made me tear up and I had to walk away to have a quiet moment.  I realise how fortunate I am to have such genuinely
lovely colleagues.

I’d always wondered what it meant to be ‘headhunted’, imagining it to be a privilege saved for the CEO’s of the world and others deemed to be much more important than I am.  Now I know it’s not that glamorous really, flattering yes, but not something only reserved for members of the Board.  It’s about an organisation tasking a professional with finding them the best possible candidates to fit a specialist role, that’s all.

Recruiters are in a constant state of alert – they have to be, it’s their job.  It’s a tough gig too so I tip my hat to them.  I couldn’t do it.  After a couple of years of being bombarded by dangled carrots, a very lovely lady reached out to me earlier this year and despite my initial reluctance (borne from bad experiences in the past) she began to warm me up to the idea of a new challenge.

In my ‘risk it for a biscuit’ type way I decided I had nothing to lose and besides no one could possibly want me on their leadership team, could they?  I carry round with me a not too secret pug fetish (which kind of applies to dogs and animals in general).  I spend significant portions of time laughing my head off at Youtube videos of Yoda singing about seagulls poking his head (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9t-slLl30Eor tearing up at old people who are given puppies as surprise presents.  PS4 man has me literally crying with laughter at silly filters he puts on Snapchat pictures of himself.  Who on earth would take me seriously?

Well, the answer to that is a well-known international bank (I know, doesn’t seem like an appropriate answer to the question really
does it?!).  After a whirlwind couple of weeks consisting of a telephone interview, a second interview via video conference to peers in different parts of the country and a final stakeholder interview with Canary Wharf – I was offered a Senior Vice Present
role.  I got the job.  Me.  Sweet mother of God.  I then spent time deliberating the right thing to do, for my team, The Co-op, PS4 man and finally for me. 

The fact that I wasn’t actively looking for something else made my interviews really enjoyable.  It was a chance to talk to likeminded people about the things that make me and my area of specialism tick.  To discuss all things data and the critical need for cultural change and winning hearts & minds. For the first time in my life I interviewed with no nerves and that probably meant they got the best of me.

This opportunity came at just the right time for me, as these things invariably do I find.  I’m ready for a new challenge and a different environment.  Having come from a Financial Services background, going back into banking feels a bit like coming home.  It’s a brand new team.  A chance to once again build something from the ground up.  There are adventures to be had in such far flung places as Coventry and India (ooooooh) which will make a pleasant change from the delights of the M61.  There’s a whole new culture to understand and different ways of working.  There will be ups and
downs and that’s par for the course, I’m ready for it.

But before I can go I have to negotiate my way through six leaving do’s, five of which I’m managed to negotiate down to lunches instead which I’m particularly delighted about given my new found sobriety.  The first of those do’s was last Thursdag, piggy backing onto a do for three other Co-op colleagues.  To say I’m proud of myself for consuming my two pints of diet coke (I didn’t know what else to drink) and leaving at 7pm despite protests from those around me, is an understatement.  There were some very sore heads around the office I’m sure, but mine wasn’t one of them.

Thank you to Hannah for opening my eyes to new opportunity.  Thank you to my current and past team members for always supporting me and for helping to embed a successful Data Governance function in an incredibly tough Retail environment.  And finally thank you to The Co-op as a whole who have opened up door after door for me.  It truly is a unique place to work and I’ve enjoyed (almost)
every minute of my five years in the business.  

So, all I have to do is make it to the end of the week and I can spend a week in the west coast of Ireland with family before embarking on my next challenge.  I was
12 years old the last time I was there so things will probably be very different indeed this time round.

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