To be great at this job you need to be inherently proactive and productive. Nothing will get done unless you’re pushing it forward, so you need a true drive to create, facilitate and enhance projects and partnerships. Even 5 years on, the crux of my role is still speaking to people and solving problems.
Success for me is helping the whole team succeed.I didn’t follow the traditional path at Kea (in fact I made it very clear very early on that I wasn’t going to!) so my role is focused on helping the business and the industry be better and encouraging everyone involved to do the same.
Every day here is different. Some days I barely have time to boil the kettle as my diary is full to the brim with meetings, but on other days I keep my diary blocked to allow innovative thought to flourish. As a big part of my role requires thinking creatively and finding inspiration, I have learned the importance of allowing myself that space. When I joined Kea I would have thought I was failing if I wasn’t busy every minute of the day, so it’s been a real learning curve to step back and allow myself the freedom to think, as that’s where the great ideas come from.
My edgeI don’t sit on the recruitment side of the business so I look at every interaction with a different lens. I love learning from every conversation I have, so really enjoy each and every exchange and benefit from approaching things in a different way to the headhunters here.
With each promotion and change in the make-up of my role, I grew more and found more of a voice, so now I spend as much time working on my own projects and problems as I do helping others find ways of better approaching theirs. In essence I’m a problem solver so I’m often one of the most vocal in internal meetings and I'm hopeful they're not all sick of my voice just yet.
What made you join Kea?
When I submitted my Master’s dissertation I promised myself a week off, but within a couple of hours was several pages deep into Guardian Jobs. I applied for a different job in a completely different sector, but when I met with the recruiter handling that position and explained what I was looking for, they pushed me to meet with Kea as knew I would gel with them. What I thought would be 2 interviews with a couple of the Directors turned into 4 straight hours of meeting the whole team, and I came back the following week to meet the juniors for drinks. To be honest I cancelled every other interview I had lined up and took the job as soon as the offer letter landed in my inbox, as I knew I had found the team I was hoping for.
What do you enjoy most about the team?
We’re a young team but extremely driven, confident and capable and can hold our own in a room of people double our age. The people we hire at entry level just get better and better, as they’re so focused and eager to learn and achieve, so they give those of us that have been here for years a new look on things and drive us to be better too. We’re younger than our competitors but we’re hungrier. That appetite is also literal, which is evidenced at our annual homeslice challenge – you’d be seriously impressed if you knew how many of the team can eat an entire 20” pizza in under 30 minutes.
I regret not taking a couple of years out before starting university.I was the first in my family to go, and spent more time working a host of part-time (ending up with more hours than full-time) jobs to fund my life in London as I wanted to enjoy the city and all the restaurants and theatre shows it offers, rather than living like the average student. I wish I had saved up so that I could really engross myself in my studies, as I found my undergraduate degree went by far too quickly. It’s no surprise that I did a Master’s!
The Kea value of Drive to Improve is naturally ingrained in me, but the value that speaks to me the most is Positive Energy. It doesn’t matter what is thrown at me, I look for the good and see everything as a new challenge to conquer. Positive Energy doesn’t mean smiling through disaster; it means approaching every task with an optimistic outlook and a pragmatic attitude.
When not at workOutside of work I’m involved in grassroots human rights campaigns and organising groups so I make sure to bring that spirit into my role at Kea. I lead our diversity initiatives and am always keen to partner with people and organisations that truly support our same vision of inclusivity. The people I surround myself with outside of work are all super creative and passionate, so they inspire me to bring that same energy to my job. Another very important passion of mine is pop-culture, so it helps that some of the team share my love of reality TV. The morning after a fun episode airs the office launches into a full debrief!