New Year, New Job, New(ish) Employer

So the TL;DR is that I have joined TPXImpact as Senior Partner (Major Projects) today.

I’m not going to lie, this happening was as much of a surprise to me as anybody reading this. I was pretty open about my earlier struggles with consultancy life and friends will know I had a bumpy exit out of TPX last time.

I also had what I thought was a pretty good plan for solopreneur life.

So what happened?

Well three things really.

My experience doing a little bit of freelancing via TPXImpact on the ORUK stuff allowed me a peek behind the curtain of the company now and what I saw was very, very different to the barely organised chaos of my latter days pre-merger. The majority of people joined after the merger (over 100 joined in 2023!) and almost all the senior folk joined after I left (and I know a few of these newcomers) – and where they are veterans of those ‘legacy’ days they are folk I retained good relations with. Honestly it is like a  completely different company where I just happen to have a bunch of friends working there. It all feels a lot calmer – not without its issues and challenges of course – but culturally it has definitely evolved. They also have a lot of clients where I know, like and admire people with projects doing the kind of work I want to do – in the ways I do want to do it. Also I can see where I could/can fit in and where I can add value.

The job description itself. It is rare to get a job description at this seniority (and it is a very senior, very well compensated role) that leans into delivery and people rather than sales. I have a weird relationship with business development in that I am happy to write proposals, enjoy pitching and digital gov gossip that I am I can usually be relied on for some useful intelligence. That said I am totally uncomfortable with things like sales targets and leaning on my network. That just doesn’t suit me. This role is about providing leadership on big, complex deliveries, having trusted relationships with clients, building teams and telling the story of the work. That suits me. Again it is the work I want to do with the kind of clients I like to work with.

…and to be entirely honest I found starting up a new venture even harder than I expected. The market is tough right now, I’m bad at turning conversations into contracts and it turned out the things I wanted to do weren’t really what people wanted to pay me for. I’m pretty sure I could have pieced together a decent living but it was going to take a lot of graft and a lot of doing things I don’t love doing.

There are other things that attracted me – I’m a known quantity so there is no fear about my openness and approach. In fact it is part of the reason they wanted me for the role. I still have friends working there that I miss interacting with regularly – and I need that as I am too prone to falling into hermit mode without it. They have an office in Bristol so I can actually leave this flat occasionally and visit my favourite street food market (Bristol folk I will be in town on Wednesdays!). The money is great and so are the benefits and honestly I just like the vibes.

I’m still going to do my jobs newsletter and my new jobs board digitalbydefault.jobs should be good to launch in a couple of weeks so that is going to keep me occupied side hustle wise plus I’ll continue to weeknote and hopefully blog about the nitty gritty of the new role.

Like I said in my ambitions I’m looking to still travel some and hopefully give some talks (more on the talk idea in an upcoming post) and mentor a few other folks to do the same.

So here we go again.

Onwards. See you at Govcamp!

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