The wonderful Ali has now been with the Ministry of Colours team for over a month, and has settled in wonderfully! Following a rather unconventional second interview at MOC teams favourite pub and eatery, The Parish, we were all in agreement that Ali would be perfect addition to our team! Thank you for joining the team Ali, and thank you for writing such a brilliant piece about your first month here...
Ali and Chloe rocking the accessories
To say I was nervous about returning to the workforce this summer would be an understatement. I was recovering from some health concerns, but the time had come. I felt ready. Kind of ready. A bit ready?! I did love the sound of this exponentially expanding, fun, quirky, business, selling not only colour powder, but fun as well, so decided that now was the time to take the plunge.
I needn’t have been afraid. It’s hard to imagine a more talented, compassionate and supportive team than the one I’ve become a part of. From day one I have been made to feel valued and integral to what’s happening here- and what better feeling is there? Nigel, Abi and Chloe have ensured, with their support and compassion, that I’ve loved coming here three days a week.
And look- I'm not going to pretend I understood the online systems for a few weeks (and, in fact sometimes now, I look at the different tabs I’ve got open and have a small private breakdown) BUT I’m learning, and things are becoming more second nature. I.T and me have had a sketchy relationship in the past, but it’s amazing how we can pick up new things when no one is breathing down your neck to BE BETTER and your team make you feel like you’re enough already. That makes you want to keep doing more and more, to actually get better and learn.
Ali & Abi, ready for golf
As an ex-teacher of fifteen years, I’m used to having a lot of mental tabs open at once and I think that’s stood me in good stead for familiarising myself with the platforms and the varied nature of the job. One day I’ll be dealing with customer orders, another balancing the petty cash and another helping Abi with marketing tasks. It’s so varied and I love that- I feel like lots of different corners of my brain are being engaged- even the dusty ones! I also love the link to my past when working with schools who are organising events.
An overwhelming feeling that I have whilst doing this work, is that it’s doing good. It’s worthwhile, it’s important. We supply colour for charity events raising money for cancer research, hospice care and even new vulnerable Mums. For schools: PTAs who need money to make the school experience better for our kids. I can’t think of more worthy causes to be a part of really. I always valued the fact that I was making a difference in teaching. But I have that same feeling here- being a part of something bigger, something that changes people and places for the better. Something with dynamism and momentum.
My first interview with Nigel was a whirlwind of a thousand ideas- movement, progression and expansion. And that remains the same here in the office. It sounds trite to say I feel inspired, but I genuinely do! Nigel's perceptiveness and curiosity never fail to amaze me. I’m very excited to be here when we get the Rangoli art project off the ground!
My second interview took place in The Parish Pub, with the rest of the team and it passed in a blur of pizza, laughter and maybe a glass of wine. I was sold. It was a glorious day and we sat outside getting to know each other and exchanging ideas. Abi and her flowered dungarees and warm, genuine laugh and Chloe with her calm, kind confidence and encouragement... if the job was going to be offered to me, then there was no way I’d be working anywhere else. I left feeling light.
I have two lovely kids, who don’t get me wrong, are a pain in the backside sometimes, but who are my heart and soul. I thought I’d find it hard leaving my youngest, Elsie, as we’d not been apart since she’d been born, but the transition has actually been seamless. She loves nursery and I feel supported and looked after here. My eldest, Flossy, keeps asking for pictures of the office and of my colleagues. I’ve told her I’ve got to be working here a little bit longer yet, before I can start acting that weirdly.
There’s lots to do here and the standard is high. But there’s an overwhelming feeling of being in it together. I'm learning every day and the time is just flying by. I'm hoping to make a difference and I have no doubt that I'll be able to do so with the support of my new team!