By Leanne Atkins
It’s scary stuff – the unknown….. but it doesn’t need to be!
When I left school, I didn’t know what career path to take. Well actually I did – I wanted to dance and be on the stage and have fun in the theatre for the rest of my life – but my Mother’s advice was right (as usual)…. my knees weren’t up to it (they weren’t) and I wouldn’t make a professional (rude). She told me I needed to get some other skills under my belt to help me into career that was going to keep me in the clothes, shoes, handbags and make-up which was all so important to me aged 16!
So I took typing classes at school on the old style – and very heavy – manual typewriters. I passed all my typing exams and O Level English (yep – O Level!) with flying colours – and off I went to college for 2 years to do a secretarial diploma which I passed with top marks.
From there it was relatively easy to land myself an office based job. I started my first temp role for a large, well known 5 star hotel in Eastbourne. I was so scared – it was HUGE in there and I got lost on more than one occasion delivering memos I’d typed up!
Not long into the assignment I had a call from an agency to say they had a permanent office role based in Hastings they thought I’d be good for. The next day I was interviewed by the then named Barclays Commercial Services (a factoring company) and started there the next week as a secretary….. and I LOVED it! Absolutely loved it! So much so most of my friendships were formed there and are still going strong.
After 14 years at Barclays and working in the IT Helpdesk team, my world was rocked when we were told our jobs were being outsourced. I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do…. I was also going through the process of a divorce so the stress was inconceivable. However, being the organization they are, they really looked after their staff and they knew that this was going to be a difficult time for us all. The world of work had changed SO much after 14 years. Barclays had introduced me to using PCs and the internet, but I wasn’t ready for life outside of that big office with all the comforts of knowing my job and employer so well…….
Barclays took the wise step of employing a company to help us through the transition and offered everyone the opportunity to use an outplacement service. That service was so effective. They helped us to prepare for the new world of work…. how to find jobs, where to look, how to create a great CV, interview techniques and more. Not only did it put us at ease, but it also helped appease the rest of the employees at BCS who were, naturally, concerned if they were next. Looking back, I can honestly say it was one of the best things that happened to me….. redundancy catapulted me into new circumstances.. my confidence grew… I even commuted to London for my first job after Barclays and how I loved it! A new life…. a new me!
I have Barclays to thank for that – for being an employer of choice and for providing me with the stepping stones to help me on my way…..
If you have staff who are having to face redundancy, then why not make use of our Outplacement Service – it’s worth it – for you, your company and your staff….. please call us on 01424 830000 – www.rsegroup.agency – total talent management offering