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Sideways moves, secondments , and project opportunities. Olivia Kew-Fickus, Assistant Registrar Helen Webb, HR Executive Officer Birmingham Professional Conference, 29 March 2012. What is the problem?. “If you aren’t moving up you aren’t progressing your career” But…

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sideways moves secondments and project opportunities

Sideways moves, secondments, and project opportunities

Olivia Kew-Fickus, Assistant Registrar

Helen Webb, HR Executive Officer

Birmingham Professional Conference, 29 March 2012

what is the problem
What is the problem?
  • “If you aren’t moving up you aren’t progressing your career”
  • But…
    • Your current job doesn’t let you develop the skills to move up
    • There are no obvious progression opportunities or they are in big steps (e.g., B500→G7)
    • There are not many opportunities in your area
    • You’ve tried and not been successful
    • You don’t want progression but variety
    • Your ambitions are different than your experience
    • You want to “test-drive”
what is the solution
What is the solution?
  • It’s not always about progression
  • Taking a round-about route, seizing opportunities, making opportunities
  • Some definitions
    • Sideways moves
    • Secondments and temporary roles (e.g., maternity covers)
    • Project opportunities
    • Wearing two hats
    • Acting up
what are the benefits
What are the benefits?
  • New skills
  • New perspective and experience (Corp Svcs – College, new school, etc.)
  • New challenges
  • Safety-net to return to old role
  • Variety and diversity
  • Gain experience and enrich your CV
  • Prepare for future progression
  • Networking, profile, and reputation
what are the drawbacks
What are the drawbacks?
  • Leaving comfort zone – space, people, tasks, expertise
  • Additional work – especially for projects / dual roles
  • Putting yourself out there – interviewing, stress, possibility of rejection
  • Identity issues – Who am I now? Where do I belong?
  • Going back to old role
  • There may be times when it’s not right for you.
how do i find opportunities
How do I find opportunities?
  • Let people know you are interested, especially your line manager and senior managers in your area
  • Look on the website – secondments are advertised as internal posts
  • Think proactively
    • Someone is leaving; could you cover it?
    • Can you volunteer to do a project which could be done in your area?
questions to ask
Questions to ask
  • What are my values?
  • What interests and inspires me?
  • Am I running away from my current job?
  • Am I just trying to impress?
  • What new skills could I learn? HR/Finance? What does it add to my portfolio?
  • What are my personal plans and work-life issues?
  • What are the expectations of the new role? Meet the manager, other colleagues if possible
  • How can I balance this with my existing role?
  • You can say NO if it’s not right for you!
practical considerations
Practical considerations
  • Be absolutely transparent with your current manager…
  • When will it start?
  • Will I be paid extra? If so, how – pensionable, non-pensionable honoraria?
  • Different terms and conditions?
  • Implications for leave arrangements, etc.
  • When will it end?
  • Get everything in writing
  • How will it be communicated?
before you start
Before you start
  • Meet the postholder if possible
  • Read and research the area – learn the vocabulary and grammar
  • Understand team structures
  • … and the dynamics
  • Plan an induction
  • Secure senior level support / mentoring
  • Research policies and procedures
once in the role
Once in the role
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
    • Trust and relationships
  • Understanding your role and gaining credibility
    • Fresh pair of eyes
    • Objective setting
    • Securing quick wins and celebrate success (pass on credit but take blame – don’t blame predecessor)
  • Business as usual or change?
    • Sustainability of any changes you make
  • Learn to say no and avoid over-commitment
  • Stay in touch with “home” role
finishing in post
Finishing in post
  • Handovers
  • Is there such as “going back to normal”?
  • Building into career development plans and CPD
  • Recall versus Critical Reflection
    • Discussions with senior managers/mentors
    • 360 degree feedback
    • How, why, what would you do differently?
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Look before you leap!
  • Don’t be afraid to drive a deal and set expectations
  • Research the role and area
  • Know the role’s limits and possibilities
  • Reflect and learn
questions
Questions
  • Olivia Kew-Fickus
  • Helen Webb
  • Bal Bansal
  • Mary Li

Individual discussions

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