I got a call, a telephone call today… (can you name the artist and year? Oh how I love the 90s)
But I really did get a call which I wasn’t expecting and boy did that call upset me.
February 2016. Three days before the call, I got an email inviting me to an Accent on Women Afternoon Tea event holding at Fortnum & Mason, London at the end of the month. I sent in my RSVP; sent Tanya (a friend I made at the assessment centre, we also had the same start date) a message and confirmed that we’ll both be attending. I was excited about the event; 3 months away from my start date…what could possibly go wrong?!
Then I got a call; the long and short was, my start date was to be delayed until September 2016!
I cannot even begin to explain the emotions which surged through my being during the call, after the call and in the ensuing days, weeks and months till September 2016. I near enough experienced every human emotion possible.
Tanya also got the call, and we both tried to make sense of it all. Can I just say, it was so good to have someone else facing the same situation. Over the coming weeks, we would check in with each other, swap stories of our inability to get a temp job to tide us over, have a good whinge or a rant and feel much better for it. We weren’t purely misery mongers, every now and then (once…ok twice) we’d reflect on how grateful we were to have a job offer…with Accenture! We even talked each other into taking PRINCE2 to help keep our brains active. (And this is where I give a massive shout out to Tanya!)
A reason for the delay was given but it didn’t really make sense to me (how could it? I only ever see one side of the coin - my side). What was worse, I had no back up plan. Everything I’d done since the job offer back in October, including financial planning, was hinged on a May start. I was due to leave my temp job at the end of the month, was due to move city and house at the beginning of March…
In the meantime, I was definitely glad to be going to the Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea event. For one, it was good to see Tanya again and catch up. And the event was informative with regards to the value Accenture places on and the support available to women; but with regards to ‘the call’ and ‘why’ - no further clarity (oh the why questions of life…sigh). The afternoon tea was truly scrumptious though! (And there was this one little passion fruit thingy that was just…mmmmmm)
And so the extended wait began...
May 2016 - there was another Afternoon Tea event at Fortnum & Mason. I went along for that too (reunion with the little passion fruit thingy…errr, you bet I was there); met a few other people who I’ve remained friends with. The session was a lot more informative or perhaps I wasn’t as upset as I was in February and was paying better attention. (It’s always a good idea to just turn-up - the events + food and drinks are almost always paid for; the information given and interactions help you build a clearer picture of the firm and life at; and it’s a great way to meet people aka networking).
June 2016 - I got an email granting me access to the New Joiner Portal to begin the On-boarding process. The Portal had comprehensive information which covered (almost) all I needed to know prior to joining and for my first few weeks. Tasks were created which I needed to complete; when tasks were available, I got an email notification. Tasks included updating contact information, uploading qualifications and other documents etc. There’s a lot more resources on the New Joiner Portal than I realised/explored. Got chatting to another New Joiner post-joining who said there was training available and loads more!
In July, there was a video meeting with HR Advisors and Graduate Recruitment; it was an opportunity to have a chat and ask questions. (or solicit for/advertise a spare room or listen to the clinging and clanging of someone having lunch…people forget to mute their mic’s on conference calls. I read a conference call etiquette guide [such a thing exists], I think it was on the ‘Year One at Accenture’ site. A few other articles and tools on the Year One site have been helpful with settling into, understanding and navigating the world of Accenture.)
In September, just under a week before I was due to start, there was a New Joiners Pizza making event in London. A few faces I knew and lots of new faces to get acquainted with. There were a few spontaneous after-pizza making hangouts; all in all, a fun night.
On the 13th of September, I loaded up my car and drove down to London; and the very next day - 14th September 2016 - I turned up for Orientation and Induction…finally!