It might seem quite an extreme statement, however, myself, Emma & Nicola have recently been trying to build up our skill base by “getting” ourselves “out” of the office and on to training modules or involved in other activities.
Alongside our daily roles and National Student Money Week preparations we are really keen to keep up-to-date with training and development programmes especially as the months fly by! This week we have ‘Dis-ability Confident‘ and ‘Assistive Technologies‘ both of which I am really interested in and really glad to have the opportunity to attend as part of my internship. I think the sessions will be relevant for both my current and future roles. A couple of weeks ago we attended a ‘Mental Health Awareness‘ module, another really important session demonstrating the changing needs of society for a more accepting and understanding working environment that promotes confidence to be open and honest about individual needs.
Mental Health awareness is a topic encouraging a lot of media coverage, promoting positive working environments along side the issues of bullying both outside of and within the workplace. This has been covered by the BBC, Guardian Careers and is also a mandatory course for all staff within an organisation.
In thinking of applications an awareness of the issues that influence and inform society are important alongside relevant training and legislation. Applications seem to get longer and longer as the economy continues to struggle with employers wanting to know a whole range of weird and wonderful things.
We are also, therefore, exploring other avenues, beyond the office to “get us out” of our ‘comfort zone’– maybe not quite as extreme as bush tucker trails in the Jungle – to enhance our skills, knowledge and make us more attractive to future employers. The University has pledged a certain amount of ‘Give back Days’ for employees to volunteer and help in community projects or schemes. This is something that I think is really valuable and beneficial for everyone involved.
Myself and Nicola are currently taking part in ‘Reading in Partnership’ with Lincolnshire schools to promote literacy and an enjoyment of reading. Logistically it is proving quite difficult to find a time that works for both our schedules and the schools, but, fingers crossed we will get there. Having always loved reading I think it is an amazing scheme, definitely not just something for the CV, much much more than that!
As we have hit December, however, CVs, job applications and hopefully interviews are on our minds. With job hunting proving to be a full time job in its self we are feeling the pressure. Having said that, when filling in applications it does give you time to reflect and acknowledge just how many things we have experienced and the new skills and knowledge gained since April; it almost feels like I’ve worked in Higher Education forever- I just hope that comes across in my applications.
Fingers crossed for everyone applying for, or looking for, new roles in the New Year. If you are, or, if you’re feeling a little bit stuck in a rut, I would definitely recommend ‘get yourself out’ and try something new, out of your comfort zone or simply something that you’ve always wanted to do, you never know what might come from it! You might not be crowned Queen/King of the Jungle but you might open up a lot of new opportunities or gain a new perspective on life.