Job Applications, do they make you feel…

  • Anxious
  • Excited
  • Like an imposter
  • All of the above?

More importantly, should I be looking at applying for a new role a year into practice?  Well the opportunity to apply for a Chief Nurse Fellowship Programme advertised in my Trust answered that question for me, ‘yes.’ The role consists of a 12-month programme combining clinical work alongside undertaking a quality improvement programme and the opportunity to take either a research or leadership module. So, what made me want to apply?

The answer to that is the opportunity to explore and create a ‘newly qualified buddy system’ within the Trust amongst newly qualified therapists and other newly qualified professionals too. I have received brilliant support from my supervisors which has helped shape my practice, provide a safe environment to ask questions and to learn from my seniors. However, I never had the opportunity to link up with another newly qualified Occupational Therapist. Someone in the same boat as me (particularly when that boat felt like it was sinking), who could relate to how I’m feeling, whether it’s those “I’ve got this” moments or “I’m not sure I can do this” or simply “I found this really useful resource today, it might be useful for you too”.

Becoming a part of the “Year One: Thriving Not Surviving” project provided the opportunity to talk with members of the team about their experiences of peer support and how the newly qualified world can sometimes be an isolating place if not linked up with others who share the experience.

Reflecting on my first year in practice I felt strongly that linking up with other newly qualified colleagues could help cement the multi-disciplinary team approach. During my second rotation on a surgical ward, there was a strong multi-disciplinary team which really contributed towards my learning. I suddenly needed to understand the roles of many different team members to ensure that appropriate assessments, discharge planning and communication was taking place.  I often thought, “how amazing would it be if the newly qualified from other professions were linked up?” The power of sharing knowledge, mini teaching sessions and talking about our roles. It was then that the idea of a newly qualified buddy system really struck me.

It was suggested by a senior colleague that I apply for the fellowship which was both encouraging and scary. It’s great that others see potential in you. However, sat at the computer completing my application, I constantly asked myself: “Am I good enough?”, “What could I possibly contribute?” I silenced my inner critic, took the plunge and submitted my application.

To my surprise, I was shortlisted for interview. I haven’t had much interview experience and the thought of sitting across from a panel I might know was scary. I began prepping and found myself enjoying the process. My passion and vision carried me through the interview. I found I had a voice. I walked out of the interview feeling proud and knowing that regardless of the outcome, I had gained so much by pushing myself.  

Although I didn’t get the fellowship, I have been offered the opportunity for further development in the form of coaching and leadership development with the view to reapplying next year. Do I regret applying? Not at all. It has provided valuable experiences and reinforced that I have a voice and that I can do anything I put my mind to if I believe in myself enough. An idea might get you through the door, but motivation and passion keep you in the room. 

Written by Katy Williams

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

This project is funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust. If you’d like to learn more about the project you can do so via this link and the team behind it here

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