"I have always had a good idea on the direction I wanted my career to take but also thought to seek the right support from the School to support my personal development."
Tell us a bit about yourself...
Looking for work in the UK was a tough challenge despite all the knowledge and experience I had, but I successfully joined the University of Birmingham's Medical School back in 20013 as a Technician on a Band 300. Two years on, I rejoined the University, this time in the School of Physics and Astronomy as a Technician with responsibility for the final year teaching labs. This move was a step-back from my career in Zimbabwe but I knew that I had to gain as much local experience as possible, whilst also knowing that I would be able to perform in an environment that I was familiar with, having had my training in a more or less similar environment.
What's your job now, and how long have you been doing it?
I now lead the team providing technical support for all teaching laboratories in Physics and Astrononmy and have held this position for the last 4 years.
What has helped your career whilst working here?
Since joining the School of of Physics and Astronomy, I have taken a number of professional courses, including in Health and Safety (NEBOSH), an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) course, and the Aditi Leadership Development Course; as well as undergraduate study in Engineering, all whilst working full-time.
I have voluntarily enrolled on a variety of courses ranging from developing the understanding of a particular subject, to those for improving competency.
What advice would you give to other members of staff?
The University is an environment that offers a lot of opportunities to self-develop, so take advantage of this and network across all sectors, where possible. Seeking these out and proving one's worth is an effective way of promoting a positive career growth.
A strong awareness of the direction in which one wishes their career to go in also helps but if you are unsure, there are lots of opportunities on campus, so don't be afraid to ask for advice or recommendations from colleagues.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share?
I think it's important to take yourself out of your comfort zone from time-to-time. I have done this by attending different networking events and courses, including Aditi. It has given me confidence and a visible profile, within my own area of work and also outside of this remit.
If, like Tendai, you would like to share your story, please email us.