Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A return to form

A new chapter in my career is about to begin...  A short while ago I reflected upon how I felt about my career and said "I feel I have a lot of scope and mileage to ascend to something higher" and wanted to work back with my strengths. While I was waiting for further details on the development/future of my then current role, I decided to scout out other potential jobs I could progress to.  In my searches I found the role and place where I wanted to be!  Since moving on from my last two roles, I have learned that it is ok to move on from organisations when circumstances change and not feel like you have to be rooted there.  In this case I took a brave decision and not to sit it out to see what happens.  I put myself in the driver's seat and took the destination I wanted to be at.


Whilst I was in Croatia, I had seen the Senior Digital Practice Adviser role at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), listed on the ALT Weekly Digest, which I was instantly excited of what the role entailed.  So I went ahead and applied for it and to be later invited for an interview.  Originally, I was really anxious about attending the interview and nearly declined it due to my own negative thoughts of not doing a great interview, candidate competition and dealing with the disappointment if I didn't get the job.  But I was reminded of why I applied, what I have to offer and how it was a privilege to be invited for an interview, so I attended.

Prior to the interview, I had a conversation with myself and filled my mind up with positivity and determination.  I woke up on the morning of the interview and the first thing I thought of was intending on getting the job.  I got washed, made myself look decent and set off out to Nottingham on the train.  The sun was shining all day and I had those feel good vibes surrounding me.  I felt determined all day and kept it in my mind that I was going to be the best and express myself the best I could and be offered the job.  I feel I gave a good interview and mentioned quite a few key things I wanted to bring up - but there's always things you forget to talk about.  I don't think there is such thing as a perfect interview.  For me there's always just too much experience and examples to recall and frame in such a precious timescale, and to get your best impression and efforts over to the panel.  However, I still need to work out composing what I am going to say before letting myself bubble over with passion and stumble with words!

I received a call from the Digital Practice Manager to say I had not got the job, so I was feeling very deflated.  It's always disappointing to hear this, however, I received strong feedback and that the panel had seen potential in me.  And to my unexpected surprise, a Digital Practice Adviser post came up, so I had another shot of hope at getting a position there.  This role was similar to the senior position but this is more involved at the frontline, developing academic and business support staffs’ digital capabilities in all elements of the NTU Digital Framework.  Again, I instantly connected and was thrilled by the thought of this opportunity.  Collaborating with others on ideas and challenges to create innovation, and then supporting people through the process - this is where my passion lives.  The role is a perfect fit of what I want to do, where I was wanting to head towards and more importantly I have the knowledge and skills to do it, so it was certain that I'd apply.

After the waiting game, I feel absolutely overwhelmed with happiness.  I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and to receive a call and hear those words spoken to me "I am pleased to offer you the Digital Practice Adviser role within the Digital Practice Team at NTU" just gave me the biggest smile and sense of achievement.  It means a lot to me getting this position because the role is everything that I am strong and enthusiastic about and is at an outstanding place I want to thrive in, so I proudly accepted the offer of the role.  I have so much to offer and I gave the best I could in the interview and for all of this to be accepted just brings me pure joy.  I patiently waited for this moment and it arrived, it really did and I couldn't be more happier,  It felt right, it was right and it will be right.  After the call I just wanted to shed a little tear of happiness - but instead, I instantly felt very light headed and had to go to vomit.  So you could now say I was sick at the thought of the job! 😂 This has never happened to me before, so it must have been a build up of emotions and adrenaline or something.  A few minutes later I was back to my normal self and enjoying the moment.

During the time of interviewing for the NTU job, I somehow pulled a double feat with being offered another job.  I was invited for an interview for the Virtual Learning Officer at a commercial skills, education and employment organisation where the role focussed on leading and shaping their digital learning offer.  As part of the process I had to deliver a presentation of my Virtual Learning Environment and curriculum development projects.  After the presentation I received some really good and interesting comments.  Subsequently I got offered the job due to my performance, however I knew that the NTU role was the best for me.  These two interviews especially have increased my confidence and demonstrated that I am a strong candidate to compete for jobs like my new NTU role.  I won't hesitate or doubt myself in the future if I am in this situation.  I'm ready for a new start and to bring everything I've got and more to NTU!

Restore and reflect

After my last working day I now have a two week break before starting with NTU later this month.  I'm going to use this time to refresh and prepare myself to delight future colleagues with my wisdom.  It's also good for me to take some time to reflect, take stock and enjoy the positive changes that are about to come.  I started my last day of work by purchasing P!nk's long-awaited new album Beautiful Trauma.  On the first week of my break I am attending Jisc's 'student experience experts group meeting'.  It will be good to see familiar people again and re-establish myself to others in my new role, as well as gaining some inspiration and updates to take with me.  I had also arranged an informal visit to NTU to meet people and get familiar with the place.  I'm really excited to meet the team I will be working with and will be good to put some faces to names.  On the second week I have my first trip to Scotland and will be visiting Edinburgh and Inverness.  So it looks like it turned out to be a very well-timed break!

I can't wait to get back to reflecting on what I am doing in my practices, as much of it recently has been about what I have done and achieved.  Which is good, however I've missed talking about the process of what I'm discovering, learning, making sense of and putting it into practice, which can also benefit the wider community.  I may even get back to stating some discussions on the ALT mailing list.  So watch this place and space as it's a return to form!