Can’t believe I’ve been at ARMA for 3 months. In some ways it feels a lot longer. Well, I was a Board member for 2 years, so that explains it. Except that when you’re a Board member, you think you know all there is to know about the organisation, but of course you don’t. You know the big picture and you know the headlines, because this is the stuff you discuss at Board meetings, but you don’t see in the Engine Room. You don’t think about all the planning, the prioritising, the tasks, the emails, the communications, much of which is passed off as ‘business as usual’ – the sheer activity that needs to go on, in order to generate the headlines for the Board.
At the start, it was a series of transactions and snippets, jigsaw pieces that appeared to belong to different jigsaw puzzles (back to that again), none of which came in a box with a picture on the front. Accompanied by the confidence wobble – was this a big mistake? Will I ever ‘get it’. Should I have done ‘something else’? But you stick at it, you start to absorb, the bits start to fit together, the fog on the pitch lifts to reveal the goalposts and you find out where you are.
Your team help you through, and mine certainly have. You realise that you are not the only ‘new boy’ or ‘girl’ on the planet and that everyday, every day, someone is starting down that pathway of uncertainty and the unknown.
I’ve still got so much to learn. I’m frustrated that I’m not getting through my work fast enough – my to-do list appears to have a life of its own and I’m wondering if I’ll ever manage to do this as a 4 days per week job, and some days, I’m completely exhausted. But I’m loving it! I’ve joined a wonderful organisation with marvellous members, who day-in, day-out, despite all that’s being thrown at them, are doing their bit to ensure that British research remains the best in the world, improving peoples lives. I’ve got a small but brilliant team of hard-working, committed people, who love doing what they do. We’re supported by a fantastic Board and committees with huge enthusiasm and commitment to make ARMA just the best membership organisation we can. This is some organisation, and I feel very privileged to be working for it.
It’s light years from what I was doing before, in so many ways. I wonder how the next 3 months will go…