Name: Alex Talbot
Working at: The London Borough of Croydon
Studied: Social Policy & Government
Motivations for applying?
I’ve always felt that I’m a value oriented person. That feeling enticed me towards sectors and specific workplaces that I felt aligned with my values. This orientation led me first to the charity sector, and while I continue to love the work of many charities and community groups undertake, there’s no denying that their ability to drive widespread impact is limited by their constrained revenue. I knew that I could use my skills and passion to affect change on a much larger scale and local government offered the perfect balance of scale and social purpose.
My advice for any prospective applicant is to think critically about what a career in local government can offer you and what you can offer the local government sector. Think long and hard about “why specifically local government?” and then again about “what skills, experiences and motivators can I offer to councils”. After you’ve done that think again about what areas in local government are you most passionate about, be it housing, health or even waste, local government offers almost boundless opportunities and focusing on which one or ones you feel that you could best impact will really help your application.
My favourite project so far has been co-coordinating a complex and high profile housing project designed to improve the quality of temporary accommodation and relieve homelessness in the borough. The day to day of the project has been diverse and very different from what I expected at the outset. The delegated responsibility to make key decisions on the project has been empowering, and I’ve even managed to continue to support with the project after the end of my first placement.
What about your development?
I’ve become more confident in leading projects and my ability to write concisely and to the point has improved. I’ve met a range of amazing new individuals both within the council and through meetings with partner agencies; it’s safe to say my professional network has grown significantly.