Published date: 01 July 2021

NHSPS Virtual careers: A moment with Maria Pineros

At the end of June 2021, we ran our very first Virtual Careers Week to help colleagues learn more about careers at NHSPS.

Understanding more about building a career at NHSPS was a key theme from our Your Voice survey (our colleague engagement survey), and the sessions across the week were tailored to help colleagues find out more about careers at NHSPS.

Over five days, we ran 15 sessions with over 1,070 registrations (some colleagues registered up to 13 sessions!). We covered everything from preparing to apply for a new role, interesting career moves and how to move into a leadership position.

Maria Pineros, Talent and Performance Specialist at NHSPS designed the week so we took a moment to speak to her about it...

What is Virtual Careers Week?

Virtual Careers Week was an opportunity to respond to feedback received during our Your Voice colleague engagement survey where colleagues expressed their interest and need to understand more about careers and development opportunities across the business.

It was a dedicated week to show all the initiatives the different directorates and especially the People Team have developed in the last year or so and are planning for next year around this topics/themes.

The people agenda has never been more important and so it all links to our effort to respond to our 'Get, Grow Keep great people' strategy.

Why are you running Virtual Careers Week?

The purpose was to:

  • Share information about the range of careers at NHSPS
  • Learning form colleagues at different levels career journeys and experiences
  • Provide advice about career planning, internal vacancies and applications
  • Share insights with colleagues who want to become managers or senior leaders in the future
  • Provide externally delivered development sessions on topics like networking, career conversations, growth mindset and others

There were 15 sessions over the course of the week - how did you decide which sessions to run?

By looking at the Your Voice Engagement survey feedback we could easily point what main topics we wanted and could cover like internal mobility, careers at NHSPS (all directorates) and also give people some up-skilling sessions on specific topics like CV writing, interview prep, tip and tools around career planning and others.

From the fifteen sessions, eleven were run by internal colleagues and four by two external partners (Amazing If and Apex).

You’ve got a lot of different people involved in speaking – why is that important?

We wanted to make sure our colleagues could relate with the session, the presenters and the speakers. The aim was also to hear from colleagues at all levels rather that just executives or senior leadership teams.  Their stories might look very far away for the majority of our colleagues in the frontline, so having people from that group involved as guest speakers was key to engage with our audience, and from feedback received, I think we have definitely achieved this.

Based on your own career and what you’ve learned in your roles, what pieces of advice can you offer someone looking at their next move?

Always have time to reflect….. nowadays we live in such a changing and fast environment that we start behaving like machines and we don’t take time to reflect. Not only reflect on what went wrong, but also on what is going well and can be improved.

Where possible keep yourself up to date and focusing your energy where you want to go/be. This is very personal, and this thinking/reflection is pivotal to give you focus. And finally, to take any challenge/project as an opportunity to learn something new!

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