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Does The Present Unsettle #FE?

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In recent weeks life in #FE organisations – and in a lot of other organisations – has changed. It’s almost as if the world has been turned upside down. You can probably think of quite a few things that have definitely changed or which are changing around you.

If you are also dissatisfied with aspects of life, your role, your prospects, your work, your personal relationships and more, you could find you are really unhappy given the impact of current events on #FE.

Consider the following four issues.

In the end take action where you decide you can.

It’s Catching

Think about the people you work with and interact with. The accepted wisdom about relationships at work and elsewhere is that something happens when you have a close working, or other, relationship with individuals. After you get to know how people do things, you are likely to become very like the five people with whom you have most contact on a regular basis. Before going further, decide on who those five people are in your life.

There is no need to meet those people on a regular basis. There are lots of ways to “meet” people nowadays. Whichever form of communication you use, you will be in contact with them. You may be working, at least some of your time, at home, as many people are, but people’s unhappiness can travel down telephone lines and via videoconferences with people at numerous locations, and reach you wherever you are. Your contacts can have a great influence over you.

If those you work with or interact with are people who are dissatisfied and disgruntled, you might find you take on those people’s characteristics without realising what you are doing. Check out the possibility that you are being influenced by those five people.

Be Positive!

Whoever you are and whatever you are doing, someone will be critical of you and your approach to particular activities. By all means listen to criticisms and take suggestions on board, but come up with solutions that mean something to you. Rise above the despondency of others when you encounter it.

Prepare yourself for staff meetings, telephone conferences and videoconferences. Make sure your responses to problems remain upbeat. Virtual discussions may give participants the opportunity to become disenchanted, but do your best to dissociate yourself from such approaches.

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Being positive in #FE situations matters. Have, and promote, a positive outlook, despite what else is happening. For example, when “meetings” are drawing close to ending, reinforce your positive messages. Make sure each meeting ends positively. Colleagues will value your approach more, if you can do this.

Take On More

It may be seen as foolish to encourage anyone to take on more. After all you probably have too much to do anyway. Yet, there are reasons why taking on additional tasks could be a valuable strategy.

Try to follow the two rules below before you take on any extra duties or responsibilities:

  1. Only take on something if you will really enjoy doing it.
  2. Set a time limit for how long you are prepared to work on these additional tasks.

If you find that senior people expect you to carry on with these additional pieces of work, think about what you want to do. Consider if you want your #FE job description changing to include what you have recently taken on. If you do, think also about what you will want to “drop”. This is important. After all, you can’t do everything.

Look Ahead

Here, you are thinking about your future and making the necessary plans. Consider the future, despite the world being topsy-turvy just now. Answer the questions below with reference to the next two years.

  • Which new skills would you like to learn?
  • Which skills do you think will be in demand in the near future?
  • Do you have those skills or do you want to develop them over the next two years?

Make a list of the three things you would like to know more about NOW. Work out the benefits that will accrue to you and the #FE organisation in which you work. Adding value to your organisation as well as yourself is important.

In The End. . .

Don’t just think about now or the near future. Create strategies that will help you to survive current upheavals and grow. Do some of the things noted above now.

The future will be upon you soon. Be ready for it.

Margaret Adams spent more than seventeen years working in education. She was a college manager when she left the FE sector. Today, she spends much of her time helping professionals use LinkedIn to achieve their personal and professional goals.

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