Now I know this is a bizarre title to a blog, but I was recently reflecting a meeting I’d had with our CEO about careers and mentorship and it made me think about how I got here (Brew = Northern slang for Tea?).
During the scheme you are expected to meet your competencies, do the relevant educational work and do your job, but as part of the scheme you are in an amazing position to experience and learn so much more that is out of this remit. Most grads call it “The Golden Ticket” – arguably not as great as the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket, but nevertheless a somewhat all access pass to the world of the NHS. I don’t think there are many NHS staff that can say in one day they’ve had a cup of tea with the CEO; mapped out the processes in the C-Section Maternity department; had a chat about how many people are turning up to A&E with Avocado related injuries with a bunch of non-elective surgeons (the answer is too many…); and managed to finish off helping with a business case for a new e-prescribing system. (Disclaimer: this is not every day…Some days require lots of tea and a bunch of paperwork and meetings, but as a GMTS Trainee you have the opportunity to shape your time and your experiences).
The orientation period is the perfect time to use this Golden Ticket to the max. I’m sure over the next few months you will see so many blogs about how AMAZING orientation is, so I won’t spoil it for you by jumping the gun this many months early. However, I would encourage you to view the whole scheme as an orientation to the NHS. Even after you finish orientation, why not give an area of interest a call and see if you can shadow someone for the afternoon? Or have a chat about things? People are so friendly and welcoming; I promise that at least someone will want to speak with you. My top tip for that is to keep them talking! You’ll learn so much that I’m sure will be useful to draw upon in the future.
With all this in mind, we need to remember that being in charge of your own development is a challenging battle between what you need to do, want to do, and have the capacity to do. Not to reference my point but… psychology would argue that as humans we get uncomfortable and stressed when there is a large disparity between our ideal and actual (who we want to be and who we are). This is also true of our goals – when we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves we can often be left feeling somewhat incapable of reaching them. Speaking from experience, I would say to be realistic to you. Take on the work, but within reason! Yes, you are here to work – but you’re also here to learn and to develop as a leader. So try not to take on too much and remember to have a life too!
I think in this blog the main thing that I wanted to stress is that the scheme is full of potentially amazing opportunities – but it is you who ultimately decides how you want to approach these and what you want to get out of them.
As always, any questions: Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org
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