Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else

My “office” at Sydney Olympic Park, where I work a couple of days a week.

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit I’m afraid, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to fill you in on what’s keeping my days so busy.

Work, work, and more work

I’ve accepted a communications position supporting an IT infrastructure project at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and the contract is six months. The commute into downtown (aka the city) where I work is 45 minutes each way, and the extra hour and half out of my day has taken a bit of getting used to, especially since my commute at home was less than 10 minutes.

It’s a bit surprising, but the average work day is longer here. I thought with the sunshine and sand people would be apt to work less, not more, but the average work week is at least 40 hours, not 35 or 36.25 or 37.5 like it is at home, and then there’s overtime. And people don’t really take lunch, except to duck out for take away (fast food) for 15 minutes. So work takes up a lot more of my day than it used to.

The technical stuff

As for what I’m doing with all that time…blogging about work is a huge “don’t” so I’ll keep it pretty high level… for all you communications, banking, and tech people out there, you might find this interesting. Everyone else can skip to the next section.

When I heard there was an opportunity at CBA I thought maybe it was related to their SAP implementation, which is very similar to what I did at ATB. But the project I’m on is completely unrelated. It has more to do with infrastructure, specifically, changing how we use technology.

The scope of work is massive and I’m still trying to get my head around it. Part of that has to do with cloud computing, which is a hot topic in the IT world right now, as well as introducing a new infrastructure operating model and  looking at how we deal with some of our big IT vendor contracts.

From a communications perspective, I report into the Organisational Change Management (OCM) team and also work with the strategic communications team within the IT department. (And when I say IT department, that’s about 6000 people.) I’ve been brought in to develop the communications strategy, and then get the tools and processes in place so that the infrastructure project can run effectively and get information out to the employees who most need to know it.

I’ve spent the last month developing the strategy and am just getting it signed off this week. Despite my best efforts to lay low while I get everything in place to begin communicating, I am really starting to feel the heat to “execute,” but that’s about par for the course I suppose.

The people stuff

I’m working with some really great people. There is another Amber on the team, and we get on famously. She’s actually one of the main reasons I took the job – because she sat in on the interviews and I just knew I would enjoy working with her. The rest of the OCM team is great too. Though I don’t interact with them as much, it’s great to have a “safe” environment where I can go to vent or have a good laugh after dealing with difficult stakeholders. And yes, there are a few.

What’s been really great is coming into the project as a contractor, not as an employee. I have a much more objective view of things, and I feel way more empowered to get in there and just do my job, without getting caught up in politics or worrying about what people think. I know I have a job to do and a limited time to do it, and that has helped keep me focused on what’s most important. That’s also what’s helped make this experience a mostly positive one for me so far.

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