Guilty. Yes, guilty as charged with another case of imposter syndrome. I really should know better at my age and with all my experience… but I am getting quite nervous. You see, on Wed 11 May, I am 7th on in an impressive line-up of 8 wonderful speakers at the Ignite Lab at the CIPD Learning and Development Show. When I saw the list, my first thought was ‘I am not worthy’. Why, why, why did I allow such self-limiting thoughts for even a moment?
Well for a start, the format is challenging to say the least. 20 x 15 second timed slides that move on relentlessly. I did it last year and the time went in the blink of an eyelid. I nearly collapsed afterwards though. However, I felt more comfortable with my theme last year. I presented on the bite sized leadership programme I had co-created with an external and respected company to support middle managers as they transitioned from a public sector organisation and approach into the private sector.
This year, I just wasn’t sure what I had to offer. You see, since then, I had been encouraged to take voluntary redundancy, as had many of my former colleagues from corporate services. So it was not possible to develop last year’s theme. Honestly being the best policy, I responded to say that the only topic I could present on with any knowledge this year was my own journey from the safety (much of this is perceived and not real) of a public sector career into freelance independent work.
Now, I benchmark myself against some great thinkers and bloggers, many of whom I know are, or have been independents. How could anything I had to say possibly compare to what I know many of these guys have written about many times? To my surprise, my suggestion was taken up, so I was committed.
What next? Apart from booking a train and my ticket. Crowd sourcing on Twitter of course to find a theme. People were very helpful and Paul Taylor (@NHSE_PaulT) asked ‘What would sum up that transition in one word?’ Without hesitation, my reply was ‘liberation’. This led to a Statue of Liberty theme and boom! My presentation was going to be a visual tour of my forthcoming trip to New York!
It’s not going to be possible to convey the complexity of emotions that I have experienced during this transition in 5 minutes, but I will be skimming the surface of my hopes and fears and of the wonderful ‘moved-on’ place in which I now find myself.
If you are attending, it would be great to see you there, and all the photos used are my own work. Here’s a taster of some that don’t feature, but could have.