Leaving well

I have a friend who often inspires me and who I would consider to be a major role model in my life. One of the things we have occasionally talked about and that I have observed at least twice in his work is the idea of 'leaving well'. I really love new starts and get quite excited about new opportunities. In some ways, I like routine and don't like sudden and unexpected change but when change is planned and I have time to work with it, I actually quite like a change from time-to-time.

I was offered my new position as an e-learning designer way back at the beginning of December and a 2 month notice period was always going to be tough. I was fortunate that my colleagues and tutors have been fantastically positive and supportive, knowing I was likely to move on at some point, but those I work closely with have taken several opportunities to point out that I will leave a hole in their world and they will really miss me. Actually most of them told me they'd miss Liggy, my assistance dog first... but she's extremely cute and adorable, so I can understand that!

Going back to my friend, I was conscious that I wanted to leave well. By that, I mean that I wanted to to finish as much as possible, hand over ongoing projects properly, maintain relationships in as positive a way as I could and definitely not burn any bridges. I wanted to ensure that those that I have had the pleasure of working with were built up, that I hadn't missed any chance to encourage them and that they really knew that I valued them... because actually, leaving them could have given the exact opposite message.

IT infrastructure

The replacement of the entire computer system, last summer, will hopefully be a lasting legacy. Even up until 15 minutes before my employment ended yesterday, I was doing final checks of settings and trying to make sure I left everything in full working order. I've trained and handed over as best I can to the team who will continue looking after the system and I am confident that they can do everything I could do... and more.

Staff training

I love delivering training and even the last week, I fitted in a full day's training for senior managers on High Level Presentation Skills. My session was about alternatives to PowerPoint for engaging an audience. This will hopefully be a guest blog post with PD North soon, so when that happens, I'll post a link. I also continued training tutors and our curriculum team to get them to the highest level of using ActivInspire and Class Flow. I hope I've done enough to ensure that they can keep training others.

Online learning

This is an area where I have experienced frustration. I knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go with this, but just as I was beginning to move it forward, it got put on hold. Actually, leaving did enable a final burst and I upgraded some of our induction materials and produced a nice little animated video to explain a series of courses to new learners. I wish I could have done more in this area but I do feel that I have prepared the stage for someone else to lead the way... and in my new job I'll be able to really focus on e-learning creation.

Increasing participation in digital learning

I can't help being a little bit nerdy and a lover of data and stats. So I kept monitoring funding stats right up to the end. My target had been to increase learner numbers and thus draw down more funding for digital courses. Obviously I can't share figures but I can say that this year's stats were well up compared to last years. In addition, we have begun to deliver courses off-site, across the county and that was something that I had been less confident about, so I am really pleased about that. I'm even more pleased that I have handed it over to a team of people who I know will take it to the next level.

Ready and excited

There's always more that could have been done but I feel like I achieved my goal of leaving well, though probably not to the same extent that I've seen my friend achieve. Now, I am ready and excited about the next chapter. I'm finally moving into e-learning, which has been my goal since beginning my MA studies back in 2013. There are things I want to bring to the role and things I want to learn. I hope Liggy and I will fit in well and get to know our new team quickly. It will be interesting to shift from education to learning & development... and who knows how big a change that will be?

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