Next in our Social Media Takeover, we hear from Lindsey Johnson, the Employability Team Leader with the Community Learning and Development team within Orkney Islands Council.
After leaving school, Lindsey initially studied Aromatherapy and Reflexology at College before studying Podiatry at University while working part-time in a bar. After having a baby, she returned to night school to study for her Certificate in Education, alongside working as a Support Worker in the local college during the day. After achieving her Diploma in Education Lindsey became a Tutor at College, before working with Barnado’s. Following a move to Orkney, Lindsey started working at the Connect Project, eventually becoming the Project Co-ordinator, a role she did for 10 years. Alongside working, she also gained her Masters in Education in 2019. Lindsey moved to her current role in 2020.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
I am lucky because no two days are the same in my job. I can be in meetings with Scottish Government, meeting local employers, planning and running sessions such as bike maintenance course, helping people with CVs, writing reports, making up training resources, visiting different communities and talking to people about what is important to them, supporting people get qualifications, working with different partners to plan and deliver events or promote services, etc.
How did you end up in this role?
I left school and had to re-sit maths twice before I managed to pass it. I then went to college and studied Aromatherapy and Reflexology. After that I went to Uni and studied Podiatry (which I did not enjoy) and worked in a local bar at night time. I then had a baby and when he was nine months old I went back to college at night time to study a Certificate in Education. During the day I worked part time as a support worker at the local college. I then went on to do my Diploma in Education and I got a job as a Tutor at the college. I left the college and I went to work at Barnardo’s as a Training Supervisor within the Citizenship department which I loved.
I then moved to Orkney and was unemployed for about six months and then got a job as a support worker at the Connect Project. About a year after I started the Co-ordinator left and I got her job. I was at Connect for 10 years. From 2015 -2019 I also went back to Uni and studied for my Masters in Education. This was a lot of work on top of working full time, but I really enjoyed it (well most of it). I briefly moved to THAW Orkney as the Manager and then I moved to the Community Learning and Development team in OIC and I have been in my current role for just over a year.
What is the best thing about your job?
Getting to meet and work with lots of different people and communities.
Supporting people to achieve their personal goals and targets
My job is very varied, so I never get bored which is really important to me.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Writing reports and paperwork but they have to be done.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Good communications skills especially listening skills.
Problem solving skills and the ability to come up with new ideas.
Teamwork and a willingness to work with lots of different people within your organisation, in different organisations and in the community.
What qualifications do you have?
3 ‘A’ Levels – Biology, Psychology and Sociology.
IHHT Diploma in Reflexology and Aromatherapy
BA (Hons) Podiatry
PG Diploma in Education
FENTO Level 4 in Teaching Adult Numeracy (who would have thought)
PG Diploma in Community Learning and Development
Masters in Education- CLD
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
I would recommend CLD as a career path for young people yes.
There are so many different jobs that you can do within CLD such as youth work, supporting community groups, supporting volunteers, teaching English and Math to adults, delivering informal qualifications etc.
There are never really two days the same so it would be a really good choice for someone who likes to meet and work with people and likes variety. It is also a good career to get into and learn on the job as it is very practical and there are lots of opportunities to do training and gain qualifications whilst you work.
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