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Unlocking success: Key lessons from the workshop on ‘Flourishing as a leader in the international development sector’

20 Mar 2024
Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director

As a female leader in the international development sector, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop led by British Expertise International and facilitated by Annika Burke, an esteemed executive coach and economist serving as a senior manager at Adam Smith International. The session, tailored specifically for female leaders and emerging leaders in the international development sector, delved into the theme of “Flourishing as a leader in international development: Building a meaningful and energising career.”

Annika’s guidance throughout the hour-long workshop was nothing short of inspiring. She skilfully navigated us through the intricacies of crafting a purpose-driven career in international development, emphasising the importance of finding fulfilment without succumbing to burnout. Each participant had the opportunity to reflect on the unique challenges and prospects within the sector, ultimately departing with actionable insights to shape their individual career trajectories.

From the session, I gleaned several key takeaways:

  • Firstly, it reaffirmed my genuine passion for the work I do. The realisation that my efforts contribute to improving people’s lives imbues me with a profound sense of purpose, a sentiment perfectly encapsulated by our organisation’s apt name, People 1st International.
  • Secondly, collaborating with individuals possessing complementary skills enables us to leverage our strengths and achieve greater impact collectively.
  • Thirdly, I was reminded of the importance of allowing ourselves the space for contemplation and creativity, recognising that women, as creators, thrive in environments that foster such freedom.

Central to Annika’s message was the imperative of embracing our authentic selves. By aligning with our true identities, we unlock our full potential and pave the way for personal growth. I resonated deeply with her notion that our thoughts manifest into reality, underscoring the power we possess to effect positive change in the world. For me, this manifests in fostering collaboration and forging partnerships to extend economic and social inclusion to marginalized groups, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and those disadvantaged by geographical barriers.

In essence, the workshop served as a catalyst for introspection and action, empowering us to navigate our careers with purpose and resilience. I am grateful for the invaluable insights gained and am energised to continue advancing towards a more equitable and inclusive world through my endeavours in the international development sector.

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