New year, new plan: Expo can take you higher – Jane Dwelly

When I worked as a financial journalist my company sent me to its New York headquarters a few times a year.

Here, two worlds collided. My New York colleagues loved my accent and were frankly bemused by my business clothes with a London twist. But, what really stopped them in their tracks was my lack of a plan.

By plan, I mean career plan and ultimately, life plan. The New Yorkers I worked with would build regular time into their diaries to update their CV, they collected mentors like stamps and they would map out their career goals with audacious detail. This meant they knew what they needed to find to improve their career prospects. This put them in control. As I boarded the plane back to London the words “you’ve gotta have a plan!” were ringing in my ears.

My Manhattan colleagues had a point. Careers don’t happen by accident. Good career moves are managed and appropriate to where you are now and where you want to go.

As you return to work with some New Year resolutions you may have some good intentions to learn a new skill, update your knowledge base or take your job in a new direction. I hope you do, as Expo 15 can help you.

Everyone who comes to Expo 15 is automatically enrolled in the pop-up NHS university. With more than 80 tutorials across a range of themes, attendees can build their own course: picking and mixing from across the themes, or following a single topic in detail.

We’ll ask the best-connected and experienced people in health and care to be our theme directors. They’ll draw on their professional contacts to recruit the tutors who’ll deliver interesting and helpful tutorials that will give you the tools you need to make a difference to your work, and your career.

Sarah Amani, now at the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, tutored at Expo 14 on the subject of co-creating health, sub-heading: Want innovation? Embrace change.

Reflecting on her time in the uni’ she says: “It was really helpful to work with people from other areas of the country as they had new perspectives and this allowed a cross-pollination of solutions. I connected with people in the audience and this started an ideas exchange that continues on twitter and email to this day. Innovation happens when ideas collide.”

To see Sarah’s slides from Expo and other presentations from the pop-up uni please visit

Follow Sarah on twitter @S_Amani

Jane Dwelly is Head of Programme Communications at NHS England. She led the communications and marketing team for Expo 14.

Before joining NHS England, Jane was head of communications for the NHS Medical Director Bruce Keogh in the Department of Health.

Jane has led communications on a number of high-profile NHS programmes including Professor Lord Darzi’s Next Stage Review in 2007/8 and the NHS Future Forum in 2011.

In the early part of her career, Jane trained and worked as a financial journalist.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janedwelly.

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