Today I have started a new job. After over five years, I have left the University of St Andrews. I am now the web manager at SRUC in Edinburgh.
Before I went into the world of web management I didn’t really have much of an idea what I wanted to do in life. A reader of my blog suggested I should take a punt and apply for a web editor position there. To my surprise, I got the job (albeit at the second time of asking).
I joined the web team as someone who could write and do some front-end coding. But all that experience was built up as a blogger, and I hadn’t had much involvement in proper serious websites of seriousness.
At first I didn’t really believe that fooling around on the internet was giving me skills. But soon enough, as I began working with colleagues, I began to see the value I was bringing.
Moreover, the web team was a tremendous learning environment. The knowledge and discipline instilled in me by my senior colleagues Steve Evans and Gareth Saunders stood me in good stead as my role evolved through the years.
The team has changed radically since I began working there. When I started there the web team was a team of four; at times we were only three. The majority of the team’s time was spent firefighting rather than being able to push forward with strategic improvements.
Two years ago I was given a fantastic opportunity to break that cycle and experiment with new ways of working. It was the most enjoyable and empowering period, and the output was the most high-quality work we had produced yet.
That served as a foundation for the rest of the team to adopt a similar attitude. Now called the digital communications team, it is set to be ten strong, reflecting the university’s renewed sense of importance not just in the web but in digital as a whole.
I can reflect on my time at the University of St Andrews with pride in playing my part in that change, with the help and support of many colleagues.
It’s been a blast, and I have made lots of great friends at St Andrews. There is a lot I’m going to miss. But life is changing for me, and it was definitely time to move on.
For a while I have been thinking about making the move away from St Andrews. Over the past few years, while pondering what my next step should be, I have investigated a few different options, put myself in some tricky spots and made some difficult decisions.
In the end, I have decided to stick with what I’m good at. My new job is a similar role at a different academic institution.
I’m really excited to be starting afresh in a new environment where hopefully I’ll keep on learning more.
Best of all, the change gives me the opportunity to move to Edinburgh with Alex and start the next stage of life. Which is a pretty sweet deal.