Welcome aboard to Alison Crawford. We’ve just started out on this mentorship journey so lots of interesting insights to come no doubt. Alison will also be doing a guest blog about her experience of the process but in the meantime, she’s supplied a bit about her professional journey to date below:
Here’s a bit about me: Following a degree in Biotechnology and a short-lived attempt at being a research scientist, I fell into a job working with cancer statistics. Starting out at the lowest rung of the ladder I happily learnt my trade as an analyst/statistician by being the person that never said no to a difficult or challenging piece of work or something that took me out of my comfort zone. I did statistical reports, I developed databases, I contributed to journal articles, I presented findings at conferences and basically became the directors ‘pet’ analyst, picking up interesting things to do. But after five years I realised that progression would be limited in such as small organisation, and decided it was time for a change. I moved to the Health and Social Care Information Centre on a level transfer and worked for a year on social care publications, introducing me to the world of government statistics and all the governance that comes with them. After a year I took a promotion to work on commissioning and contract management of health surveys, ensuring that the finished results and reports were able to answer the questions posed by our policy colleagues. As the team grew, I took another promotion and later covered my manager’s post for a few months, giving me first proper taste of responsibility and decision-making. I liked it so much I took up a secondment opportunity at the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit within the Treasury, and then shortly after another secondment to the National Patient Safety Agency (recruited by Aresko’s very own Sharon Davidson). I spent a challenging year cutting my line management teeth with my own team of analysts and getting my first real taste of senior management politics. Returning to the HSCIC was difficult, back to a lower grade and no responsibility or authority. I worked on three teams in 13 months as a pool analyst, finally winning a promotion to manage a team of database specialists who oversee all reference data for the organisation. That’s the journey to where I am today, but of course I hope that this is not the final destination for me.
Where do I want to be? I don’t have a 5 year plan, but I know what I aspire to. Why have I sought out a mentor? They say if you copy behaviours of successful people, you yourself will be more successful. Having a mentor fits the bill, so I put feelers out. I realised I needed someone who could help me grow as a person, not just offer advice on where the best jobs were. Sharon is a good fit for me – like me she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, a gift with drawbacks. I am hoping that she will be able to offer me constructive advice on behaviours I should build on, those I should dial back, and support me when I know I’m doing the right thing but the payoff isn’t immediate. It’s a big ask, and all I offer is the odd glass of wine, a blog for the website, and hopefully a friend to share photography stories.
Should be an interesting journey ahead 🙂