I recently passed the one year mark at Future Foundations, I was originally brought on as the Training and Development Coordinator and 12 months later I’m the Projects and Communications Manager. It’s been the best/most challenging/varied/fun/steepest learning curve of my life so far and I’ve been reflecting on how the Future Foundations Principles are so brilliantly ingrained in everything we do, from recruiting staff to delivering mentoring to young people. The Principles can also be used personally, as a guide for reflection and to review what you stand for, and how you want to live your life.
Take Responsibility – At FF we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our roles and actions. I had been at the company for around 2 months when I was asked to be the Assistant Course Director on the WHTC Higher Education day in Cambridge. Having very little knowledge of what FF delivery was like and how our content comes alive I felt very akin to having been thrown in the deep end of the deepest sea. I made sure I had read the Knowledge, checked and double checked my lists and then listened and soaked up all the wisdom and professionalism of the incredible delivery team I was fortunate enough to be working with. Being able to see the incredible impact an FF programme can have on students over the course of one day cemented how brilliantly every single person in the FF Network takes responsibility for their role before, during and after a programme delivery.
Pursue Your Passions – I’ve always felt more of a jack of all trades than a master of one when it comes to work and experience. The one thing I do know is that I love working with young people. In my life so far I’ve been a summer camp manager, nanny, secondary school teacher, childcare recruitment consultant and now project manager in a youth training organisation. That core passion has led me to where I am today and all I’ve done is make sure that each new role I’ve taken on has involved working in a team that creates positive impact for young people, whatever the setting or environment.
Be Authentic – I have found it easier to be myself and to know myself in the last few years, this has been helped by the goal setting ethos at FF. We set weekly and monthly goals and share these, and the results, each week. Being very honest and open about our workload and challenges we may be having has meant I feel very comfortable asking for support when needed and letting others know where my strengths lie. In the fast-paced world we now live in, many of us have a range of different ‘hats’ we wear for different occasions (socialising with work colleagues, catching up with school friends, work meetings, first dates etc). I’m grateful I feel my work environment allows and encourages us to be our authentic selves.
Contribute Your Talents – In late 2013 I decided to learn a new skill that I could go on and volunteer with, for several reasons I ended up completing a year long Reflexology diploma and my friends and family benefited hugely whilst I was training!. When I first joined FF I was blown away by the vast range of hobbies, talents and skills the Network have between them, from yoga teachers, jugglers, bi-lingual speakers, singers, actors and much more. I decided to, rather tentatively, offer my Reflexology skills to my colleagues and the lunch hours during the summer of 2014 was often spent in our office garden giving a treatment. I was pleased to be able to contribute to the team and it was a fast way of getting to know new people!
Enjoy the Journey – This principle always makes me think of the huge number of socials we’ve had at FF including: BBQ’s, after work drinks, birthdays, pottery afternoons. Christmas lunches, Annual Awards, Ted Talks and table football contests to name a few. Having the opportunity to step away from work, relax and reflect is key to me for enjoying any journey.