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Meet Jody - Stores to Head Office

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Tell us about your career journey? 

I was lucky enough to start my career in London's Westfield Shopping Centre as a Store Leader for O2.  I have a lot of great memories from that time building a successful team, of which, many have gone on to lead their own teams.

I continued to work across a number of stores in London over the next few years and at the latter part of that time, I tried to look for any opportunity to grow my network and worked on a number of projects alongside the 'day job' within my Region and Territory to develop my skills and experience further.   What I learned is if you find something that you are enthusiastic about, try to get involved whenever and at whatever level you can.

 

The highlight of your role?

This exposure of working on projects meant that I was seconded from Stores to work on a number of Operational and Financial workstreams.

One of the strangest tasks was to complete a Mood Board for the new uniform for Stores and this is now what we see across the whole estate today (sorry for the double denim).

After working on several of the workstreams, I returned to store but just a few short months later, I was successful in my application as Stores Governance and Planning Support Manager and my career within the Central team has grown from there.

 

What was it like transitioning from Stores to Head Office?

I had previous experience working in a Head Office role, transitioning from Retail, but it still takes some time to get used to, managing your own time and outputs in a quite unique way, to how you must do so in Store.

You spend a long time building a network of people, knowledge of a role and then you must start again when you get a new role in a different areas of the business and it is easy to forget sometimes, everyone has the same experience, and it should be embraced, not feared.

Now three years later, I head up the Stores Operations Support team.  The team and I look after communications into Stores.  We launched the Go2 app which has been a huge highlight of my career to date, worked on Stores in life Processes in the form of How To Guides, Operations (Excellence tool, compliance, and consumables) and Store support and this is done via One Stop Shop.

Ninety-nine percent of my team has come from Stores and we have recently employed our sixth person out of Stores into the team.

It is always a pleasure when this happens and coming from Retail  we put Stores at the heart of what we do by supporting the teams in Store and our customers, so even though we are not physically in a Store it never really feels that we are far away from it.

 

What advice would you give someone considering an internal move to head office?

As with any role, in any company, my job comes with its challenges, but I absolutely love it and have a huge passion for what I do. It is great to also have the support of a like-minded team and a great senior team that support my development. For anyone looking to make a similar move, my advice would be as follows; find out what you have a passion in, reach out to people, speak to your Line manager about opportunities. Do not just look at roles for the sake of it. Though so many skills are transferable, really try and understand the different skill sets you need to develop in, to help you be successful in a Central team role and where these may differ from your day job.

If you see an opportunity and role that interests, you find out about it, really understand if it is the role for you and make sure that you are ready to leave your mark and deliver a successful interview. Most importantly, if you are not successful, do not give up. Seek feedback, spend time with your line manager and understand how you can do better next time.

Search for the roles that suit you and your skills best - and apply now.

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