I registered for Fellowship with the best of intentions. I made it an appraisal objective so that I would have no guilt in using work time to make progress. I set up a mentoring relationship, paid up, attended the course, filled out the PKSB and then let things slide!
I did have good reason. Work got especially busy, we had staff changes that lead to my role being slightly different, work got even more busy, my job description needed updating and, as such, my annotations were a bit iffy to say the least… Long and short, things have been stagnant for months. I have kept saying that I must do something but not actually doing anything!
Jo Alcock mentioned that she was intending to work on Fellowship throughout November and I decided to jump on the bandwagon! So far, so good; it is the 5th of November and I have done something towards Fellowship every day. I hadn’t actually intended to work on this at weekends – my plan is to use weekday lunchtimes – but I think that the odd bit of Fellowship over the weekend might keep up the momentum so here I am!
I’ve completely redone my PKSB and amended the four or five items which will make up the bulk of my evidence. I’ve updated my list of CPD, identified lots of potential evidence and feel like I am on a roll!
This probably wasn’t necessary as so much of it had been done before, and I will need to look back through my previous notes, but it felt worth it to get a fresh start.
The issue is that I am now moving on to the more difficult work. I need to update my job description and CV (having your actual job on the CV being key) and then annotate them. I really struggled with the annotation earlier in the year so expect to do the same this time. Another factor is the list of strange, and sometimes contradictory requirements, for the CV. As I still haven’t got my head round these* my plan is to update as I would a normal CV, then try to better understand what needs to be changed, then annotate.
The next steps will be writing reflective pieces to discuss my evidence (as much of it, at present, is not reflective in of itself), drafting the statement and combining all that together.
I’ve got about twenty hours allocated to this during the rest of November so I should be able to make solid progress. You may see some of this on the blog as I work!
The first week of doing this has been relatively painless and I do start to wonder why I hadn’t started pushing on earlier. Part of me wonders whether it is that most of the other people who are fellows or are working towards it, seem so much more qualified.
I think that I’m pretty good at my job – I get great feedback from the people who get asked at appraisal time, at least – and I certainly enjoy it but I’m not sure that what I do really compares to running an entire library service for a law firm or a university. Whilst I’m on a committee and have been on a few others in the past, this isn’t really comparable with being BIALL president or writing a professional skills framework so I wonder if I can really argue that I make a sufficiently significant contribution to the profession. Not to mention that I struggle to see how anyone, even someone amazing, can enhance their organisation’s reputation. This is perhaps more so as my organisation is so large but even somewhere smaller, surely that isn’t feasible?
I may be, slightly, a victim of my own success here as, I now understand, I went well above what was required to gain Chartership. This contributes, I imagine, to the ‘is this enough of a jump from Chartership’ fear that I get quite frequently. I might have a look at some Chartership portfolios to try to help with this and get a sense of perspective as, of course, you always think that your portfolio is much the same as any other!
The other point that worries me is that I am aware that reflection isn’t really my strong point. I don’t naturally want to spend my time going over things that are finished and I don’t feel that I am likely to get enough practice for it to suddenly become a strength. I guess that this is one where I may need to just do my best and see what happens!
I may be back on here soon or I may have my head down ‘fellowing’ but wish me luck if you have any to spare and I shall update you on progress… Some time.
*For example, it must be four pages minimum, it must include every course you have ever attended. Common sense tells me that these must be incorrect but I want guidance so that I don’t get rejected on a technicality!