Christmas confidence

Evening all! It’s very nearly the end of work for the year; we’re all packing up Friday lunchtime, after which I’ll be driving home. And tomorrow’s a half day too, as the whole lot of us (a mighty total of, er… 6) are piling over to a rather yummy sounding place in Lisvane for our Christmas lunch. Santa hats at the ready! So I only really have one more full day left, which is Thursday. Lovely jubbly.

Not that I’m not busy, though. While I’ve definitely noticed things being quieter this week than last week, I’ve got a lot to be cracking on with! I keep forgetting that my job isn’t 100% officially ‘my job’ yet. You may remember I applied for it through GO Wales, and it’s technically a 10 week placement, with a view to being kept on afterwards.

One of the things GO Wales get their placement-ees (placees? Doesn’t sound like a word to me…) to do is work towards this thing called a ‘Professional Development Award’. Now I must admit, when I first heard about it I thought it was a bit naff, a bit wishy-washy. A qualification that is really just something bulking out the CV, but lacking in substance. And this may sound a bit snobby… but I like to think the qualifications I have (ooh, I nearly typed the word ‘legitimately’ then… controversial) speak for themselves! And seeing as I’m kind of thinking of it as ‘my job’, I have to admit I’d done very little towards it.

Okay, I hadn’t done anything.

Okay… I had pretty much forgotten about it, to the point of taking an early finish on Tuesday even though I’d been told they were going to ring to ‘arrange my telephone induction’. (BTW – Why make a phone call to arrange making a phone call?? Just saying.) Woops. But the Nice GO Wales Man tracked me down today, and I settled down to Actually Start Doing It.

It was with some reluctance and foot-dragging. I just didn’t really see the point of it, if I’m completely honest. I know that’s bad! Sorry, Mr Nice GO Wales Man, if you’re reading.

Admittedly, I may have spent about 10 minutes on Twitter for every 100 words I wrote, but in the end… I had a bit of a revelation. A very (very) slow burning revelation, mind – so slow in fact I’m not sure it can be called that. Isn’t speed an integral part of revelations? There was definitely no speed. But come 5.30, I’d written a pretty decent Self Appraisal. And not just that, I’d actually thought through what I want out of this role. And on a serious level, not on a ‘bleurgh I have to fill this form in’ level.

It dawned on me that what I want, what I really need and really think this job is going to give me, is confidence. In lots of different forms, but ultimately, confidence. In myself as a professional – I want to learn how to be a professional. How to do things ‘properly’ and ‘professionally’. For example, with all the work experience I’ve done, I know how to write a press release. But I’ve never actually been the one responsible for sending it to Actual Journalists before. I want to – I’m going to, get completely comfortable with things like that.

And confidence around professional, business people. I was a bit uneasy to begin with at the first Breakfast Club – all these people who were clearly important, and linked to other people, but links that I didn’t know. I often imagine networking as a literal criss cross of wires joining people together (in my head they’re bright blue and woolly) that you need to learn how to see. Like Lyra and the alethiometer. (Sorry, I reread Northern Lights this summer…)

Confidence in myself, and in my abilities, too. Lots more practice writing copy, and giving presentations – I’ve always been a bit shy when it comes to public speaking, so I make sure I take every opportunity to keep doing it. Immersion therapy I guess!

I know, though, that all these things will come with time. Time and experience builds confidence. When the girl I’m taking over from started, she was in the same boat I am now. Straight out of uni, and essentially starting with a work placement. And now, it just kind of streams out of her effortlessly. I want to get there.

This may well be my last post of 2011, so just in case, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and a fantabulous (not a word but as it’s Christmas…) New Year. Here’s to a confident, exciting, 2012!

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