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Sajeev Job - Senior Leader, Level 7

Sajeev saw the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship at CUH in 2019 and that it offered staff the chance to explore and shape a different facet to their career.

He had already done his specialist paediatric training at Cambridge, and knew that the Trust had always been supportive of trainees and staff in their various roles. He felt the apprenticeship would offer him the practical experience to merge his theoretical learning with hands on experience with account and business models within the NHS as an organisation. He thought it would also offer him the skill enhancement and the insights into how large organisations functioned.

Sajeev Job

What does a typical day look like in your role?

The role of the leader involves being both multifaceted and possessing a degree of self-awareness. Both these attributes link with social and personal control leading to higher job satisfaction which then leads to personal and professional growth. When I started my apprenticeship, I had mixed feelings and thoughts around how this would affect my daily working schedule. I am a Consultant Neonatologist with expertise in Paediatric Cardiology, I work in a busy Intensive Care Unit and also am a retrieval consultant. These roles can see me start with leading ward rounds, to starting the day leading the team into stabilising and transferring a sick patient to another area, or I can be in a cardiac clinic where I review and provide care to patients, from babies to children aged up to 16-18. Therefore, every day is different.

My other roles at the Trust include being the college tutor for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and I have been teaching and training Cambridge medical students for nearly three years.

What do you enjoy about your role?
I enjoy making a difference, however small, with patient care and embedding that within my work ethos; team working forms the core of why I enjoy doing what I do. One of my other strong beliefs is to remain positive and to show respect as remaining positive, especially in the nature of my work, gives myself and the team the belief in what we do. Personally, I also strongly believe that remaining positive helps me motivate myself and takes me through days which at times may be more demanding and challenging. Respect is another aspect I have always believed is earned, especially in the role as a manager, but it also means that one should treat every human being with the same respect. In work, every member is important, from the nursing and support staff to medical staff, and respecting everyone brings the best out of every individual.

What sorts of things do you do for the off the job learning aspect of your apprenticeship and does this involve attending college or is it all completed at work?
As this apprenticeship was undertaken during the COVID pandemic all the classes were online and I was permitted to apply for study leave during these study days. The learning has been varied and has included attending the apprenticeship online and off line training modules, watching suggested videos and TED (Technology Education Design) talks, attending multi-disciplinary meetings and interacting with different divisions and understanding how they worked, attending courses and conferences and appraisals.

What are your future intentions?

As an individual and a team leader, I believe in leading by example and I am also a situational leader adapting to the needs of the team. This MBA apprenticeship has given me a different perspective on how to approach different situations and I have already used the skills I have learnt in applying for two CUH innovation grant applications. The apprenticeship has helped me to understand the process, stakeholders, approaching different teams and individuals before the submission, to get a better perspective and then applying for the grant. Over the next couple of years I will look to use the skills I have learnt in my apprenticeship to push myself towards newer challenges in taking on more management roles within the Trust.

What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?

I would use ‘my apprenticeship journey’ as a testament or advice for any individual who aspires to dream and believe that life is built on dreams and hopes. The apprenticeship has honestly been hard, balancing my busy schedule with work, COVID and family. However, I believed in myself and feel immense pride as I stand at the threshold of completing the apprenticeship. Life is hard and there are many challenges that life will throw at you. It’s the choices we make that determine how we navigate and balance and reach our goals. If I could achieve this, there is no stopping you, only ‘believe in yourself and remain positive.’

The main theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is skills for life. What are the most important skills for life that you have developed in your role?

The apprenticeship programme has offered me a very diverse set of skills in my approach towards leadership and team management. It has helped my critical thinking and how I address, navigate and analyse complex problems. It has also added a dimension into how I develop and execute strategic plans, identifying short and long term goals. The apprenticeship has also opened my entrepreneurial mind set, encouraging creativity and innovation to identify and capitalise on business opportunities. In this context I have already submitted an innovation application for a grant and am in the process of submitting a second innovation grant application. Therefore, I can personally say that these life skills learnt are to a large extent directly related to my apprenticeship and I appreciate that in the long run they contribute to not just my personal growth but also to success in management in different and diverse fields and situations.