Roseann Kelly MBE, CEO of Women in Business
September, to me, always signals a changing of the tide. Daylight is falling, so too are the leaves, while that hustle and bustle you hear is the sound of parents sending their children off to school for another spell of learning and development.
A new term. A fresh start. There’s something so innately exciting about that blank page. The opportunity to reach for new goals and wholly embrace September as a new beginning, both in the classroom and beyond.
Indeed, autumn can be the chance to revaluate and refocus, to essentially harvest the year’s hard work and put in that extra bit of time and effort to realise your ambitions, professional and otherwise.
Throughout lockdown, baking became the nation’s go-to pastime, providing a quiet haven of therapeutic order in a time of great uncertainty and change. People were honing their skills outside the kitchen, too. Research by Bupa UK revealed the number of UK Google searches for ‘online learning’ rose 400% in 2020, peaking during that first lockdown last spring when the far-reaching implications of Covid were yet to be fully understood.
Fast forward to 2021, and there’s no question that the past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for people – professionally, personally, emotionally. The rapid adjustment to remote working, for example, left many people contemplating their situation at work. When the day job came home, and our work-life balance was put under the microscope, suddenly our careers were brought into sharp focus.
Forced to live with our choices, there came a natural inclination to explore our options, to identify opportunities for new learning and development. Working from home also accelerated the need to learn digital and communication skills; skills which are now considered critical for the jobs of today, and essential for the jobs of tomorrow.
As we enter autumn 2021, we should take time to consider how we can develop professionally. Self-development brings with it self-esteem. A renewed sense of confidence, even.
Consider speaking with your line manager about future opportunities and current objectives. Take stock of where you are now, and where you want to be in five years’ time. It’s the cliché, I know! But there is something to be said about identifying current actions to meet future goals. To better yourself and begin carving out the path for a future career chosen by you. Built by you.
At Women in Business, we pride ourselves on platforming female professionals through our programmes, which range from leadership to resilience, communication to digital marketing. Having run 17 cohorts, our mentoring programme it is the longest running of its kind in Northern Ireland and has helped propel the careers of over 500 women since its inception.
Opportunities are out there, at Women in Business and beyond. Opportunities with the power to fuel your ambitions and further accelerate your career, proving that every day really is a school day.