This year, I am seconded into another company. Being seconded means that my own company has ‘loaned’ me out. My original company still pays me directly and my new company pays my home company for my time.
Since I started working, I have been on three secondments. The first time I was asked to go on secondment, I was unsure. The job sounded boring. My managers were keen that I accepted the role; there was no one available to do it.
I went to my mentor for advice. She said, ‘Always accept secondments. You end up learning a lot from them.’
It’s true. Every time I leave my home company, I meet new people, get new skills, and end up being able to tell people about my unique experiences.
My first stint was for a government agency in the UK. I researched and implemented approaches to dealing with the social aspects of sustainability in road projects.
My second secondment was for a rail project in outer suburban Melbourne. I managed environmental issues on a big and fast moving construction site. This was a terrifying and effective way to learn local legislation quickly and practice how to persuade construction workers to do things that slowed them down.
My current job is to find ways to fund low carbon and efficient energy, water and waste systems in a large inner Melbourne development. This is the first time I have worked as the ‘client’, commissioning engineers to do studies for a project.
Anyway, so this has been a long introduction to what I really want to talk about. At my new company, we use laptops instead of desktop computers. Rather than clicking into a docking station, the laptop hovers above the desk like this.The laptop screen is 15.4 inches, which is probably the smallest I would want for an everyday computer monitor. Isn’t it a strange set up? I suppose it saves the money needed for a monitor and a docking station.