Change 100 - Sam's Blog Week 2
It is now the Friday of my second full week at Meridian, having completed last week as my first ever Monday – Friday, 9 until 5 work week. As the initial stresses and excitement begin to settle down and I begin settling into my normal routine of work, one thing strikes me as staying completely consistent – the attitude and friendliness of the staff here. Without fail, Sarah still gives me a call at the start of my mornings to see how I am, outline my tasks for the morning, and just to have a generally nice chat to start the day. On top of this, Richard and I also text throughout the day, both a mixture of work tasks and catching up. Altogether, I’m really feeling part of the team.
This week I had my first mentoring session with my mentor Jeanette. Normally, this would have been something I’d have spent the couple of nights before worrying about, but, as usual with Meridian’s style, Jeanette has already gone well beyond just breaking the ice, as on my first day in the office she took over half an hour of her day to welcome me into her office, chat to me about herself, her experience, any worries or questions I had, and we became friendly from then on, always saying hi and having a quick chat when we see each other in the office on Wednesdays. This meant that by the time I came to do my mentoring session, I had nothing to feel anxious about, as I knew what we’d be discussing and who it’s with, meaning it was stress-free. For me, worrying and overthinking can ruin an experience for me, even something small like an hour’s call with my mentor. But because Jeanette made the effort to speak to me from my first day in the head office, it meant I was completely familiar with who it was with, and I truly felt like I had nothing to worry about.
I am also finding the work manageable, especially with the ongoing support of Sarah, Richard, and anyone in IT if/when I need any help accessing files etc from home. Everyone is working so hard to make sure I’m okay and always keeping myself busy, that working from home feels fun yet challenging, as opposed to stressful and exhausting.
On top of my Meridian work, I also attended three development sessions with the Change 100 team this week. I am blessed in a way, as lockdown rules have meant that the development sessions are across Zoom, making them significantly more manageable for my anxiety. As opposed to being in London (a city I am largely unfamiliar with, many miles away), I instead get to meet and chat to everyone from the ease of my own home. Of course, once I had overcame the initial stress of going to London for the first Professional Development Session, they would have been a lot more manageable for my anxiety, but the first PDS session (had it been in London as planned) would have been a very worrisome and daunting affair. I guess in a way, lockdown has allowed me to grow and bond with the Change 100 team without pushing me straight into the deep end. The sessions are helpful on the whole, and are generally quite relaxed and funny, particularly at the group time once at the end when everyone gets to chat and ask the staff questions. I enjoy going to them, and the Change 100 team have clearly put a lot of time and effort into making sure everyone is comfortable and has access to the meetings, which I will never be able to reflect to them how much their ongoing support and communications means.
Overall it has been another fun yet challenging week.