I had always expected to have a linear career as an educational professional aspiring to lead my own school, which I did. However, forces beyond my control then took over and I ended up having what is now termed a ‘portfolio career’ of the sort I used to give school presentations about. I used to stress that the skill set you have is unlikely to be sufficient to extend to a forty-year career, and that choice or circumstances would mean you would need to change direction and re-invent yourself and your skill and competency set at critical points in your career. While the world is moving at an increasingly fast pace, it would be extremely naive to think that your life would stay the same.
I never thought the term would apply to me though, as education was an area where you could develop internally and still eke out a full career.
A series of adversities made me have to take stock and change direction and take my skills and experiences into different scenarios. As these changes had not been by my design, in truth I had come to believe my own narrative that my career had turned into something of a series of train crashes.
It took an invitation from my good friend Phil Crompton to change my point of view. Phil and I first met as interview candidates for an inner-city Nottingham school and immediately hit it off. Phil had the career I had aspired to with successful headships in three schools followed by a period as CEO of a successful Multiple Academy Trust (MAT). Meanwhile, unbeknown to me, he admired my ability to re-invent myself after setbacks.
This is the podcast he put together based on an online interview of inspirational talks under the series heading I Did…You Can.
This is the podcast link: Interview with David Hughes