Friday 13th February 2009 #beboldforchange

#iwd17

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?

Wrong!

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! 

Author Profile

Natalie Wilcox

Natalie Wilcox

Deputy Principal of an All-through Academy in charge of Pupil Premium and Raising Standards. I work in a true community school and am passionate about what I do.

70 stories

Comments

Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 2 weeks ago
They are really bold shoes! Love them, want to wear those shoes.
2
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
Thanks @kerry . All of the bold moments in my life seem to be marked by the shoes I wore- from interviews to races run!
2
Helena Marsh Helena Marsh @helenamarsh 2 weeks ago
A lovely honest reflection of your growth in confidence. Great to hear about how you were steered by your gut and passions. I too want to know whether I get hold of some of those fabulous turquoise swan heels!
2
Suzie Happy Suzie Happy @suhappyness 2 weeks ago
Going for what you believe in and preparing for that leads to great results as seen in your story. Love the shoes
2
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 weeks ago
Another great piece of writing and an insight into what made you the leader you are today @natw. Thank you for sharing.
1
Leanne Avis Leanne Avis @missavis 2 weeks ago
A fantastic post, Nat. You truly are my teacher and leader inspiration! Stay fabulous and flaunt your impressive shoe collection! :) xx
1
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
Thanks @missavis - I will always be proud of the teacher and young lady that you have become- even when I'm old(er) and grey(er)!!! Xx
Marcy Webb Marcy Webb @teachermrw 2 weeks ago
A wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing. So much inspiration in your story.
1
Nasima Riazat Nasima Riazat @nasima 2 weeks ago
Brilliant - also love shoes and base collected far too many. :-)
1
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 2 weeks ago
you crack me up! great story of resilience and determination and self belief! Fabulous twitter company too. A fabulous read
1
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 2 weeks ago
Thank you for this. A great reminder that self belief and personal values, combined with great shoes, make a woman not to be messed with!
1
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
I joke about my shoe obsession but as anyone who has ever struggled with self-confidence, particularly around weight, will know, shoes are great because they always fit. The confidence is mostly just an act!
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 weeks ago
I'd have given you the job on the strength of the shoes ALONE!

A great example of how to cope with disappointment, Natalie. And maybe you're a better leader now for having had the experience and the time further to build your skills?
1
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
Undoubtedly @jillberry - we talk about growth mindset and learning from failure with our students but all too often forget it ourselves. I was able to watch and learn and really think about the leader I wanted to be.
Andrea William-Jones Andrea William-Jones @andreawj 2 weeks ago
Wow those shows! Wow what a role model! Wow what a friend and colleague. Go Nat! x
1
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 2 weeks ago
Fabulous shoes and mindset of not giving up on the job you want.
1
Anoara Mughal Anoara Mughal @ano 2 weeks ago
Love the shoes but love your story about resilience even more. Having the self belief to carry out your dreams negates doubts about your abilities. So much of it resonates with me. Thank you for sharing so honestly.
1
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 weeks ago
Fab post. Fab shoes.
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 weeks ago
Fab post. Fab shoes.
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