Friday 13th February 2009.
There. The exact moment when I took bold action to really develop my career. Actually, technically it was a couple of weeks before that date when I wrote my application to become an Assistant Principal rather than the actual interview date but who's counting? I felt ready in my new dress and fabulous turquoise swan shoes. Why was it so bold? Well, quite simply because I most definitely wasn't an obvious candidate. It was a pastoral role and I was a Head of Department and had achieved AST status a few years prior to that as a 24 year old (many moons ago!). Everyone assumed teaching and learning would be my route.
And anyway, ambition in a young woman is unattractive, right?
I wasn't sure whether the shock was because people didn't think I could or should go for it but I followed my gut and threw myself into my application and the interview preparation. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted it and when I was told that the very experienced and most obvious candidate got the job I was devastated.
My motivation was most definitely about making sure that the needs of our students were met in every aspect of school life. I knew that I could meet their needs in the classroom but there were so many barriers to getting them there that I wanted to try and tackle them. It was the first time that I'd felt passion and drive to go for something that I really believed in. It was also the first time that I'd applied for a promotion and been unsuccessful. That gave me even more drive to make sure that I was not in that situation again.
I read, researched, questioned and read some more so that when the same job was advertised two and a half years later I made sure that it was mine. I'd just returned from maternity leave and I knew that it would be challenge but I also believed that I could do it and be successful.
Having the confidence that you can actually achieve something and make effective changes is an amazing feeling. That feeling has stayed with me and has helped me when I've doubted myself and I've shared it when I've seen others doubt themselves. You never really know whether you can do something until you try but if you have belief and passion then you are at least half way there. Eight years on from that interview I'm now doing a job that I love even more, and I wouldn't have reached this point without that first bold step.
A bold step always feels better when you wear great shoes! I'm @redhappyshoes on Twitter!