Where does the time go? Four months into my second posting and I’m already having discussions with line managers about my next placement! As it’s likely that some of you are receiving your Fast Stream offers at this point in time, I thought I’d talk a little bit about the variety of experiences you can get in different roles, and how you can tailor placements to fit your own development needs.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, working for the Welsh Government means that there is the opportunity to work in a variety of policy areas throughout your time as a Fast Streamer. My first placement was 12 months within the Department of People, Places and Corporate Services, and given the nature of the projects I worked on, this was split into two six-month postings across two separate areas. My next placement will be 9-12 months with the Local Government and Communities analytical team. I’ll be sad to leave my current post as I’m enjoying it immensely, but I am -as always- tremendously excited about what lies ahead.
In order to decide on my next placement, I first had to map out what I’d achieved so far, and where I still needed to develop. This can be done both formally through departmental performance management procedures, as well as informally through conversations with mentors and personal tracking against the Fast Stream competency framework. Then it’s a case of trying to find a posting that meets at least some of the development needs you’ve identified so that you are continually building skills with each placement. In my case, while there has been a lot of opportunity for hands-on research in my current role, (such as running surveys and conducting interviews), I realised it would be beneficial for me to gain experience in commissioning and managing research. Therefore my next placement is with a team that undertakes a lot of this activity.
To those of you waiting to be assigned, I think it’s true to say that no matter where you are placed; there is always so much you can get out of a role. Not every posting will meet every single development need you have, but with reflection and planning you can tailor your career to be exactly what you need it to be. Good luck in your new jobs!