What it is like to have left your job just before Lockdown
So after 10 years at the University, the last day was approaching and I had it all figured out. There was going to be a part time job that I was really interested in and that would keep me working in an area I love, with students, on campus, developing new projects and ways of communicating with them, while also sharing the good stuff the Students Union does. The rest of my (allocated working) time I was going to build on my passion for the electrifying endless opportunities that collaborations between academics and the arts sector can manifest. After years working at the University connecting Higher Education and the pioneering work academics do with the creativity of the arts sector I wanted to take the model I had developed and take it to the outside world. The outputs over the years have been inspiring and I was looking forward to share my knowledge and expertise with a wider area and work together with Universities and arts organisations beyond the bounds of Hull. I had it all mapped out, who I was going to speak to, how I would raise funds, how I would become sustainable. I would have enough time between starting my new part time job and leaving to actually set my website up and meet people and consolidate those plans. I also was booked onto a great festival that would have provided even further inspiration for my plans.
But alas here we are now. At first I was excited about having more time, no pressure, time to spend with the kids, embracing the role of mother and rediscover my love of cooking, while still continuing on my plans, but I soon realised that everybody’s mind is somewhere else. Everybody is struggling to survive, nobody is interested in supporting a new project. A lot of the funding available doesn’t apply to somebody like me who is just starting out.
So I am back to the drawing board, reworking my ideas, talking to people, keeping connected, keeping positive, keeping alert to new opportunities, changes in attitudes and new needs and approaches that might be needed in the new world.
There are so many different possibilities as to how we will emerge out of this crisis. Having seen the energy and enthusiasm poured into making the most out of this crisis, I am convinced that the new world will be exciting and interesting.