Imagine flying half way across the world and landing in a place which is completely foreign to you; smells, tastes, climate, faces are all different. Now imagine learning about a conservation project which is already successfully active with project participants, partners and deadlines. Imagine being introduced to a magnificently diverse underwater world which is quite familiar but in many ways completely new. Imagine learning about a foreign political and law enforcement system and how this impacts the implementation of conservation initiatives. Imagine being told about a bigger picture of marine conservation and how this little conservation project fits into the global perspective and how this is all relevant to you and your future career. Now, imagine after only 3 weeks of training, taking on the challenge of managing this conservation project independently.
A scary prospect? Well this is real life. Working in marine conservation will mean that it is very likely that in your career you will be dropped in a place which is foreign, you will have to learn the ropes fast and get a job done. In fact this is true of many industries and sectors. Often when I speak to professionals and ask them if they can pinpoint a time in their career when they learned the most, they will say “when I started my first job”. Most of the time however, you will have a little more than 3 weeks to learn the ropes . The time limit in this case is because the Zoox Experience Programme runs for 8 weeks, any less and no one will benefit from it and any more would be a very large investment for the individual candidates. So, 3 weeks learning and 5 weeks on the job is a good balance. Luckily there are two friendly faces in the style of myself (Chloe) and JJ on hand to deliver all the training, tools, contacts and knowledge needed to do the job. Unfortunately real life doesn’t come with such an equivalent!
So we find ourselves approaching the end of week 3 of our current Zoox Experience Programme and Simon the Man Child, Frizzy Lizzy, Stef Long Limbs and the Grammatically Correct Sam are ending the training phase and entering the “on the job” phase. I must say, they are doing this with incredible confidence and courage. We haven’t been without our wobbles and wide eyed moments, and I’m sure there will be many more, but each of them are beginning to find their feet in their roles. Now we’re looking forward to seeing how they run!