Career trajectory, it’s often more than ambition and talent.

NQT Tim:  I want to be a headteacher by the time I’m 40.

Life:  Hold my beer…

I’ve always fancied being a headteacher ever since I started teacher training.  Even though with my surname it will be like something out of a happy families card game.  They call it nominative determinism.  People who end up doing the job their name suggests, like Sarah Blizzard the weather lady (I kid you not – google it!).

Many times I have had this conversation:

“So one day you will be Mr Head the Head? That’s funny isn’t it!”

ME: ” *sigh. Yes it is I suppose.”

It’s one of those things in life.  It’s good to have a plan but understand that it may be a plan but it isn’t set in stone.  Things will happen along the way.  Sometimes life is kind and opportunities present themselves.  Sometimes, life can kick you in the balls.

It is important to know that ambition is not a dirty word.  It is how you treat others along the journey that defines you as a person.  You won’t get where you want to be any quicker by throwing others under the bus.  Well, you might but prepare to be hated and that will only make your job harder.

I’ve always believed that everything in life happens for a reason whether we like it or not. Teaching has been a rollercoaster at times for me, but what hasn’t killed me has certainly made me stronger and a better teacher.

You have to say yes to the opportunities when they arise.  Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t.  Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.  I stayed in my first school for 11 years.  Looking back, it was probably about 5 years too long.

Stay long enough to have an impact.  Don’t stay long enough to become part of the furniture.  Being comfy in a school is a nice place to be, but for me personally, it doesn’t help me to improve as a teacher or a person.  I need to be challenged and feel I am having a positive impact.

I still have a ‘plan’ and I would like to be a Headteacher one day.  Though I am now the wrong side of 40, but that’s ok because my experiences will help me once I finally get there.  I spent a term as acting head of school and that came probably 18 months too early in my career. I didn’t have the skillset or confidence to apply for the substantive post when it was advertised.  As I said earlier sometimes life can be kind and other times not.

I almost abandoned my plan a few years ago when I considered leaving teaching to go into some kind of Computing/ICT consultancy type of role.  Who knows I still might one day!

Whatever your plan is, keep it with you and although the route may take a few detours along the way, keep your end destination in mind.  It may be a bumpy ride along the way.  Believe in your worth and you will get there.

I firmly believe that my ‘failures’ have ultimately helped shape me into the person that I am.

Believe in yourself, you’ve got this.

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