God and work

My blog has been horribly quiet for 6 months or more, with various writings I have intended to do lying half finished.

I intend to make up for this as there has been a whole load of exciting things happening and yet to come.

God has blessed with so many good things lately its hard to know where to begin.

In April 2007 I started working for NICE systems an Israel based software developer who have a UK office just outside of Southampton. From there I supported the engineers who produce and sell the software not just in that office but in other sites in several different parts of Europe as well as speaking to the other IT helpdesk in Ra’anana near Tel Aviv.

Whilst I was there I had some gut feelings there maybe other Christians with in the company. I found two other guys and we started meeting up and praying in a cafe across the road, one more joined us later. I was inspired by the group of Christians I met when I was working for vehicle leasing giant Inchcape a few years ago. Meeting other Christians in the workplace is quite different from conventional church. For a start people are more honest, we can put on a front when we are church when work is stressful, where as having fellowship with colleagues you understand each other responsibilities and be able to build each other up and encourage. I think its important to state this is not a substitute for having church, and also shouldn’t be a way to bad mouth other people, managers or the company, at the end of the day although we are not perfect we are all ambassadors for Christ.

Anyway I felt God telling me I needed to visit Israel again but this time as a volunteer with some kind of charity. In October 2008 my contract came to an end I was stuck with wondering what to do next. The day after my last day I went to a Microsoft conference in London as I got a free ticket as part of their Technet newsletter to hear the unveiling of Windows 7 and Steve Balmer himself was doing the talking. Balmer is just like what you can imagine him to be, he has bounds of passion and enthusiasm to keep Microsoft still the giant in IT, even if there business practices and security holes draw a lot of crticism.

After lots of frantic of emailing Cvs I got an interview for Southampton NHS trust, which resulted in a success and I started the next day. The first week was not good. For a start I was always getting late, regardless how early I left, I ended up allowing an hour and three quarters to get in, after some changes to my journey and getting a Tomtom, using the motorway the whole distance, I had a really good time to work with and some great people like Darren, Juan and Luke did a great job of getting me upto speed in learning the ropes even though it seemed quite different from the other NHS trust I worked in Portsmouth.

Hospitals are some people’s idea of a worse nightmare as an employer, being institution of disinfectant and bureaucracy. But working for a government organisation is one of the safest bets in a recession nervous country, I actually found the NHS is a very good employer, its the best paid job I have had, I got plenty of variation in terms of departments to visit and problems to solve, part of this that when I was a child I wanted to be a Doctor. This time I wasn’t limited to one particular location instead I was required to fix IT problems on site by users desks and drive there. I didn’t have my own patch to cover, instead I was largely covering as and when the other engineers were busy with a project or off sick or on holiday, this turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable role as I got to visit clinics and hospitals in Winchester, New Milton, Eastleigh, Totton, New Forest area as well as Southampton.

One of the best parts of the role was visiting sites in the New Forest. I spent a lot of time camping out here as a child, and in the last few years have been a couple of time prayer walking around places like Lyndhurst. Being alone with nature provides a perfect environment to be alone and get your thoughts together and seek God. For me being able to stop for an hour and easily get a cornish pasty and walk around the scrub heath, see horses and maybe take a few pictures, I cant think of a better way to spend my lunch break.

Just before April 2009 as it was coming up to financial year, my contract could no longer continue due to lack of budget. Yet again I was stuck wondering what my next job would be, I got two lots of good news in one week……

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