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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

'Take time to reflect and Be Bold'


Getting out your comfort zone is really what Be Bold is all about says Kirstine Clark, policy and strategy advisor at Riverside. And if you’re a CIH member you can access the course for a heavily discounted rate of £60+VAT.

In the final webinar, one of the course leaders, Rosemary, touched on ‘Imposter Syndrome’ – something I’m not ashamed to say I’ve struggled with. In my role I often feel like I know a little about a lot and a lot about very little – ‘Jack of all trades’ is pretty apt! That and a period of change was the impetus for me to pause, consider and plan what I’ve done, where I currently am and where I want to go with my career. Be Bold in Your Career gave me just that opportunity.

Back in December I spotted the Be Bold online course in the CIH newsletter. I emailed my manager asking whether I could do it, as I thought I could benefit from some career reflection. Returning from maternity leave only a couple of months before to a new role, working alongside new colleagues (albeit remotely, in a different office), and across a new condensed working week meant big change and I wasn’t convinced I was keeping up. Therefore the offer to help carve out time, create a plan that works, and make things happen sounded very tempting indeed!

It seems slightly self-indulgence to set aside a couple of hours a week to work on yourself but it’s definitely worth it. Taking time out to reflect is a real benefit. Working up and being able to seamlessly deliver an ‘elevator pitch’ (30 seconds of who you are, what do you do and how you add value) was not an easy task for me but very much helps with that dreaded, “so what do you do then?” question! Talking through my career story timeline on camera was also daunting even though the only person who’s actually seen the footage is me! The course gave me the chance to figure out what’s important to me both personally and for my career, what I’m good at, and what makes me happy.

Be Bold also prompted us to do things we should all do but tend to forget, or push aside in favour of more pressing tasks, like updating our CV. For me it was undertaking a year-long project as a secondment, returning from maternity leave to a new job role, completing a first aid course and becoming an NHS volunteer, all of which are valuable assets. We were encouraged to think of our CVs as our own personal record of achievement which should be invested in, rather than simply updated in response to the prospect of a new job or opportunity.

Career Innovation’s Rosemary and Valerie expertly guided us through fortnightly live webinars, each introducing on a new topic (thank goodness they were also recorded and available to listen back at a time that suited us, I only managed to ‘attend’ one live!). Alongside each webinar was a whole host of handy materials, including thought-provoking videos, worksheets and interactive tools which were worked through at our own pace.

Getting out your comfort zone is really what Be Bold is all about, something which remains a daunting challenge for me, but hearing the benefits of doing so has pushed me towards it; changing my outlook, putting changes into perspective, and becoming comfortable with terrifying things. The latter remains on the ‘to-do’ list for now but I hope to get there in the not too distant future.

Kirstine Clark is the policy and strategy advisor at Riverside.

Find out more

Be Bold is an online career coaching course for people who want help to move their career forward. If you feel stuck or under-valued, are eager for a new challenge, want to make sure you’re on track or want to be ready to make the most of future possibilities, this could be the opportunity you need. In just a few weeks, it will help you carve out time for yourself, create a plan that really works, tap into your network, and make things happen.

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