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“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Albert Einstein

This is the penultimate day of the job that I’ve been doing for the last 6 months. But also of the return to work that began back in 2020. Back then it seemed a good idea to do something useful and be paid for it during a time when our freedoms were affected. When a daily walk was all we could look forward to. This return to work has in the main been different from all the years when I had a proper, full time, salaried career. Because I’ve been valued.

I have to admit back in summer 2020, doing test and trace the going was tough. The systems were clunky and no one really knew what they were about. Many people didn’t answer my calls, some were rude. But many were grateful and there was value in what I was doing.

Being back in the whole NHS system though has been a really happy time. I’ve been supporting other clinicians so they can do their work. Researching, reading, investigating and writing so that someone else doesn’t have to. I’ve brought knowledge and skills earned over many years. The rewards, not all of them financial have been special. People really value what I have done for them and that makes me proud. Colleagues from the past were pleased to see me and I them.

Working as an interim, freelancer or whatever can be a gruelling thing. Often you are a fill in. But for me it has been a breath of fresh air. I’ve been able to allow the minutiae to float over my head and while I’ve had to get involved in office politics to some extent, I’ve been able to maintain a distance. To focus instead on the job in hand. Knowing the short term nature of the role has focused the mind. I’ve achieved much, especially considering it’s a 3 day work done in 5.

Now though, it’s time to leave. Not only this role, but the whole work thing. At least for now. I’ll be a little sad on Tuesday when I hand in my work laptop and have a final drink with colleagues.

But I will do so happy in the knowledge that I’ve done a good job and been valued for it. That I’m afraid is a rare thing.

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