Chester Races and Caramel Lattes: Starting my Caja journey

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Caja at Chester Races - 2023

 

Oat milk Latte, Blonde Roast and Sugar Free Caramel Syrup. Rating – 10/10.

Fifty-Six working days, 476 business hours, 15 trips to Starbucks, and around 8000 cups of coffee later, I have just completed my 11th week as a Business Consultant at Caja Ltd.

Your first question might be, how have I found these first few weeks? Was I riddled with new job nerves? Was I worried that I wouldn’t fit in? Well… have you ever walked into a room full of strangers, and once you get talking you feel like you’ve know them for years? The conversation isn’t awkward, and you just feel like you just slot right in? Well, that’s exactly how it felt joining Caja.

 

 

From the moment I first jumped out of the car on Friday 12th May to meet my new team in the office car park, I instantly felt my pre-set nerves melt away. The team greeted me in their suits and their elegant dresses…no this isn’t standard office attire, nor did they pull out all the stops just for me, the team had invited me to a day at Chester Races!

I decided that this must be part of my initiation, like one of those trials they have at American universities to see if you’re ‘cool’ enough to be let into the group. I knew I had to make a good impression which is why I said I’d limit myself to one glass of wine only…

A bottle of wine, a glass of Pimm’s and several Baby Guinness’ later, the ice was broken, the team were great, our bellies were full and our pockets empty. As the day ended and we finally headed home, my first official/unofficial day with Caja, was complete.

The aftermath of Chester Races and several Baby Guinness’.

A week later, on Tuesday 23rd May, I set off for my first working day in the Caja office. Up the two flights of stairs, I went, wheezing my way into the office (I can confirm that 11 weeks later I am still out of breath climbing those stairs!). It was great to finally meet the rest of the team, and even better to realise I wasn’t the only ‘crazy horse girl’ in the office anymore (thanks to Charlotte M). As someone who has worked by themselves/at home for the past 6 years, it was so nice to be surrounded by people again. The office was filled with easy conversation and laughter, in between sips of coffee and intro meetings.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I had so much exposure to so many different projects, including projects for the NHS, Higher Education and within the private sector. There was such a breadth of things to learn within industries I had never worked in before, including, developing new technologies to transform the way the NHS currently works and behavioural science techniques used to increase cancer screenings for UK GP surgeries.

During my first couple of weeks, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to join the team at the NHS Confed Expo in Manchester and even got to meet the wider Caja community at the Caja networking day, with special guest Liz Abram, a former interrogator on ‘SAS: Who Dares Win’. The first few months have flown by, but they’ve been filled with so much.

Caja – Networking Day – Guest Speaker: Liz Abram

So…what have I learned so far? I’ve learned that the walk around the office block is approximately 4000 steps and that sipping a ‘Revival’ (the team swears by these) makes me feel like an athlete…but most of all, I’ve learnt new skills that have benefited me already (adds blog writing to CV) and more than anything I have learned that I am definitely going to enjoy my job here and that you will definitely see me for hopefully a very long time.