Worker Wednesday is a weekly LANDED blog, written by staff to introduce themselves. You can see the rest of the blogs here.
Hello. My name is Jacqui and I’m the Project Manager here at LANDED.
I first started working with LANDED in 2006. Prior to this, I had a very different career as a sales rep, where I would travel across Scotland selling a range of household products to major supermarkets. I enjoyed the flexibility of my role as a sales rep, as it allowed me time to look after my family, but I got really fed up being nice to people just so they would buy my products, so I knew it was time for a career change.
When I first joined LANDED, I was employed as a Development Officer. I had quite a broad remit and had the responsibility of raising awareness of drugs, alcohol, and sexual health issues. It was a steep learning curve for me as I had to increase my knowledge and understanding of these subjects really quickly so I could start developing activities and delivering workshops to young people. It was tough going, but I loved it. I loved engaging with young people and listening to their views and opinions. I loved developing activities and resources that would challenge existing attitudes and encourage young people to think about sex, drugs, and alcohol in a different way, and I loved working with LANDED volunteers and seeing their confidence and self-esteem grow before my eyes.
At the end of 2008, the existing Project Manager moved on, and I was encouraged to apply for the role. I really wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted, but I applied and was successful. Again this was a steep learning curve for me as I became responsible for all aspects of the organisation including sourcing funding to keep the organisation going, and the recruitment and retention of staff. I also had to represent the organisation at a strategic level, and ensure young people’s views and opinions were being represented, which was really important. I loved my new role, but also struggled to leave my old role behind. I really enjoyed working with young people, but found being the manager of the service meant spending more time doing boring stuff like paperwork, and less time doing the stuff I really enjoyed.
Over the years I have found a balance in my work at LANDED. I still source funding and write reports, but I make sure I make time for our young people as it keeps me grounded. I have a great staff team around me who all support each other and want the very best for the organisation. Each staff member brings their own set of skills, and we work as a team so it often feels like we are a little family who all look out for each other.
Our approach to working with volunteers can vary year on year, but our commitment to supporting young people to be all they can be never changes. I still keep in touch with volunteers from 10 years ago, and it is great to see them doing well and living their lives. I really do have the best job
Blog written by Jacqui Flanagan, Project Manager. May 2020.