It has been over a year since I lasted posted on this blog and there is a very good reason for that. I set my one word for 2018 as “aspirational”, but I think a more fitting word would have been “transformation”. But, this period of change really started in the previous summer. I took a brave decision to move from the comfort of a fulltime business management role where I was well established and respected, to a 3-day a week role in a multi-academy trust, being in the fortunate position that I could afford do so. The thinking behind the change, meant an opportunity to make the progression to a more strategic role, to spend more time with my young family, facilitate some sort of better balance and to focus on some of my personal and professional goals.
In order to make the most of the new working routine, I set myself some challenging goals for 2018.
I started the year wanting to be…
· BRAVER by continuing to write and to be part of writing a book for school business managers
· ASPIRATIONAL by finding a coach
· The CHANGE for school business professionals through collaboration and championing
· HEALTHIER and more balanced by managing my work life balance (including saying ‘no’ sometimes!)
· RELENTLESS in living the objectives that I set myself before I started the new post last September, which were inspired by reading ‘Jo Cox – more in common’, to be principled, focused, respected, inspiring and effective
Some of the goals have been easier to achieve than others and some are easier to measure. I am not sure whether I have got my work life balance right, I am not sure how to measure it, but I did have an affirmation yesterday that it is in a good place. I bumped in to an ex-colleague yesterday, when asked ‘how are you doing?’ my answer was ‘I am doing really well’. An answer that I didn’t have to think about and the person is someone I would be completely honest with.
One of the most exciting projects that I worked on last year, was writing ‘The School Business Manager’s Handbook’ (https://amzn.to/2M9g7Jl). Which transformed from a goal in to a reality, through communicating with my network. Through connections with Val Andrew and ASCL, I had the opportunity to pitch the idea to John Catt Publishers. It was such an enjoyable project to work on, bringing in contributions from other school business professionals, seeing the word count creeping up, adding school context to business models and theories, editing, deleting and re-writing. I hadn’t really considered the challenge of writing 70,000 words within a couple of months, but I loved every minute of the experience. The outcome is a book that I am really proud to have been part of producing.
Finding time to be healthier has been challenging with the personal and professional demands, but I try to fit in a weekly long walk with some mum friends (without our little people). Which provides time for exercise and to spend time with good friends.
I also found a coach via the Women Leading in Education Initiative and I will write about this experience another time.
The reflections that I have made on the last year, are that the people I know, who are part of my personal and professional network are so important to me and I hope I give back to them as much as they give to me. Getting out to events to catch up with existing contacts and to make new ones is important, because one conversation can bring about a great change. Lastly, that turning my dreams and ideas, into specific goals helped to make them happen and this is why you should set goals to make your 2019 a successful one.