Thing #16 Advocacy, speaking up for the professional and getting published.
Until I went to the Umbrella conference in 2011 I wasn't really sure what Advocacy meant for me in real terms, how I could help or what I got from it. The conference opened my eyes. I realised I had to be part of this, it is the only way we have to show our professionalism consistently across society. A way to put back some of the bonuses I have got out of the profession and above all a way to raise our profile in the current climate of 'rationalisation' and cuts. I came away wishing I had known more sooner and Promised I would be part of any solution in future!
A year on I am still promoting the good, challenging the bad and keeping the level of professionalism in my own service as high as I can get it :-) this fits well in my mentoring persona, and in my more general career plan (which didn't much exist last year). Best practise has become one of my measuring criteria, and with my increased social links I feel I am making a difference even if it small steps up here.
My latest piece of writing hasn't been my much adored fiction (that I never enter or publish) but an attempt at a technical piece for one of the group magazines from CILIP, I have found getting the motivation hard but I haven't missed this deadline (yet) and once done I hope it will be one of many items I get published. So to sum up thing #16 I am getting more involved and helping to encourage others to also get involved, I do speak up for our profession and feel that is very very important as no man is an island, has never been more true. Finally while I may think my opinion is a bit boring others seem to want to know what I think and say so I should publish more along with my reading more.