I’ve been back at work about three months now. I work in NHS admin and have done for about three years.
When I left work for maternity leave, it was busy. But it was busy due to having no staff and upper level management not planning ahead and recognising that people had holidays, maternity leave etc etc. Indeed, when I went on maternity leave suddenly (consultant signed me off), my colleague was left as the only member of staff in the department. Considering we cover both of the two hospitals in our trust, it was a pretty dire position to be in.
So, anyway. I’ve been back at work three months(ish). It’s going well(ish). One of the things I’ve noticed, though, is that everyone in my (tiny) department works their asses off. And I mean works DAMN hard in dealing with patients, clinics, stock, invoicing and all the other stuff that makes the department run. Oddly, though, my job is still classified as a “band two” position. Band two in the NHS is your entry level job. Your straight out of school type work – clinic clerks, data inputters, housekeeping and the jobs that are basically considered “unskilled” as it were. When I came into this job, I came from a band three job in the ambulance service taking emergency calls. I didn’t mind the pay cut, because I expected that the work would be less skilled.
I was wrong. My department is not like most. Doing my job takes a fair bit of skill, a fair bit of knowledge and a lot of care. I’ve taken on a LOT of information since starting this job almost three years ago, and it makes me use that knowledge most days. I recently suggested to management at a meeting that this post could do with being a band three position rather than a band two. I was given a stock answer. I’m pretty sure it was taken from “the book of management answers to annoying questions from band two staff.”
Because of that, I started looking around. I wanted a new position. I wanted a job that I felt good about and that I was fairly compensated for. More than anything, I wanted to be interested in my work and valued.
So, I applied for a few bits. Mostly within the same hospital. Last week I had an interview for a Receptionist position in Maternity. The interview went pretty well. There was laughter, which I thought was either a very good thing or meant that they were laughing at me – you never can tell! Anyway, so I then waited three days to hear from them whilst chewing off every one of my nails and…
I GOT THE JOB!
When they rang me to tell me, I really thought I hadn’t got it. The lady I spoke to was telling me that there were 501 applicants, which they whittled down to a shortlist of 250. From that, they then interviewed 50 people including me. Somehow I managed to bag one of the four positions! Go me!
I have to say I’m excited. It’s something different. People keep asking me if I’m going to be cuddling babies, though. I don’t see that in my future! Back when we were going through infertility I think a position in maternity would have been the worst thing I could have done, but now that we are on the other side I am looking forward to seeing what the job has to offer. It’s a
The point of me sharing this story is that you should always know your worth. If you don’t think you’re being taken seriously or being treated appropriately, move on! Hopefully in about four weeks it will be off to pastures new for me! It was the first interview I’ve been to for a while and was also the first interview I’ve done with my hair down and curly. It’s amazing what confidence in your appearance can do for your manner.
Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.