Yesterday my team received a coaching masterclass by the master himself – John Lees. I can’t really pack into one blog post – or paragraph – the many useful things we’ve learnt; it was incredibly informative and full of useful – and most important for me, practical –
ideas. What I personally learnt from it, was that in my career, I value these three things the most:
– Independence / freedom
– Data / knowledge
– Idea generation
I’ll try to put this into a couple of sentences, and I hope they make sense: I value a work place that allows me to challenge convention and perceived wisdom; at the moment I’m looking into the evidence base for career interventions, and what we can rely on what actually works in improving the employment chances of our students and graduates (any readers with knowledge on this, give me a shout). For that, I’m dependent on our data – not only destinations, but all those other data that give us an indication of what our students actually do; and I want to find from that, how we can help them better. Sure, there are plenty of ways to help students develop employability skills, but just for the fun of it, I want to explore them. The service I’ve built up over what is now five years works well, but I think it’s always good to go back to basics – because I believe that it’s from first principles, and looking at your own data in new ways, that you can generate genuinely new ideas.
I like the time before Christmas, because that’s when I get the chance to think about these things – to think about how to genuinely help improve the lives of the students I’m responsible for; which is, as it turns out – and thanks to John Lees was rediscovered at the training – is my ultimate professional motivation.