I was initially attracted to GCHQ by the idea of working for the Intelligence services - that and the chance to do a critical job for the safety of the UK.
The recruitment process was long… but it was worthwhile – and now I’m here I understand why. The developed vetting process involves quite a bit of paperwork… but it really isn’t that bad – it’s just a bit time consuming. And the Vetting Officers are very helpful and understanding… it’s worth remembering that they’re real people too!
Since I joined I’ve been working on a variety of infrastructure equipment. It’s put me in a brilliant position at the forefront of technology. And it’s helped me to keep up with the fast pace of technology relevant to my job. The training and support have been pretty good too – I’ve had support with membership of relevant professional bodies, so I can keep my understanding and knowledge up-to date. And my training’s covered everything from networking, security, virtualisation and cloud computing, to electrical safety, ITIL processes and lots of other interesting things. It’s all helped me to not only do my job well, but also in the internationally recognised way… following proper standards and procedures.
The work itself is really interesting and, along with the development I’ve received, it’s passed all my expectations. I think what surprised me the most is the variety and diversity of people you can end up working with. There’s such a mix of people from all walks of life in the building… and they all bring something different to the work you’re doing. And you can move around different departments, so you get the chance to do a variety of jobs during your career. That gives you a good understanding of how the Intelligence Services and Government work… and how you’re making a real contribution to the UK’s security.
What I enjoy the most is you never know what tomorrow will bring. And the changing environment means you’re never bored doing the same work over and over again. What’s more, you get to travel to different locations, doing what you love… and that just adds to the enjoyment. I had a perception of the department from the outside, but the reality’s very different. It's not run by robots and Thunderbird 3 doesn’t pop out of the middle! But seriously, it’s relaxed and open here – you’re made to feel at home… and that helps you work.