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What’s it like to be an Information Officer in the Government Communication Service?

Blog post by: Lisa Goering, Friday, 24 January 2020.

The GCS career framework is for everyone in government communications and can help you develop your career and improve your skills. Lisa Goering shares her experience of working in the civil service for more than 20 years.

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 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.


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