Hello, my name is Lauren Bevan and I’m the hub curator for the Birmingham / West Midlands hub. I’m on the cusp of starting my dream job as Head of Healthcare at BJSS in 89 hours. Not that I’m counting.
I’ve had a few weeks off to gather my thoughts and think about what advice I would give to myself 5 years ago and think about what I’m looking forward to.
Three things I’d tell myself to make my life easier;
1. If you don’t find the time to learn new skills nobody will find it for you. Having spent 12 years in the Big 4 consulting firms then I can tell you that there will always be something to do in the day job. You won’t always be working on projects which help you develop the skills you want, but taking time for yourself to learn the skills you want for medium to long term progression isn’t easy. If you can form a virtual working group with colleagues or friends it will help keep you accountable.
2. It’s OK not to have a plan, or change the plan when it’s not working. I didn’t have a career plan for a long time, I went with the flow and decided to climb the ladder where I was. At some point I realised that working in that environment wasn’t going to give me the personal or professional development I needed, but making that switch was a real emotional wrench. Don’t rush a move and have a look round to see what you want and what makes your heart happy.
3. Take care of yourself. Burnout is real, kids. Been there twice and its not fun. Taking time to step back, reassess and take care of yourself isn’t weak. Actually it takes a lot more to do that than to try and push through it. Find what works for you and do it regularly, the gym, meditation, watching RuPauls Drag Race, bubble baths, whatever. Do it and do it guilt free and enthusiastically. That’s an order (yes that is my list). If you’re feeling off, your mojo hasn’t left you for ever, it’s just on holiday and that that’s probably where you should go.
3 things I’m excited about;
1. Being able to work with a super competent technical team and deliver some amazing technical products to clients. In consulting, most of your teams are spread all over the world so working shoulder to shoulder with them in the office is something I’m really looking forward to. I’ve seen some of the stuff they have done and it’s very impressive.
2. Working without audit restrictions. It’s completely necessary to have them but I’m so so excited about being able to work with clients and other tech suppliers without having to do endless audit compliance tests. I’m also very happy to be able to do more on population health, it’s hard to find an STP you don’t have a conflict with in some way. My first non-clinical job was in public health 15 years ago so I’m excited to be ‘going home’.
3. Being able to be an honest leader. Those who know me, know that I’m very open in admitting my mistakes and learning from them. I don’t believe in this ‘hero leader’ thing. Being able to be a visible female leader who occasionally screws up is going to be tough but amazing. I can’t wait.
88 hours and counting……