Since joining Capita more than a decade ago, Claire has never shied away from stepping outside of her comfort zone and pushing herself to new heights. As the professional development manager within Capita’s People Function, she, and her team make a real impact on the lives of existing Capita colleagues and those kickstarting their careers. We spoke to her about her career journey so far, and how she’s felt supported to find better outcomes since her very first day.

I first joined Capita as an internal recruitment consultant back in 2011, sourcing candidates for a variety of roles. Ever since, friends and family have often commented on how impressive it is that I take so much enjoyment from my role. The truth is, I can’t imagine working in a role – or for a business – I didn’t enjoy and care for. It’s a really rewarding organisation and team to be a part of. 

Making a meaningful difference

I love the variety I have within my role here at Capita, and how our work within the Performance and Development team can be career-defining for the colleagues we work with. It’s nice being able to see that your hard work has such a positive, demonstrable impact. Essentially, my team is responsible for designing and delivering emerging talent development programmes specifically focused on career starters or switchers and for providing an internal service for Capita colleagues looking to develop themselves through professional qualifications.

Our schemes, specifically those in the employability space, have seen us work with some colleagues who feel as though they’re at their lowest point – who are lacking self-belief, or a sense of direction in their careers. With our help, these colleagues have been able to find an area that excites them and a role they feel passionate about. We’re able to turn what might initially be a “pie in the sky”-type idea of theirs into a reality where they’re able to gain skills and knowledge, and support them in attaining the promotion or qualification they’ve long been striving for.

Feeing valued and respected

I’ve a fair amount of autonomy in how I go about my role. I’m trusted to adopt processes and methods that will help us achieve the best possible outcomes for the colleagues we work with, which has really helped to build up my confidence over the years. 

We’ve also been afforded the flexibility to work in a way that best suits us, both as individuals and as a team. Though we’re very much an outcomes-focused team, our culture is less about when we work and more on what we deliver. 

Having a flexible, outcome-focused work-life balance has meant I’m able to juggle my work responsibilities with a young family and other external challenges, without any one element suffering as a result. It’s a very supportive environment to work in. 

Being encouraged to learn and progress

I’ve always felt a strong sense of progression during my time at Capita. Initially, as an internal recruitment consultant, I relished the diversity of my role and variety of positions I was able to recruit for, and always felt as though I was learning something new every day. I was constantly being encouraged to grow my skill set, and to take on new roles with increased responsibilities and challenges. 

As a result, I eventually moved out of the recruitment space and found a position in Capita’s Learning and Development function, where I was part of a small team that created and nurtured Capita’s “Lead the Way” Graduate Programme. This role kickstarted my passion for the early careers space, and the pride that comes from watching young people grow and develop with your support.

After a brief period spent away from Capita, I returned to their newly created Performance and Development function in 2019, focusing on their early careers strategy and advising the organisation on their localised recruitment programmes. In 2020, I was then tasked with building the Kickstart Scheme in partnership with Capita’s Socially Responsible Resourcing team and have since developed numerous other programmes supporting the recruitment and guidance of apprentices and young interns. 

“The sky really is the limit”

I have led the Professional Development team since January 2022, and even now still feel as though I’ve a lot to learn. It’s been a whirlwind of a journey since first joining Capita in 2011, and I’d be lying if I said that where I’m currently at is where I’d like to be in several years’ time. 

I like to keep challenging myself and taking myself out of my comfort zone. And I know, from the support and encouragement I’ve received throughout my time at Capita, that if you’ve the passion and the drive to keep building on your knowledge base, the sky really is the limit.

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