So it’s been a while since I’ve written one of these and in many ways typical of me, it’s a couple of weeks too late. So on a Monday a few weeks ago, I started my new job. A proper, full time, 9 – 5.15 kind of job with commuting into London thrown in on top. I’m pleased to say that after working as an intern for a few months, I’m now working as a Communications Officer at the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which explains the picture at the top of the article in case you thought I was just showing off about my trip to Rio. Again.
I left SAP back in August 2015 when I was kindly offered voluntary redundancy and decided it would be the perfect opportunity to change careers and do something a little more worthwhile instead. Regular readers of the blog will know there’s been a fair bit of volunteering, a little bit of interning and a decent amount of people saying, ‘sorry, you seem like a great candidate, but you don’t have the necessary charity experience.’ Over the last twelve months I’ve either volunteered or been an intern at three or four different places and I have learned loads at all of them which will hopefully stand me in good stead in my new career. One thing it has definitely taught me is that there is no substitute for actually working with someone and showing them on a daily basis how good you would be for their charity. All three places I worked out were keen to take me on permanently and if it wasn’t for Mo deciding to close the Mo Farah Foundation I could have been working for a four time Olympic champion, rather than just the two time Olympic champion from 2004. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a double Olympic champion Kelly, in case you’re reading…
I don’t have any real delusions of grandeur that anyone other than my family and possibly two or three close friends read this but if someone looking to change career in a similar way than I did does happen to stumble across this blog I really can’t recommend enough getting out there and offering your services to people to show what you can do and what you’re like as a person. It’s only my personal experience of course, but charities seem quite risk averse when appointing people – and possibly quite rightly, they need to be very careful what they do with their precious funds of course and hiring mistakes can be costly. By working with them, producing content, getting involved with the daily business shows them what you can do and also leaves you in pole position if anything does happen to come up. And if it doesn’t, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Your LinkedIn profile has an extra ‘volunteering’ section filled in, you’ve made new contacts and hopefully gained some useful experience. Okay, so you WILL have missed a few episodes of Homes under the Hammer and like most of the UK population you will have no idea who Judge Rinder is, but then again, maybe that is no bad thing..
So many thanks to Kim at the Mo Farah Foundation for first letting me work for an Olympian. Thanks to the team at SportInspired who let me help out at a couple of events to see first hand how inspiring it can be to work with young people. Thanks to Sharon and Neil for letting me dress up as a dog, meet Anton Du Beke and visit the Houses of Parliament. Finally, thanks to Marie and Richard for agreeing to meet a 40 something bloke and take him on as an intern when they’re really a charity designed to help young people.. And many thanks to Jax for speaking to Marie in the first place and telling her all about me!
So now it’s all about supporting disadvantaged young people… and occasionally hanging out with Olympic champions. If you’ve read this far and fancy finding out more or possibly helping the charity out, why not enter a 5 or 10km run on Dec 11th at the Olympic Park and raise a bit of money for us?
Right. Back to work….