After 12 years in the classroom I am about to embark on my first Assistant Head role (with some teaching, naturally!).
It is not that I didn't believe in myself over the 12 years, but rather, due to prior experience of interviews, that I would not compromise my values just to fit in somewhere.
Once I started to accept this, I was able to write about my experiences from my heart. I understood now that not everywhere will be right for me, just as I won't be right for every establishment. This acceptance led me to securing two interviews for AHT roles.
During both interviews (having researched the schools as much as possible) I went in confident that my values are mine and only if they align for both the head and myself would this result in a successful interview, and if not, then that was fine too.
I was offered both roles, and for the first time in my career, I had both schools trying to entice me to take their offer over the other.
The deciding factor for me was the ability to work alongside an experienced senior team, rather than run a small school on my own under the direction of a distant executive headteacher.
Sticking to my values not only helped me make a decision that both my mind and heart were happy with, but also got me shortlisted and appointed.
Believe in yourself and your values!