I’ve never been quiet about how ambitious I am. I’ve always had big goals, and a plan to make them happen; I wanted to be a Finance Manager by the time I was 25, and a Finance Director by 30. Having worked in finance for a number of years, I was seeking an organisation to help me grow; that’s where Capita backed me all the way.
Investing in my potential
When I joined Capita, I applied for a role despite it being a step up but I felt I could add value. My confidence paid off: because I was a good fit with the Capita culture – full of drive, passion and a desire to learn – my hiring managers decided to invest in my development. So the role was shaped to suit both where I was in my career and the business needs.
Learning from my colleagues
Everyone I have worked with in Capita has had something valuable to contribute. In the first role, my line manager was very well-established within Capita, and his guidance has stayed with me. That also meant that he was a very busy person, so when I started putting up my hand to support him on tasks outside the remit of my role, it was welcomed.
As I started working on a wide range of projects, my knowledge of the wider business grew fast, and I got to know new colleagues. I was excited to get involved in group projects, various contracts, bids and different services. The perspectives of the commercial, operational and finance colleagues I liaised with improved my understanding of Capita as a business and help shape my career development.
Supporting my studies
The business experience gained at Capita contributed toward the successful completion of CIMA (Chartered Institute to Management Accountants) as I had real-life experience to support my studies. All of this was laying crucial groundwork for my future and provided the fundamental building blocks of securing senior roles and becoming a respected subject-matter expert within the business.
There’s a significant amount of information to absorb when working towards a CIMA qualification, so it’s a real challenge balancing it all. I was given study leave throughout the process and have since been encouraged to go on to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) when the time is right.
Building a thriving network
One of the most important parts of my development has been networking and mentoring. After establishing myself within Capita I started broadening my network to make my achievements known and open doors to further internal opportunities.
When I approached my career mentor, Liz, she was one of only a few women in leadership roles within the finance function – a lot has changed in Capita since then – but her guidance has been essential to my growth. She began using her platform to introduce me to colleagues of all levels of experience into my network – and I keep in touch with many of them over a regular “cuppa & catch-up”.
Understanding my team
With the support of my colleagues, who are always challenging me and helping me grow, I accomplished my goal of becoming a Finance Director. I’ve enjoyed the role and the remit has evolved and expanded since I took it on three years ago. My long-term plan has since extended and I’m hoping to become either a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Divisional Finance Director (DFD) in the future.
My network of colleagues are a sounding board when I come up against professional challenges, they put my name forwards for projects and promotions, and they’ve helped me prepare for each new opportunity, too.
They’ve also shaped the way I support my own team: as individuals. My team have fed back that they appreciate my open approach, I listen to their views and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work. This allows me to create a positive working environment where we all work towards creating better outcomes.