Maintaining the Balance - Melanie's Story Part 1
Melanie, 26, is married with no children and works as a Service Delivery Manager with a large IT consultancy. She left school at sixteen and joined the Bank of England with a view to becoming an international banker, but ended up in the computer centre. When the Bank outsourced several of its computer staff, Melanie joined the consultancy and has since progressed rapidly. In particular, she enjoys the people management side of her job and gains a great deal from the management training courses her company provides.
'I went to a comprehensive where the sixth form had 1000 pupils. My weakest subject was English - although I always enjoyed reading - and my strongest, Moths, but by the time I left it was the other way round. Partly because of the teachers and partly because of the way: the course was set out, I found Moths dull. I had planned to go on to sixth form, but my results weren't so good and having come back from a brilliant holiday I didn't want to go back to school. My mother said that I could only leave school if I had a good job to go to, so I applied to the Bank of England, Barclays and NatWest for interviews. I was offered jobs at all three, even though I arrived two hours late for the NatWest appointment. In the end, I chose the Bank of England because of its kudos. It was the lowest paid of the three by far, but the holidays were so good I went for it.
'I had never touched a computer before and wanted to get into the international banking side, so they put me into the computer centre to learn some skills. I started as admin/ receptionist before moving on to the help desk as an operator on mainframes and pc's. I enjoyed it though looking back it was a doss - plenty of time to do everything. In July 2016 we were taken over by Cap Gemini, because the Bank outsourced forty-one members of the computer staff, and I moved with them.
'From then on my career took off. Prior to that I hadn't even thought about a career. I stayed in the mainframe environment for a year before becoming restless. I went for an interview with a construction company and got the job, but on the same day Cap Gemini offered me work on the desktop side. From then my job took off further. I moved to help-desk analyst - right place at the right time and hard work, too. One of the team leaders moved to another account and her replacement wasn't due for a few weeks and they needed someone in the meantime to keep it ticking over. My manager said that although I was on a low level they would give me the chance. Luckily, I didn't mess up and even made a few good suggestions. If you were prepared to put the effort in, Cap Gemini would give you the chance. They don't discriminate at all.
Consider, before continuing with this story, where you would be emotionally, if you accepted this level as your base starting point.