Weeknotes S01 Ep11

Special bonus feature

Here I am, after saying I’d call this series a day at ten episodes, now bringing you a super special extra episode!

It feels right, as I’m on holiday next week, so there will be a natural break in proceedings. And, as this is the season finale, I’ve also included a little round up of my thoughts about the series at the bottom of this note.

So, about my week. It was a pretty disappointing one in places, but also really good in others. It was another ridiculously quiet week with me being the only person in the office at certain points.

Monday was a bank holiday and when I got back into the office on Tuesday there were only four of my team in. It was helpful for catching up on emails and clearing out my inbox which had become full up with bits really needing my attention.

Having chased on the MOOC work I mentioned in Ep08 I ended up writing a lot more feedback for the stakeholders on their requirements. Over lunch I caught up on Julie and Ellie’s weeknotes. And after lunch I went off to meet my new mentee, Hannah.

I posted this on Twitter when Hannah first got in touch with me. Thank you to everyone who spurred me on and encouraged me to do it.

I can’t say that I stopped feeling like an imposter; when I met Hannah I definitely felt nervous, and I think I must have told her about a million times to “think it over and make sure you are happy that I’m the right person”.

Its funny how anxiety can sometimes make you lose sight of something which is really obviously in front of you.

Hannah contacted me via Crossing Thresholds, a career development programme that I was part of last year. In all of my worry about what I was going to say and whether she would think my experience was valuable, I completely overlooked the fact that Crossing Thresholds gives the both of us a structure to follow. It’s one I understand because I’ve done it already.

And actually, I realise now that this is something I can absolutely do, and feel a little bit silly about being so worried.

Another thing to say is that Hannah seems absolutely great and is totally up for doing the work of career planning and working out steps she can take. We talked about how she can create some “experience tapas” — trying new things and looking outside of her department.

We are going to workshop some ideas, again, I’m confident I can do that well for her. So I’m very pleased and I’m really looking forward to working with her.

In the afternoon when I got back I heard that I hadn’t made the interview sift for a role I had applied for at GDS. It made me inordinately angry. Not because I hadn’t got through (though that was disappointing) but because nobody bothered to email and tell me, I had to chase it. I’m sorry GDS but I just really want you to be better than that.

I spoke to Joe in my team about it and he slightly shrugged at me, it made me feel like I was acting entitled by thinking they should let me know. But I feel like it’s just good practice to do that sort of thing.

There’s also something about a team extolling the virtues of user-focus and then so obviously missing the mark here. Maybe I was expecting too much. I don’t know. It just feels like bad form.

On Wednesday I skipped One Team Gov breakfast club because I need a little break from it for a while. I had a hangout with David in our KIM team and then spent the morning chasing various pieces of work which are currently in train with our security team.

In the afternoon we ran a service assessment and it was really great. I am really looking forward to this launching because the team have worked brilliantly together and it was by far the best service assessment I’ve ever been part of. Four hours in a warm basement room though…

Wednesday brought about another disappointment though. While I was on the bus heading home I got an email saying I hadn’t made it to the next stage of the leadership scheme I applied for back in Ep07.

In Ep07 I said:

I’m not sure I performed well in the verbal reasoning test (usually my strongest). That’s because I didn’t manage to get a couple of answers submitted before the clock ticked over. If I don’t get through to the next stage on that basis I’ll be really annoyed at myself.

Last year the test as a whole was timed so I felt like I managed it better. This year the tests were based on timed individual questions. The same format was used in another leadership scheme I applied for earlier in the year, and I didn’t make it onto that one either. So I think I can say with some confidence that the format of these tests really doesn’t suit me.

I’m obviously disappointed because I’ve been mentally preparing myself for interview, thinking that this would be the easy bit.

It feels faintly ridiculous and frankly a bit embarrassing that I’m somehow worse this year than I was last. Ugh. Anyway.

On Wednesday Debbie got in touch to see if I wanted to collaborate on a blog with her and then promptly wrote the whole thing spectacularly before I could really contribute. It’s a brilliant blog about why we weeknote, and I really hope that it helps other people to see the benefit. Well done Deb!

You’ll find that blog here, please get in touch with me or Deb if you want to chat about it.

On Thursday morning I had another free one so could do some more emails and had a couple of impromptu calls with people. In the early afternoon I had a call with Jessica from ACAS who was on my Product Owners Course with me and who I saw back in Ep07. My team are going to be running an “advisory” service assessment for Jess’ Alpha in October, which is exciting.

In the afternoon we had our two-weekly scrum of scrums stand up an Adele and James from GDS came which was good. Michele our trainer also attended which was great because she doesn’t always have visibility of what we are working on.

Then I finished up some bits of work, including a handover for some of my team, before heading of for a couple of lovely drinks with Adele, James and Luke.

And that’s my week and the end of S01. I’m off on holiday now. Till next season, see you!

Weeknotes S01 roundup.

  • 11 weeknotes in total
  • 4 spin-off blogs
  • 2 collaborative blogs
  • 2 new mentors
  • 1 new mentee
  • Around 100 new Twitter followers
  • At least 6 brilliant new face-to-face weeknote friends/colleagues
  • I can’t quantify the support I’ve had in comments and RTs and general clapping for which I am so grateful — thank you everyone
  • An increased sense of clarity about my role and strengths
  • An increased awareness of my feelings and how they affect my working, now I know more I can grow more (hey that sounds like a good book title)

So yep. If you weren’t already convinced — weeknoting is good, it’s made good things happen, and it’s helped me meet good people.

Things I’ve been reading / thinking this week:

  • I read this great interview with Ben the Illustrator


  • I loved this blog by Cassie “A User Manual for Me” which was quickly followed up by one by @jukesie and which I am absolutely going to do and encourage colleagues to do. Team cohesion FTW.


  • This amazing thread by Saron about speaking at events. Speaking is something I know I’m not great at but would love to do. I think this might become an objective for me moving forward.

  • And this book, Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage which is an illustrated account of her experience with anxiety and I will happily lend to anyone who would like a read.

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