“Be brave, take risks, and welcome the unexpected”
Did you pursue further or higher education?
After leaving secondary school I went on to study a Travel and Tourism qualification at Coleg Sir Gar. I really enjoyed the course, and it led me to an apprenticeship opportunity with the National Botanical Garden of Wales, where I was able to continue my studies whilst gaining real world experience. I found the balance of learning and working really motivating, and the opportunity to gain meaningful experience in a range of business areas really accelerated my personal and professional development; I was involved with all marketing activity, organising and managing events, and I even set up and performed live shows with real owls!
What shape did your career take post education?
After completing my apprenticeship, I moved into a Customer Service Advisor role with a popular travel agent, supporting customers to arrange travel and holiday plans. Shortly after starting the role, I was promoted and joined the ‘After Travel Team’ which dealt with customer queries and complaints. I thrived in this new role, and after demonstrating high levels of performance and dedication, I was offered another promotion to join the ‘Crisis Team’, working closely with the Director to deal with serious issues and complaints. This was a challenging role, but I developed a huge range of skills and experience in customer service; I was dealing with the highest level of complaints and had to be extremely resilient, and I maximised my ability to use my initiative and problem solve. After 4 years with the organisation, the nature of the job started to take a toll, and I found it increasingly difficult dealing with such serious complaints and trying to resolve negative and distressing experiences. I left the business to pursue opportunities in a more positive and light-hearted environment and focused my efforts on securing an office-based administration role.
How has your career journey developed?
I secured a sales opportunity with a pet food organisation which was an incredibly busy but fun role within a lively team. I stayed in this role for a couple of years before deciding to seek opportunities with better training and progression opportunities, which led me to my current Receptionist/Administrator role at Better Jobs, Better Futures! I have been in the role for over 2 years, and I absolutely love it; I am so motivated by the positive working environment and culture that we have, and the best part of my job is welcoming and interacting with every individual that walks through our door looking for support. It’s hugely rewarding, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Are there any career decisions that you regret?
After leaving my first job, I rushed the process of finding a new opportunity, and I regret not spending enough time researching different career paths and ensuring that I found the right role with the right people in the right environment. I ended up in a few short-term positions which didn’t suit my needs, and I feel like I wasted a bit of time not putting myself first and securing a role that I really wanted where I could learn, thrive and grow.
Did your career direction change after having children?
After having my daughter Demi, my outlook on my career completely changed! My personal development is now a huge factor in my working life as I want to build my skills and really develop my expertise. I am more confident and now realise that I am in the perfect supportive environment to reach my potential – I just have to allow myself to! My drive and determination are so much stronger; I want to ensure that I provide a positive, stable and happy life for me and my family, and there is no better motivation than setting the best possible example for your children to aspire to.
Is there one thing you wish you’d known when you were younger?
I wish I had known and understood the importance of just being yourself. Don’t worry about what others think and be fiercely authentic – there’s so much power in staying true to yourself and being confident in your intentions. Be brave, take risks and welcome the unexpected!
Top tip when applying for jobs?
Make sure you show your personality throughout the application process. Employers are looking for candidates not only with the right skills and experience, but with the right personality, attitude and passion for the role. Be positive and professional but be personal – demonstrate your unique offering and show that you are a good cultural fit for the organisation. Personality can be the all-important difference between a strong applicant and the standout individual that gets the job!