When you are about to embark on a new experience or try something new, it’s normal to be a bit nervous, but it is important to remember that everyone else is in the same boat as you.
In early January, I took part in my first virtual Future Leaders meet up. I was initially a bit nervous to meet everyone, but I was quickly put at ease by the programme organisers, meeting the other members of the course cohort for this year and hearing stories from last year’s course attendees.
The Future Leaders programme is really popular and is designed for those who aspire to be a part of the next generation of heads of department or directors of communication.
I am still a bit in shock that I secured a place on the course as although I am really enthusiastic about taking part and my career in the future, I know it is extremely competitive with candidates joining the programme from local government organisations across the country.
Last year’s cohort were really open and spoke wisely about their experience on the programme, sharing meaningful tips about forming relationships with each other as well as your course mentor and being focused on what we would like to get out of the experience from the beginning.
It was interesting to hear about the variety of course content and the mixture of academic learning, what people took away from their mentoring experiences and how the hands-on training can potentially help you to develop your career in the future.
A number of the cohort from 2022 talked about gaining confidence to speak from a better place in the current workplaces, as well as others moving on to new roles and believing that the Future Leaders programme helped them to explain their commitment to the communications profession and their managerial ambition through their various interviews.
Meeting fellow communications professionals, sharing knowledge and forming working relationships that will be really useful going forward, is something that last year’s course attendees’ thought was a fantastic element to the programme – and they continue to keep in touch, speaking fondly about the social element of the course too.
Securing a place on the Future Leaders programme is a great way to start the New Year.
I’m really looking forward to meeting my fellow 2023 Future Leaders in person in London for our first formal session and can’t wait to take in as much learning as I can from both the tutors and professionals leading the programme, as well as those attending the course like myself.
Becky Skinner, Communications & Marketing Manager at Chesterfield Borough Council