Why Starting a New Job is Like Swimming – Weeknotes from Robyn Barclay, Third Sector Lab

Robyn Barclay

Robyn Barclay

11 April 2023 | Estimated reading time: 2 minutes


Starting a new job is a little like being thrown into the middle of the ocean. Years of swimming lessons and experience have taught you the skills that you need, but nothing quite prepares you for the shock of diving in. Once you’re in the water, it’s hard to tell which way to go. Everything is already in motion, and it’s your job to get up to speed as quickly as you can. Sink or swim.

During my first week at Third Sector Lab, I jumped in at the deep end, which I think is the best way to start. After some initial introductions, I was assigned my first task: to conduct case studies on Third Sector Lab’s services, Digital Trustees and The Curve. Talking to participants was a valuable insight into how the company’s work has a positive impact on individuals’ professional development and the digital development of the third sector.

I was pleased to find the trust that my colleagues Ross and Jenn placed in me and my abilities. Immediately, I was given real responsibilities, and trusted to conduct external interviews representing the company. I liaised with different charities to understand their needs and how we could work together on digital solutions, particularly on making the work that we do more accessible.

On Thursday I attended a workshop run by The Curve, which focused on how to use LinkedIn to its greatest potential. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn how The Curve is organised and see its benefits firsthand.

Throughout the week, I learned how to effectively use AI to get work done efficiently. This was a new skill for me, and I was excited to learn how to leverage the power of technology to increase my productivity. No one in my life has been spared from my ravings about how useful Chat GPT can be when used properly.

Despite my initial dramatic metaphor, my first week at Third Sector Lab has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I learned a lot about the charity sector, gained new skills and insights, and had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team. I look forward to what the future holds – I feel as if I’ve been thrown into the deep end, and am ecstatic to find that I know how to swim.

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