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Archive for October, 2013

Recently I have been thinking about how I ended up where I am now, and the things that people have said and done that changed my life. These are 10 that shaped my working life. I am grateful to them all because without them I wouldn’t have had such a varied career, or got so much from it.

1) “You will never be any good at anything technical because you are worse than useless at mathematics”

My mathematics teacher when I was 15. She was the reason I decided not to do anything technical or number related.

2) “I hope you are good at making tea, you will be doing a lot of that in the library”

One of the interview panel when I applied for a job in public libraries at 20. She was the reason I joined the Civil Service.

3) “The great thing about programming is you don’t need to be some sort of maths genius”

My line manager when she suggested I try for a promotion into the IT Department and I said I was rubbish at mathematics. She was the reason I got into IT. Oh, and yes, I did meet that maths teacher again and took enormous delight in telling her I worked in IT and was loving it.

4) “I am very glad to see you back at work, there is a job we need doing and you are best suited for it. X has been off sick for two weeks, buy them a suitable card on your lunch break, girls always know the right thing to get”

My Senior Executive Officer when I came back to work after extended bereavement leave. He was the reason I decided to get into management.

5) “I ¬†am so grateful that you helped me move out of your team, I thought I was a failure, but now I know I am just not good at that, but I am good at this”

A team member who was really not performing well, so we sat and worked out what he really wanted to be doing, and got him transferred to that team instead, where he blossomed. He was the reason I realised there is more to management than just getting the job done and that other part is the most rewarding of all.

6) “I just wanted to see if you had any balls”

My Director in a Government agency where I was a consultant when I asked him for a pay rise, as all the male consultants had been given a raise but not me (the only female on that team). He was the reason I decided I wanted to stop that rubbish happening to other people for whatever reason.

7) “If you could do anything at all when your contract ends what would it be?”

My husband. He was the reason I plucked up courage to apply for HE courses, give up work and become a full time student.

8) “You have a very unusual mind”

My personal tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University. He was the reason I decided thinking differently is not necessarily a bad thing and librarianship was definitely what I wanted to do.

9) “Maybe you are in the wrong job, and you aren’t suited to being a librarian”

An employee of a chartered professional organisation when I asked for advice dealing with bullying from senior management in my workplace. She was the reason  decided I wanted to change that organisation.

10) “You are the reason I stuck out my Access to HE course. Your help with referencing and research made me realise what I could achieve. I have started my Masters now and I wanted to say thank you”

A mature student I met after I had left my job and was wondering if perhaps the professional organisation employee was right. He was the reason I stayed in librarianship, but changed jobs to somewhere I felt I could make more of those differences.

Thank you all.

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