Here is the next installment in our "A Week In The Life Of" series!

My name is Alice and I work as a project support officer for Defra on the Brexit transition programme. My role is to ensure that programmes that have been created in response to Brexit are ready to start on 1st January 2021. These programmes are designed to ensure that the country runs smoothly. A typical day for me involves arranging meetings between internal and external stakeholders, taking minutes and updating different reports ready for distribution. I am responsible for updating the Risk Register (potential problems that might cause a problem in a project) and ensuring that all risk owners (the person responsible for ensuring the risk is dealt with) provide their updates. I am also responsible for producing a summary of the work that has been completed during the week and what is planned for the upcoming week. I enjoy the variety that my role provides. No two days are the same. As a Civil Servant I am responsible for helping the country run smoothly.

I did not always plan to become a Civil Servant. I went to the University of Kent and studied history. When I graduated, I worked in the charity sector helping unemployed people find employment. After sitting in one too many redundancy meetings (three in three years) I decided to find a more secure job. I started my career working on Disease Surveillance for Public Health England and this involved looking for patterns in diseases and finding the cause.

Covid-19 lockdown did not affect me until August as I was on maternity leave until then. Instead of working in an office I now work at home. This means that my daily commute has reduced to 2 minutes (if that)! I spend a lot of my time doing video meetings and answering emails. The beauty of my role is that I can do it anywhere in the country. Part of my team work out of York and the other part in London!

My one piece of advice is do not be afraid of where your career is taking you. The civil service is an excellent organisation that means you can transfer from project to project seamlessly. The only barrier in my way is not taking the opportunities. 

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