When I started working with Nifty Sustainability in the November of 2020, I was sure I’d somehow misled Jen and Claire into thinking I was more capable than I was. I couldn’t see in myself the qualities they saw in me, the potential they saw, but I decided I wasn’t going to hold myself back, and that I would battle through the doubt, anxiety, and imposter syndrome to hopefully prove to myself that they had made the right choice, even if I didn’t believe it at the time!
When I began work on my first research project, Jen and Claire were wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for better or more supportive mentors. They took time to explain and guide, but most importantly, trusted that I could do what was asked of me, even when I secretly wasn’t sure if I could do it myself. I kept proving my inner critic wrong, with every victory, big or small, I started to believe in myself the way that Claire and Jen believed in me.
The moment I noticed the most progress was when I started working on another research project. I realised I was capable of supporting another researcher and helping them during interviews and the various steps to gathering and analysing data, and the biggest surprise of all came when I discovered how much I had improved when writing research summary drafts. The quality of my writing had improved, didn’t have to be reworded or edited as much and the process I used to write the first draft had become more efficient and better suited to my needs.
Learning on the job in such an immersive way was really beneficial to my development. I was able to see how Nifty worked and pick up skills through observing, I got involved with practical sessions and open days with IMAS and Unorthobox and attended various online events, and really began to understand the importance of the work we were doing. I even picked up a few hobbies on the way!