01 Aug 2022

Be bold, be brave, be you… but don’t bend!

Building your network, connecting with likeminded people and learning from the experiences of others can be some of the most valuable things you can do to help support and develop your career. This is exactly why the CIH North East regional group recently held an Owning Your Future event; an informal and intimate networking session which brought together talented housing professionals to connect, collaborate and inspire.

We were absolutely delighted to be joined by some incredible speakers from across the region who were so passionate, open, generous and enthusiastic in sharing their career journeys and housing experiences – the highs, the lows and everything in between.

I had the great privilege of chairing the event and I wanted to again extend a huge thank you to our super star speakers:

  • Michelle Meldrum, CEO Berwickshire Housing Association
  • Stephanie Kelley, building safety operations manager at Thirteen Group
  • Adam Clark, executive director of customers at North Star Housing
  • Georgina Lee, records and data rights lead at Believe Housing
  • James Haste, director of property maintenance at Gentoo Group.
For anyone that missed the event, here are some of the key takeaways from the session that really struck a chord with all who attended:
  • ‘Never bend yourself out of shape for an organisation. Find yourself an organisation that fits you.’
  • ‘The power of home, the importance of home is why we’re all here. Never forget why we work in housing and the difference that having a healthy, secure home has on people’s lives.’
  • ‘Focus on the things you’re great at and get even greater!’
  • ‘Don’t get too hung up on weaknesses, they can hold you back. Focus on your strengths and make them even stronger!’
  • ‘The most important person to your health and wellbeing can be your line manager.’
  • ‘Innovation and moving forward is important but so is respecting tradition and values.’
  • ‘Be bold, be brave, be authentic, BE YOU!’
  • ‘Embrace the chaos.’
  • ‘Be open to challenge, welcome it and learn from it.’

The session was so interactive, with such rich, insightful and encouraging conversations throughout the evening. Speakers, attendees and our CIH NE group members shared their career experiences openly and gained a whole host of knowledge and advice in return, with simple, understandable, relatable and most importantly actionable ideas to take away from the event for both personal and professional development.

We also discussed the importance of surrounding yourself with people who can support, nurture and inspire you to grow and develop, and a great way of doing this is through mentoring… and the best thing about being a CIH member is that you get access to a brilliant mentoring programme, provided by members for members! The CIH mentoring programme is designed to support you in your career, to help identify relevant development opportunities, with a mentoring platform that gives both mentors and mentees the tools needed to make impactful connections that provide great opportunities for professional growth.

If you’d like to take part in an Owning Your Future event or if there’s anything else you’d like to see from CIH North East let us know, drop us a message through our social media pages, linked below.