Meet Sabaa - Assistant Store Manager

Hear from Sabaa and her journey to Assistant Store Manager

By Vodafone

My Vodafone Journey
Hi, my name is Sabaa. I’m currently the Assistant Store Manager at Clapham, London West region of the East Division. My journey in Vodafone began when Phones4U went into admin in 2014. I was a 20-hour part-timer at a store in Leicester City, only working Friday, Saturday and Sunday alongside my studies. In early 2016 I applied for a transfer to a London store and acquired a 40 hours a week Sales Adviser position at one of the UK’s Flagship Elite stores; Westfield London.

I started my journey with London West and Westfield in June 2016. My previous experience working at a small store in Leicester where I had to know as much as the full-time staff, enabled me to adapt to the full time role and responsibilities quickly and share my knowledge amongst a bigger team. This unknowingly impressed my managers and opened a door I didn’t expect.

Two months into working at Westfield, I was offered the chance to progress by my Line Manager at the time, as he had seen potential in my ability and made it clear I still had a lot of work to do. I worked closely with all 4 members of the Senior Management Team at Westfield in order to develop the other skills needed to get onto the management ladder. This consisted of a lot of shadowing, role-play and constant one to ones to check in on my progression. You get out of it as much as you decide to put in. I would come in early to educate myself on the operational side of things, as well as stay late to support performance.

By October 2016, I was classed as Acting Assistant Manager, and each day I was given more and more responsibility. At times it was extremely stressful; such as the long hours and pressure of keeping up to date with the developments in the company. However, the support from my Line Manager and Regional Manager was tremendous at the time, which contributed greatly to my progression. I always had someone to speak to and was comfortable in sharing my issues and challenges with my manager who helped me overcome my fears in so many areas. He gave me a lot of confidence and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I found in Westfield you feel very supported it’s a great atmosphere to develop, there’s intensity and pressure, but you always have a helping hand and are never alone in any situation.

I worked at Westfield for just 8 months and in February 2017, when I passed my assessment, I was given the opportunity to be an Assistant Store Manager in a smaller store. At first I didn’t want to leave the warm and cosy blanket of an elite store, but in order to progress and prove to my seniors as well as myself that I’m ready... I had to take off the training wheels.

Since February I have now worked in 7 stores in London West. Each store came with its own tower of challenges, new team members, customer clientele and various learning styles. With every Store Manager I learnt something new as they specialised in a certain area. So every month I focused on a different aspect of being a manager.

Between now and February I was given the opportunity to tackle a Store Manager role for 2 stores, which I’ve accomplished. I became the Regional lead on Digital Power Selling for London West and was part of opening a brand new store in London; Earls Court. I also won the Regional performance of the year award certificate for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ in May 2017, which I was honoured by and it made me feel recognised on a Divisional level.

Now at Clapham, I don’t want to get comfortable and I am always looking for ways to challenge myself. Even the change in title ‘Tech Expert’ didn’t affect my position as I embodied the responsibilities as a plus one on top my everyday role. I find it an intimidating process with every new direction the company takes or the opportunities I’m given, I feel as if I’m starting over, but this doesn’t discourage me, it enables me to learn from my past and build for my future.
Sabaa Tariq
Assistant Store Manager
Clapham

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