Linda Poyser has 15 years’ experience of working for local councils and really enjoys what she does in her current role at Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service for seven years. Unlike many of us, Linda has not had to change jobs for progression and more responsibility – both have developed within her role, and have provided the opportunity to expand her experience and knowledge.
Instead of taking the university route after leaving school Linda spent two years studying for a Higher National Diploma in Business Management. This provided a good grounding but Linda recognised that if she wanted to be a successful manager she would need to commit further to her personal development. Coupled with wanting to gain the respect of her senior managers and her team, Linda decided that continuous professional development was very important.
“I knew that my CV had to reflect and confirm my capabilities and that to only list practical experience would not be enough. I wanted the achievements to help me match the level of other managers so acknowledged that I needed to add appropriate qualifications,” said Linda.
“I wanted to develop my confidence and felt the need to be able to manage projects in a more structured way,” continued Linda.
Linda explored different ways in which she could develop herself in which would result in gaining additional qualifications to support her knowledge and experience in data management.
“In 2013 I enrolled on the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership programme and 10 months later had successfully completed the qualification. This made me hungry for even more development so one month later I enrolled on the CMI Level 7 Strategic Management and Leadership Programme,” explained Linda.
Linda chose the distance learning delivery method, as offered by Exponential Training because it suited her own style of learning and personal circumstances: Linda is very disciplined and organised in her work, however did not want to commit to regular attendance on a taught programme as this did not suit her learning style.
“Being able to work at my own pace was important; I needed to be able fit my studying around my personal circumstances and not the other way round! Exponential Training allowed me to do this. There were times when I felt a bit stuck, but through perseverance and from the support around me I managed to complete my assignments,” explained Linda.
Exponential Training gave Linda the opportunity to receive 360 feedback on her performance, which she said was an eye opener and allowed her to concentrate on specific areas of development she might not have initially considered.
Linda is very proud of her academic achievements over the last couple of years and has remarked that her work ethics have changed dramatically. Her Personal Development Plan (PDP) Linda now makes sure her development objectives are in line with and connect to the strategy of her organisation.
"Not only is my PDP much stronger and more meaningful, I also make sure that those of the people I manage are in context and contribute to departmental and strategic objectives. The latter helps me to better understand the strengths of my team and identify the right person for the job. I have had complete support from my Service and Line Manager in my development."
Feeling much more confident following her achievement Linda had no hesitation when she was asked to manage the reports during an OFSTED inspection whilst her manager was on leave. It worked both ways as Linda also felt that she had gained credibility and her senior managers were recognising her abilities.
"I feel even more organised and structured in the way I work. I have always had to work to targets and deadlines but now I am able to put structures around the systems I have to use," confirmed Linda.
Linda’s proudest moment in her success story, following completion of the Level 7 Diploma, is that she has recently achieved Chartered Manager (CMgr) status.
"My ambition was always to be a Chartered something,” said Linda. “I thought I might have become a Chartered Accountant as my career started in the world of finance. However, I am delighted and proud to be able to add CMgr after my name."