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T2P31 – Change of Scene

Let’s go, Monday Motivation! This is the last Monday before Christmas and we’re just one more Monday from 2022. This Omnicron variant however is doing it’s best to subdue the festive spirit, as stepping outside now seems to result in people either spending money and/or returning home with COVID. The festivities should be a lot of fun once they do come, and this last week was pretty fun itself, I got to see the latest spiderman and it was great, with strong acting performances. Especially coming from William Dafoe and Tom Holland, but in some less fun news Holland (the country) enforced lockdown measures again. UK lockdown measures following seem to be as inevitable as Thanos at this point, so it’s feeling like endgame in the UK right now. The highlight and inspiration for this week’s blog was FINALLY passing my driving test, which came from trying out a new test centre to me.

For this week’s blog I’m focusing on a change of scene, what it means and why it’s an option to be considered. It can be defined as a change in one's usual surroundings, perhaps precipitating a change in one's life. It is most often used when one is moving to a new place. There are several other examples of what constitutes a change of scene, such as a change of job, even a change of sport too. In the case of today’s blog it was a change of driving test centre for me, the evil Belvedere and Erith had caused me had reached it’s limit. Funnily enough those 2 test centres had the lowest pass rated in the country, as if I felt like the challenge of passing on manual wasn’t enough, England’s lowest pass rate figures are below:


3. Speke (Liverpool)

Pass rate: 34.7%

2. Belvedere (London)

Pass rate: 31.3%

1. Erith (London)

Pass rate: 29.1%

Nearby centres: London Sidcup (56.3%), London Bromley (53.6%)


After my latest failing experience and receiving contradictory feedback from different examiners there, it was clear a change in approach had to be considered. With the backlog of driving tests right now, when I saw the test at Sidcup after a slight moment of hesitation I leapt at this chance for a different approach #WhateverItTakes.

So why is a change of scene an option? Because if something is not working out for you, it sure beats just sticking with it for the sake of it.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

It was getting to the point where it was mental how I’d not passed, the blog topic on passing my test has been drafted more than once so something had to give and that was the test centre. That said a change of scene can be a daunting prospect, it’s new and therefore unfamiliar. So initiative is needed, carry out research on the change, reach out to people familiar with the change and they can offer invaluable insights. In a new job or new area you’re moving to, you can use social media, on your LinkedIn you may know someone working at a company you’re going to join and reaching out to them could be so helpful. If someone you follow on another app lives in an area do the same and reach out to them, ahead of my test I watched a ton of videos on the test centre routes, I doubt I pass there first time without them.


Another reason I’d advocate for a change of scene in general is that comfortability is built with familiarity. Growth becomes more challenging when we’re in our comfort zones, being unfamiliar can be a catalyst to us stretching ourselves to further develop. In the NBA, in one of the most significant moves still to this day LeBron James left Cleveland, the city he was born, raised and drafted into the NBA to join the Miami Heat. Whilst this may seem an easy decision, the manner in how it was done was ground-breaking, the change of scene let him experience a new city, way of living and way of basketball from joining #HeatCulture. I mentioned in last weeks blog that the advice from senior level civil servants in advancing your career is to try a change of scene within the civil service. This can be done by working in different professions within the civil service (e.g Project Delivery, Policy or Operational Delivery) or from working within the different government departments, building up your understanding and experiences of the different ways of working.

Sometimes the grass is indeed greener on the other side, and whilst a change of scene may not solve all our problems, it’s still a problem less. A new scene or change in direction can reveal some pleasant surprises, a new year is so close and it’d be unfortunate to let it come without any reflections of what is and isn’t working for us. Time is flying, let’s not just go through the motions, so with that all said:

  • 2022 is on the approach, are their any areas in our lives where we could benefit from a change of scene?


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Temis2Pence

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