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Joining at just 16 years old, Jennifer progressed quickly into a leadership position, and now she empowers her colleagues to future-proof their own careers. Read her blog to learn about her journey and the vast support she’s been given to develop at Barclays.
Future-proofing your career at Barclays
I’m currently a Customer Care Leader in-branch, where we serve customers in person, as well as taking inbound customer calls. I lead a team of about 30 and my main responsibilities include leading my team to support our customers and meet our goals, carrying out one-to-ones and development observations, and bringing in new business externally. It’s so varied and I really love it.
I’ve been with Barclays since I was 16. After leaving school and deciding I wanted to go straight into work, I applied for a few different banks and I’m so glad it was Barclays that got back to me. I’ve received so much support since the beginning and I see myself working here for many more years to come.
I’m so happy here and at this moment in time, I truly believe I’m in the best bank there is.
Empowered to develop professionally and personally
My first role was as a Cashier, helping customers with their day-to-day banking needs. I loved that role, and my team, and thanks to their encouragement, and the support of some amazing leaders and mentors, I was empowered to progress consistently. I took on a few different roles (and a career break to travel for six months) before becoming a Branch Manager and led various teams, building up my experience managing bigger, busier locations. Which is what has led me to where I am today.
I didn’t always have a lot of confidence in myself, but I was encouraged constantly by everyone around me. From my branch colleagues who taught me so much, to my mentor who I’d call on for advice and reassurance, to my line manager who kept pushing me to develop whenever he saw I was getting comfortable.
There are so many avenues you can take to learn and develop at Barclays. After becoming a Branch Manager, I was given the opportunity to gain a degree – paid for by the bank – in Business Management and Leadership. It was challenging running a branch while studying, but I learnt so much that I still apply to my role today. I also gained a lot of life experience. And that’s been true of my entire journey at Barclays. I’ve grown up here and reached so many milestones both professionally and personally.
A learning and development culture
There’s plenty of other ways to progress here, too. From shadowing and secondments in different areas of the business to extensive training programmes and receiving coaching from senior leaders, learning and development is embedded in our culture. My favourite part of the job is supporting my team to develop, and I’ve been able to provide advice and guidance to many colleagues, helping them take the next step in their career.
I’ve never experienced any type of barrier due to my gender, but it’s inspiring that Barclays recognises there’s room for more women in leadership positions.
I recently attended a brilliant event centred on breaking down gender barriers, which was so enlightening. There were some great talks about self-limiting beliefs and life circumstances that women go through, such as becoming a mother, which can inhibit their progression.
But it’s clear Barclays is doing so much to ensure these factors don’t hold women back. There’s lots on offer in terms of flexibility, such as part time contracts, job sharing, maternity/paternity pay – among the many other fantastic benefits we’re given. As someone who’d like to start a family one day, but who’s also very career driven, I’m confident that I can continue to progress when I do decide to have kids.
A colleague-obsessed organisation
You don’t need any previous banking experience to be successful here. If you’ve got good communication skills, you’re adaptable, and you genuinely want to help people, you can learn the rest. There are so many areas to explore, whether that’s in a branch, at a contact centre or in a head office role. And the people are great. Every single person I’ve met is passionate about what they do and it’s such a nice environment to be in. I’d recommend it to anyone.
If you don’t have that belief in yourself, there are so many people at Barclays who will encourage and support you. I don’t limit myself when it comes to my progression anymore – I believe in myself and go after everything I want to achieve. I’m so glad that my 16-year-old self found Barclays. I genuinely don’t know where life would have taken me if I hadn’t.
Jennifer, Customer Care Leader