Since I signed up at first @womenedscotland event on Saturday I've been trying to decide what to write for first go at this.
So over the past couple of days I've spoken to colleagues about the event and began spreading the news about the new networks. At same time I began to reflect on what difference this kind of network would have made to me over the years.
It struck me that whilst I didn't have the formal networks of #womened I did have an incredible network of amazing women who sought empower me to have the choice to progress on my leadership journey. My take home message from Saturday.
From the wonderful teachers in St Joe's and Stranraer Academy to EIS pals who made sure I got to make my first speech at AGM in a supported environment. From my wee mam who always managed to let me know she was proud of me (even if it was via a pal) to those who have given me feedback over the years about a range of activities. Each and every one has seen me on an ever more exciting journey.
And it is to one of those feedback sessions that I so often reflect when I'm supporting others in going for interviews. When I hear 'but it is easy for you...' I tell them of the interview that turned the tide for me...and I didn't get the job.
I'd been for a couple of other DHT posts when I got an interview at a local school where I knew the HT well. It was a prized job and I set off in my best interview suit. I didn't get it. In her feedback the HT couldn't have been nicer...'you answered all the questions well but the you I know didn't shine through. Your personality was lost'
I took that advice and reflected on what had happened. My conclusion, the advice I share with others, was that I was acting what I thought the part called for rather than showing how I'd do it. Further in acting the part I'd dressed the part...that best interview suit went straight to the charity shop. I'm not a suit sorta gal. Indeed it has been said I am 'colourful' in my dress. Once I started to dress as me for interviews I was me in the interview and whilst I still don't always get the job I know it isn't because I wasn't being me.
On this first #womenedwednesday I posted 'Find what works for you and believe in it. Who knows you better than yourself?' and I stand by that. Not every job will be for you but if you are true to yourself you'll be able to cope with that.