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I was always very clever at school, I got good GCSE results, but I always got bored easily, I never really felt like I was being challenged, and I didn’t think the traditional path of finishing school, going to university and getting a job was right for me.
Before I joined Barclays, I did a few different jobs, such as working in a bakery and working in the civil service as an administrative assistant, before going travelling. I went to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, where I spent two years teaching English, which was amazing. I feel like I really grew up when I went travelling – I’d always lived with my mum and when I didn’t have that safety net. If I ran out of food or money, it was up to me to do something about it.
When I came back to the UK, I started working at Barclays and spent the first five years on the phone helping customers. It was the first time I really felt like I was good at my job right away. My attention span can be very short and I am in the process of getting an ADHD diagnosis. It has only been in the past year that I have increased my awareness of ADHD, thanks to support at work and through social media. With Barclays, I was able to explore my potential and, after deciding years ago that going to university wasn’t for me, I ended up getting a degree.
With the support of Barclays, I was able to study at Anglia Ruskin University for my degree in business leadership. I was on a programme where I was able to complete a three-year degree in two years by studying through the holiday periods. The support from Barclays was fantastic – I was given time off to study, do my assignments and attend classes.
As well as helping me get my degree, Barclays recognised that I wanted to do more with my career path. I ended up coaching new colleagues and filling in for my manager when they were on holiday, which I really enjoyed.
I have been able to grow and develop – before I did my degree, I was a manager, but when I finished my degree, I was a leader. I have become much better at dealing with people.
I remember being the shy kid at school who didn’t want to give presentations or do anything to rock the boat, but now I am someone who can help my colleagues develop, chair meetings, facilitate groups and support people at work. Every day is completely different, so I never get bored. I am always being challenged and it is work that holds my attention, which is so important for me.
There is more than one way to have a career, apart from going to university straight out of school. That path is great for a lot of people and I respect anyone who takes that route, but it’s not for everyone. It can be hard to know what you want to do with your life when you are only 16 or 17, so I would encourage anyone who is not sure to try different things and work out what you’re good at and what your interests are, even if you don’t get your dream job straight away.
I love the flexibility I have at work – if I start at 8am, I can finish at 4pm and still have time to see family and friends. Work/life balance is really important to me. The supportive environment at Barclays helps so many people, especially anyone with neurodivergence issues, such as ADHD and dyslexia. As a frontline team leader and as someone who was able to do my degree with the full support of my employer, I have seen this first-hand.
We work closely with AXA to provide tailored support for different people. What might work for one person with ADHD is not necessarily going to work for someone else with ADHD. I used to manage someone with dyslexia and they were given two hours a week away from their main job on the phone to work with trained ADHD counsellors provided by AXA. In this time, they were able to go through call scripts and get help navigating the systems in a way that really helped them do their job better.
My current role is business analyst, which I really enjoy, but there is definitely more for me to achieve at Barclays.
I want to continue to grow and develop and be the best I can be at whatever job I do. At Barclays, if you are interested in other roles, you can talk to people who are already doing those jobs and shadow them to find out more and work out if it’s something you’d like to do.
I would like to become a project manager – I’m keeping an open mind, learning more about the different opportunities and not limiting myself. Let’s see where my career takes me next.
Article created by Vercida