My SDF Story – Lidija Jones

by SDF 0

Where do you work and what is your role?

I work at University for the Creative Arts as a Learning & OD Partner.  I am also a mum to two energetic boys and an aunty to one beautiful baby girl!!

When did you join the SDF?

I joined SDF way back in 2011, and became South-East Regional Chair in 2018.

Why did you want to join the SDF?

I was introduced to SDF by my line manager at the time, who found it very valuable. It was the same manager who encouraged and supported me to become the SDF Regional chair.

What’s the best thing about the SDF?

The best thing about SDF is the wide-ranging network of like-minded people who support, encourage and share (willingly and selflessly) all their experience, resources, and time!!  And, the Conference!

Oh, and the regional meetings, they are a source of endless positivity, support, and collaboration!!

What are you working on at the moment?

There is a number of really exciting project going on at the moment. We have recently added the OD part to our team so I have been looking at our Learning and OD strategy (very new to the whole strategy thing) and how we can start to operate at the OD level. I am also looking at our Leadership Development offer for all managers at UCA. And finally, we are starting to have some challenging conversations with our Leadership Team around our culture, how we can start to measure it and then how we can actively start to influence it into a culture we want.

What does a typical day look like?

There is just no typical day; each day will bring new exciting opportunities and challenges. It can be anything from development of programmes, curating, delivery, coaching, meetings and everything in-between. However, the one consistent in my days is that I actively book myself time to reflect and think. I have recently attended an OD programme and one of my biggest takeaways was that ‘thinking is doing’. This for me has been very empowering.

The person who has influenced you the most is…

This for me is an easy one – my cousin; I was growing up surrounded by mathematicians, physicists, economists and biologists and my cousin is the only one in our family who is as extrovertly passionate about social science as I am. From a very young age, I have watched her navigate her personal life and career against all expectations and judgements being driven by her love and passion, always being true to herself. She is incredibly determined and driven, she is an incredible leader and she has inspired me to follow my passions against some of those very similar expectations and judgements.

Work life balance – what leisure activity do you enjoy the most?

My happy place is our holiday home by the sea in Croatia!! Which also incorporates my three most favourite activities – being by the sea, reading and swimming. Being lucky enough to be able to share that with my boys and seeing how much they love it too, is what really re-energises me. You can often find us by the sea on weekends, no matter the weather.

Something about you people would find surprising

I was born in a country that doesn’t exist anymore.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

All my amazing family and friends. For music without a doubt, it would have to be Queen (with Freddie Mercury), Peter Kay for laughs, food would have to be served by Rick Stein and Brené Brown for inspiration and conversation!!

What would your super-power be? 

Time travel

What’s your favourite/least favourite food?

As those that know me know, I love my food and can be generally found grazing most of the day. If I had to choose one, I would struggle, I guess seafood and pasta!!

I absolutely cannot stand Marmite (controversial I know)

What’s the worst job you ever had?

I have had a few, but the worst would have to be when I applied for a customer service Saturday job during my A-levels. The advert was very misleading and when I turned up for the interview, the job was actually selling double glazing and as part of the interview we had to go out and sell double glazing (door-to door) in a group. We would only get paid for the day if we met a certain quota as a team. Needless to say, I hated it, never got paid and never went back!!

What thing would improve the quality of your life?

4 day working week and living by the sea.

What’s coming next for you?

In half term we are off to Scotland to visit family. I have never been to Scotland, so I am really looking forward to exploring its beauty.