Staff stories - Christina - Scottish Government Jobs

Staff stories – Christina

Tell us a bit about you?

I live in Edinburgh with my family and our dog, Watson.

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Did you study after leaving school?

I went to the University of Birmingham and studied Philosophy.

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What and where was your first significant job?

When I left university I wasn’t sure what job I wanted to do so I built on my volunteering I did in the advice centre at University and did training and volunteering with my local Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).  Within a couple of months I then got my first ‘real’ job with CAB as a Money Advice Caseworker, and moved to London.

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When did you join the Scottish Government and what was the role?

I joined Scottish Government in 2022 as a Resourcing Change Lead in People Directorate, although I joined the Civil Service 10 years prior, in 2012.  Back then I wanted a clearer career path and decided to go back to college to gain my Certificate in HR Practice, gaining my CIPD qualification.  This lead to my first role in the Civil Service working for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as an HR Advisor.  After that, I moved through a variety of roles across HR but always had a passion for Recruitment, Resourcing and Organisational Design.

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What first attracted you to working at government or in the public sector?

When I first joined the Civil Service, I wasn’t thinking particularly about who I was working for, it was more about the job!  However I soon came to realise that I was part of something bigger.  To be part of Scottish Government, is about being at the heart of society and change and being part of the team that recruits people to enable this to happen gives me a great sense of pride.

Since joining, my priorities and life have evolved and I now deeply value the work/life balance that working for the Civil Service offers me.  I have been able to develop my career alongside major life events: buying my first house, getting married, starting a family.  I feel secure in my employment, can work flexibly and now have enhanced annual leave entitlements and a strong pension.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

My days are pretty varied!  For example, I lead on a variety of projects so I might spend the majority of a week focused on project delivery.  On another day I might be supporting colleagues on how to manage change activities and a part of my role that I particularly enjoy is creating opportunities and space for my wider team to come together to collaborate more effectively.

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What is your working pattern?

I work full time hours but am able to work my hours flexibly, enabling me to be present for family commitments.

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What do you think is the best thing about working at Scottish Government?

Can I cheat and say two things?  Firstly I really enjoy working with my immediate team, there are some really talented, engaged and passionate individuals who make it a great place to work.  Secondly, I take pride in knowing I’m part of the heart of government where real changes can be made for the people of Scotland.

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Have you used any employee benefits whilst working at Scottish Government?

I regularly take advantage of flexi leave, being able to work my day around my life commitments and building up time to take days off.  During lockdown I took advantage of staff discounts and bought myself a coffee machine (possibly the best purchase I’ve ever made)!  I’ve also taken advantage of mobile phone tariff discounts and gym membership discounts in the past.  There have also been times where the unexpected has happened and I’ve been supported with time off to manage these things.

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What career advice would you give your younger self?

I would probably say, believe in your own voice, have confidence and that work is just one part of your whole life, but it’s an important part so make sure you do something that keeps you engaged and challenged.