Joseph's journey from IT apprentice to IT Practitioner
Joseph Taylor shares his career journey at the Met Office
What was it was about the apprenticeship here at the Met Office that stood out to you?
What appealed to me was the opportunity to prove myself and attain real experience in an actual workplace environment. That this was at a prestigious organisation made it all the more enticing.
What do you like most about working at the Met Office as an apprentice and the work you do?
I enjoyed the responsibility and a say in the way that I dealt with the workload I was given. My colleagues and mentors were fantastic and provided the support and guidance I needed, so while much was asked of me, I was given back as much in support and resulting in my strong development.
What was the most challenging thing about your apprenticeship?
Broadly speaking, this was developing my existing skills to a professional level and adapting to a fast-paced work environment where a wide range of tasks is expected of me. My team is constantly under pressure to support a large organisation and getting to grips with a role in this was tough but very rewarding.
What experience have you gained while at the Met Office?
Besides the qualifications I earned - that of a level 3 Infrastructure Technician, I gained the experience to successfully apply as a IT practitioner - a full time, full paying position. The Met Office also provided me with a crash course in meteorology!
What did you get up to day to day on your apprenticeship?
Day to day I worked as any permanent member of my team did - appropriate to my skillset! I attended the same meetings as everyone else did in which decisions were made and direction was set. I was encouraged for my input as my work and responsibilities would impact those around me - actual responsibility! Much of my work revolved around getting to grips with the fundamentals of IT. I was given the freedom to follow my interests and so was provided the opportunity to work in teams related to my own. It was emphasised that I was here to learn as much as I wanted to in the time given.
What made you want to stay with the Met Office after successfully completing your apprenticeship?
Responsibility within a team and finding value in my work, in that I have a responsibility to support those throughout the business from scientists to forecasters and business to continue doing their work through my role. I am reminded that the work I do contributes to a greater effort to deliver world class weather services, potentially saving lives and helping to tackle the challenges of climate change.
The people I work with throughout the organisation are incredibly pleasant and make the work even more enjoyable. I've been highly recognised for my work across the organisation and this is a wonderful feeling.
It would be really interesting to hear from you about the subjects you enjoyed at school and how these have helped you in the work you do today.
Good question! I'm not and have never been an IT or 'tech guy' and I like to remind people that it's not about what you know but your interest in and capacity to learn. I have a degree in English Literature and Politics and at school I couldn't stand the IT classes we had. I did well in English and was the centre of attention in Art class with everyone gathering around to see me draw. I continue to pursue these interests and have too many books at home, and while this doesn't translate directly to the work I do it makes for interesting conversation! The apprenticeship provided a new opportunity for me in life and I have found a balance between the two sides of my personality, the creative and the rational.
What skills have been most useful for you here at the Met Office?
I think my written communication skills have been very useful. My role is customer-facing and I deal with a wide range of people in both casual and formal contexts and it has been greatly helpful in developing good working relations as I know how to communicate my needs and wishes and to communicate to others in what I expect from them and what they can expect form me. I feel like I can be affable and get to business simultaneously.
What is something you didn’t know about the Met Office that you think everyone should know about?
Met Office HQ has a remarkable green surrounding with meadows woodlands and ponds. It’s not unusual to spot rabbits or even a sparrowhawk on your lunchbreak.
What does the Met Office give you that you feel you couldn’t get elsewhere?
I feel like I am truly on a 'side' with my colleagues and that we share a common purpose and goal. This has been particularly important during lockdown as I can rely on them for comradery and a good laugh when I need it!