What’s it like to be an Information Officer in the Government Communication Service?
I have worked in the Civil Service for over 20 years, originally joining as an apprentice. A few years later, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. Whilst I enjoyed working across a range of topics, progressing my career fell to the bottom of the list, and my confidence began to decline.
In 2015, then as an Executive Officer, I took a chance and landed a communication project management role, on temporary promotion. I really enjoyed engaging and enabling people to be the best they can be at work. Still, I wondered how I could perfect my communication skills further. To achieve my goal, I found a GCS mentor who helped me to realise my potential, and started to feel empowered as a communicator.
I wanted to build on this and be a part of the GCS community, but I had a choice to make. Do I apply for the permanent promotion within my current team, or apply to become a GCS communications professional (yet another level transfer)? It wasn’t an easy decision. I chose the latter, and went on to secure an assistant information officer (AIO) account manager role within the Home Office.
Here, every day was a new exciting challenge. I learned about the fascinating Border Force business area from a communication perspective, interviewing colleagues across the country, writing engaging stories for the intranet, and recording and editing film, photo and podcast content to name a few. All the while, I was supported with training to build my skills. I had no idea internal communication would be so rewarding and I started to understand just how important and enabling it is across government.
In 2016, I was offered a temporary promotion to IO content editor and was encouraged to apply for the early talent programme (now Impact). I have since secured a permanent IO position and taken part in the GCS Connecting Diverse Voices mutual mentoring programme, delivering a panel speech at Number 10 about my career journey. I have two mentees and am continuing my journey by supporting others who have felt stuck trying to progress their career.
My new mantra is: trust your journey and be yourself. And one of my main takeaways from the GCS career framework is that we can all take a different journey to develop in our chosen career and do things that really matter to us.