"A pleasant surprise for me when I started working with Vodafone was that despite it being such a large company, it is really open to innovation from its people. Sharing ideas is encouraged and Vodafone is really a place where you can make things happen."
My background is in marketing and business development, and my career to date has spanned a range of industries, but I was always keen to join the world of telecommunications. Aside from the obvious attraction of technology innovation, this goal was largely due to the concentration of telecoms companies in the Thames Valley region, where I grew up – I knew it would be a wise career move to work for one of them one day!
Joining Vodafone was perfectly timed for me. The resourcing team approached me on LinkedIn just as I had decided to move on from my previous role, and I was offered a job on my last day in the office! My initial role in Enterprise CVM (Customer Value Management) gave me the chance to temporarily step down a level while I recovered from a period of ill-health, but very early on I was able to grasp opportunities to progress again, as my manager is a strong supporter of personal development.
A pleasant surprise for me when I started working at Vodafone was that despite being such a large company, it openly seeks innovation from its people rather than ruling from an ivory tower. Sharing ideas is encouraged and it really is a place where you can make things happen.
This openness to new ways of thinking is probably the reason I do what I do at Vodafone. Companies can often dismiss candidates due to a lack of specific industry experience, but Vodafone gave me the chance to excel here due to my transferable skills. We are frequently invited to challenge the business to do things better, which I’ve been able to do on a whole range of strategic projects – as well as most recently within my role as a Wellness Ambassador.
Last October we reviewed Vodafone’s wellbeing programme and in particular our mental wellbeing support services. Mental health is something we cannot ignore (the statistics speak for themselves!) and I wanted to make a difference by drawing on some of our personal experiences. Following a series of volunteer workshops, we quickly created a free peer support group, ‘Vodafone Voices’. This grassroots initiative provides a confidential and friendly first port of call to any colleague who may be struggling and not know where to turn. We also aim to help managers across the business to normalise conversations around mental health and guide them when supporting any team members whose health and performance might be suffering.
The thing I love most about my job is the opportunity to get involved in so many positive initiatives of this sort. With Vodafone Voices, the Women’s Network, the LGBT & Friends community and a host of other interest groups on Yammer, I have plenty of interaction with people outside my role and immediate department.
Another real plus is the flexibility offered at Vodafone. Our ‘better ways of working’ approach allows me to be my best because I can work from home a couple of days a week. This was actually the deciding factor for me when I took the job, since my commute is so long! Face to face interaction is still important (even in a telecoms business!) but it’s great that the business trusts us to produce the output required regardless of our location – we are very well equipped to contribute and collaborate securely online.
If I were to summarise the traits of a successful person at Vodafone, I’d include adaptability, determination and the gumption to ask for what you want out of your career. I am happy at Vodafone because I can always find a way to make it work for me as well as for our customers.