Lesson Four

The final lesson for 354MC involved a workshop from Francis Brown about alternative enterprise. She began by getting us to map out what we ideally want to be doing for employment in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years time. I want to be working at John Lewis and Coventry University mentoring for the next year or so. Then I plan to have progressed to management at John Lewis by 5 years time, and to be working in schools with my dyslexia and photography project, building up a strong portfolio of this work. This would hopefully lead to an excellent portfolio of working with other professionals in 10 years time so that I am respected and known for my work with photography and dyslexia and can set up my own business delivering talks about looking at dyslexia differently. The point of this exercise was to identify just how many different things we might do in our ten years from graduation. Apparently some creative graduates do as many as forty different jobs in their ten years from graduation.

The next exercise was to consider what values we have at the moment, what job we are aiming for and what skills we need for it. My values were money, family, standing on my own two feet / not having to rely on anybody else, being creative, helping dyslexic children and making people view dyslexia differently. I ideally want to be recognised as ‘the face of dyslexia’ and to have my own business raising awareness of advantages of dyslexia. I already have experience of working with dyslexic students as well as first hand experience of what it is like to be dyslexic and up to date knowledge. I identified that I may need to gain contacts through networking, meeting people who can bring new skills to the business, keeping up to date with recent developments in dyslexia and perhaps learning business management. Francis advised me that there are lots of business management courses that I could enrol on and that the staff at the ICE building at the university could help me find the right one for me.

Then the final exercise was designed to get us to think outside the box about how our career path might take twists and turns and may change suddenly altogether. We were encouraged to think about what skills we could be overlooking. Francis gave the example of a fashion designer who was headhunted not for her designs but for her technical ability. I think my underlying skills are communication and organisation for managing people. Therefore to promote myself differently I could manage in any environment. I feel that as long as I am working in something I believe in, that I can apply myself to it. Thinking of other hobbies or interests that could be useful to my career I could maybe bring in my performing arts skills to deliver workshops to children. We were supposed to think about how we could alter our values at this point but Francis agreed that my values were pretty adaptable throughout. If I did have to change my career altogether I might go into teaching. I found it useful to think about how varied my career path might be and that I don’t have to just choose one path; I can chose to do two at the same time i.e. John Lewis to pay the bills and mentoring to gain new skills.

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