#Blogtober: My first experience of the NHS and OD

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25 / 10 / 2014 12.01am

By Alex Shepherd

#Blogtober Day: Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 October

I started with the NHS, like many others I am sure, as an agency worker.  A three week role eventually turned into me applying for a permanent role within our OD team, and I am now excited by the idea of working here even longer!

Why?

Despite my colourful job history, I could certainly never be called a quitter, especially when it comes to a challenge!  And challenge it was; I was joining a sector I had no previous knowledge or experience of (what does NHS restructure even mean?),  and I previously didn’t know what OD was.   

This does not sound like a recipe for success, but luckily, I have a passion for learning, and once the three week role turned into me becoming a permanent addition to our OD team, I had to learn fast! 

My learning began with the 2013 NHS restructure.  This gave me some before and after, and it turned out that I was working for an organisation that had not been alive for much longer than my own employment within it.  The fact that this organisation had brought together numerous people from what were the primary care trusts, along with other areas, understandably many processes and practices were fragmented.  As a new growing organisation, many new employees were  joining us, and there wasn't a corporate induction process to welcome them.  This was my first task; what better place to start for someone as new as myself with so much to learn?

I knew how hard it was joining the unknown.  Even with background research, which we all should do before starting a new job, how much can you really know about an organisation that is in its infancy before you join it?  And if you’re new to the NHS, where can you even start to understand your place within it?

I drew on my own experiences, of all of the inductions I had ever attended, and on my own feelings of entering an unknown entity, along with expertise from my new colleagues, to compile the suitable content and structure that any new employee would need.  No matter what grade, role or previous experience of the NHS, it needed to be relevant and inclusive for all.  For a new organisation, it was essential to ensure that all new recruits were receiving the same valuable corporate messages, so that we would all work together, from the same page, and grow!
I learned more about the NHS within a few weeks than I had ever known in my life.  I learned so much about the organisation; who’s who and what we do, that some members of my team now look to me as the ‘go to’ person for information about us as an organisation. 

But mainly, I learned about what makes me and others tick when starting a new job.  It’s that sense of empowerment that knowing the bigger picture gives you.  It’s sharing and believing in a set of values, and knowing that what you do matters, as we are all one team!

It is these things that have made me stay in the NHS, and I can’t wait to have so much more to blog about in the future!

Alex discovered what it is like to work in OD and in the NHS a year ago – the variety and change that this brought is what has made her stay and want to learn so much more. Alex can be contacted via twitter @AShep987 or email address.

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