"I loved the job from day one"
Join us as we're celebrating our inspirational WOW (Women Of William Hill)
Area Manager, Retail
Length of service:
20 years in June
What got you here?
I started as a part time cashier in our Goodison shop. At the time it was Stanley Racing and initially it was a stop gap for me as I wanted to work on the cruise ships.
I loved the job from day one. The shop was right on Everton football club’s doorstep. My manager Jean Quinn made me feel welcome from day one. Jean invested time and patience in me and taught me how to run a betting shop. Jean and I are still good friends to this day and I will always value the crucial part she played in my career journey. After four weeks I was put on relief and from here worked in many locations across North Liverpool and Kirkby.
After around 18 months and various training courses I was given my first shop - Longmoor Grove. From here I opened a new licence in 2002 which was Walton Vale. This was a pinnacle point for me as I was selected for the job over other managers with more experience. After a few years in Walton Vale I progressed on to various locations doing a job I loved. I began getting involved with training courses, staffing and note taking which exposed me to the District Operations Manager (DOM) role.
During my first secondment I was like a rabbit in headlights but I learnt so much from it. I was pipped to the post by an external candidate for the permanent position, but am very proud of how I handled my disappointment. I could have spat my dummy out but that’s not my style and all I wanted to do was work with my new manager and help him understand our people and business. After nine months he left and I was seconded for the second time. I took my learnings from my first secondment and went full throttle to prove my capabilities.
Following an assessment centre in early 2012 I was appointed by Steven White into a permanent role as a DOM. My appointment was following the full support of my then Area Operations Manager (AOM) Tony AOM Tony O'Callaghan and not forgetting Sue Knight and Stuart Wright who at the time were DOMs that coached and supported me.
Biggest career challenge so far?
In 2015 I was on maternity leave for six months following the birth my daughter Isabelle. I returned in 2016 and the Retail restructure was announced.
While I had been told that my role was redundant it was put to the back of my mind. I will never forget having to inform my team of all the changes on a conference call and speaking to them all personally after that. My main focus was helping them believe in the new Business Performance Manager (BPM) role. My protective nature took over and I just wanted to reassure them of the opportunities ahead. I was very pleased when eight out of my 22 managers were appointed as BPMs. I was lucky enough to make it through the assessment centre and secure an Area Manager role where I can still see my old team develop and become successful line managers in their own right.
Best piece of career advice?
Give a damn about others and challenge them to be their best and believe in themselves at every level in our organisation. If the door doesn't open it’s not for you, but if you believe it is then knock again. Secondly is synergy of a team. We work better when we are all rowing in the same direction. It’ll do will never do and we should always look to develop ourselves and others. Be honest, and last but not least no one can stop the waves but we can learn to surf!