Blog: Skills development through work and a puppy!


As the self-employed Comms person for Futureworks (Yorkshire), I do have the habit of asking the team to write a blog and I normally get a reply along the lines of ‘why me?’ or ‘I’ll put something together’ (also translated as please be quiet) in the hope that I will forget about it.


I never do!


And as I am keen on organisation I always have a back up… which is also translated as to ‘I will write something that comes in to my head’.


Now life as a self-employed person in my case means having different clients in different sectors, all wanting different things. So you could say it can be hectic! There will no doubt be that day when I answer that phone saying Hannah from Futureworks (Yorkshire) when actually I’m ringing on behalf of another client.


Obviously this hectic work life isn’t enough for me as I now have this little bundle (pictured) in my life. At 8 weeks old he is a very cute Frug (half French Bulldog, half pug) called Jake (aka monster) and it is all completely my other half’s fault (he took me to see some puppies so naturally I was going to want one). And surely a puppy is a warm up to thinking about starting a family?! May put me off more like!


Babies have nappies, puppies don’t… that is issue number one! So whilst I’m doing some website updates, writing newsletters etc I need to ensure the eyes in the back of my head are working in case this little monster decides it’s toilet time and quickly needs to be taken into the garden (I don’t want to destroy the rainforest through the amount of paper towels and newspapers required, or damage the ozone layer further with the excessive use of anti-bacterial spray for cleaning up accidents). And when I say quick, I mean quick! But as if by magic as soon as he meets the grass the toilet need can wait whilst we then spend the next 15 minutes walking around the garden trying to eat everything (feathers are a particular favourite at the minute) before doing what he needs to do.


Apparently I’m doing quite well with his training but every 15 minutes spent doing the walk around the garden (and this can happen a lot in one day) is 15 minutes lost from work.


This is where there could be issue number 2, however in the world of modern technology I am forever grateful as this is enabling me to problem solve! That mobile phone of mine is permanently on me so I can still work whilst entertaining the little one. I’m even using it to write this! Shall we take bets now as to how long before I drop it in something?!


Then we have issue number 3… the laptop! Obviously I have spilt that much lunch over the past few years that it has a scent of Gregg’s chargrill Chicken oval bite or toasted teacakes that my dog thinks is edible! It is effectively a baby teething and if the bone isn’t to hand he has to go for something else!


Now in my little world of self employment it is just me. I don’t have staff. I don’t use other companies for their services. I’m finance, IT, comms, admin, sales etc etc. so I can’t do the typical take a few weeks off and hand work over to someone else so I can just spend my day training the puppy. I have to be organised, I will have to work late and puppy has to have a schedule too which is planned around conference calls and meetings. And this little monster is my responsibility now so I can’t let him down, like I can’t let my clients down.


If you’re still reading you are either laughing or thinking where is the tedious link with the work of Futureworks? Having a puppy means developing skills (many that you never even thought of)! No doubt many of our apprentices have had pets growing up and they probably don’t see it but they would have learned something from that. They have to keep them alive which develops responsibility and understanding towards others. You may be contemplating taking on an apprentice but you may be concerned their age (in typical circumstances) will mean they haven’t had any experiences. We don’t know everything that has happened to a person but their own personal experiences (even in a short timescale) could have given them personality traits which you want to see in an apprentice. Take some time and meet with the tpday’s young people as they are probably that next team member you are looking for.


And on that note I better deal with the little cute monster… and my next work task!


Over and out!