Diana Hey

Every day brings something different in my job. One day I could be taking young people to visit a workplace to get an insight into a specific industry (this could be a farm, building site or finance company – you name it), offering one- to-one coaching sessions, at Highlands College supporting the Budding Chef programme or presenting in schools. This is one thing I love about my job because I am constantly meeting with new professionals and young people.

How did you get your job?
I did Art and Design at Highlands College because I loved being creative. I spent three years working in tourism before working in finance. At 17 I started volunteering at the Youth Service before becoming a paid member of staff. Youth work gave me the opportunity to gain experience working with young people whilst the other industries gave me transferrable skills I could bring to my role today.

What motivates you in this role?
Working with young people started to become a real passion when I started working for the Youth Service. I realised this was an area I wanted to work in full-time. When I saw the Skills Coach job advertised I thought this was the perfect role for me as I would be able to support young people in a way that would help their future.

Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role?
Giving presentations in schools is a part of my job. During school I always struggled to present to people and had avoided it. When applying for this job I knew that giving presentations would be expected, however this did not stop me from applying. I have now presented to different year groups in schools which has increased my confidence.

What are the three most important skills required for your role?
Listening skills – listening is a vital part of coaching. I want our young people to know that their voice is being heard.
Being open-minded and non-judgemental – I believe everyone has their own strengths and should have the opportunity to use them. Approachable and outgoing – having a good sense of humour helps!

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession?
Get as much experience as you can working with young people and remind yourself that you were young once. Think of the support you would have benefitted from and how you can be creative and support other people in today’s society.

FUN FACT
A skill I have yet to develop is cooking, however this does not stop my love of food and all cuisines. I will always be the first person up at a buffet!

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