“Funny how situations like this can knock the stuffing out of you”

BY KATY ROBSON-MALONE

Is it more stressful applying for a job that you’re already doing or one that is completely new? And when I say stressful, Im kind of just talking about saving face. If you’re already doing a job, you’d feel like a right berk if you didn’t get it, or I would at least!

I have been working in a secondment at work with the outreach team, but it was time for the secondment to end and we all got to apply for our jobs and go through an assessment to hopefully make the job a permanent one. 
I was really torn with applying for it, but I guess for the majority of working parents, your decisions are mainly based around what works best for your family. There’s not so much about what you would want as an individual. It does matter of course, but it’s all of the considerations together, which make your decision. For me, having the day shifts and having flexible hours which fit around the holidays count for so much and I feel privileged to have that opportunity when so many don’t.

Anyway, I procrastinated for ages even to apply and chuckled at the irony of me submitting my application at the last minute and talking about time management skills and prioritising workload, but I didn’t feel like my whole heart was in it. Plus I was also a bit “meh” about having to apply for a job that I had been doing for the last six months, so it was hard to get my focus. 
I was lucky enough to get invited along to the assessment day which included a presentation, an interview and a written exercise. So certainly not a doddle. Still the night before, I couldn’t get myself in the zone to prep. I felt really relaxed about it and very much, “What will be, will be”. I felt like I needed to give myself a good old shake. Like, “Wake up, Katy! Do you want this job or what?!”

I started to get really nervous on the morning of the assessment, so much so that I wanted to pull out and run a mile, but I had made the effort in my undress uniform and I’m certainly not a quitter. I just needed to have a word with myself.

When I got to the assessment centre, I felt absolutely fine. I was given the presentation to prepare and I just made my notes and drafted the flipcharts and felt weirdly chilled out, even a little bit excited. When I got into delivering my presentation, I wasn’t worried at all and my confidence had really grown. I really enjoyed it and I was buzzing. This then gave me a boost of confidence for the rest of the interview. It was then it dawned on me why I was a bit “meh” about it all. It was because I knew what I needed to do to get the job, I know what I am doing and it was about me finding my confidence to believe in myself. Funny how situations like this can knock the stuffing out of you a bit and you start doubting your own capabilities.

What I did really get out of the assessment (apart from the job – yeah!) was a reminder, and some clarity, about why I want to work in this department. Sometimes at work, you can go through the motions of what you need to do and it’s only when you stop and take check of it that you can remind yourself what attracted you to it in the first place. It reaffirmed how much I really wanted the role.

So although a lot of the decision making is about my family and the little people who need me at home, I feel that I do have something for me at work that has me, my skills and my personality in mind, all while still making a difference to people’s lives. I love being Katy and not just a mum. 

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