Melanie's Story Part 2
'Another opportunity came along, leading a team of about nine people, and it grew from there up to seventeen employees. It could have seemed daunting to find yourself managing people who are graduates above you, but my strength is people management so I have found that quite easy. Yet another opportunity came up, this time within the CSC (Customer Service Centre). My boss had moved on and she recommended that I take over. I thought, 'easy" - was I naive. For the first eight to twelve weeks I drowned under the workload and so went to talk to my new boss and said that I thought I couldn't cope. He said, "You can do it, we can have daily meetings, I will point you in the right directions and we will see how it goes". Then I woke up one day and it all clicked. I had been in this environment for four years and I told the company I really need to move on. Service Delivery Management seemed to me the next stage. We have a Service Delivery Program and I am on that. I have a mentor who I speak to regularly.
'It seems that I have moved on very quickly. I was headhunted last year rather flattering - but the woman was condescending because I was so young and hadn't been to university. You don't need a degree to do what I do. If I had stayed on at school and gone on to university, I probably wouldn't have got a job because of the recession. I have been lucky, but 'I have worked hard. You have to reach for opportunities with both hands. The future is a bit hazy at the moment. I have set myself targets, but I don't expect to achieve them straightaway. My career has caught me a bit unawares. I would be happy to do this job up to a maximum of three years but feel that it's important to keep with the people management side.
I am married. My husband has his own business and he is proud of what I have achieved. If we have children, I would want to take a career break and work from home. Have the children quickly and take five years out. I would want to continue working - I need the buzz I get out of it.
'My mother would have loved it iii had gone to university because she didn't go, but neither of my parents forced the issue. I have two older half-brothers - one is a Eurobond dealer and the other's in marketing.
'The only downside is that I don't seem to have much spare time recently: I used to love skiing, and enjoyed going away on holiday. I used to play sport, but haven't done so for a while - although I'd like to take up in-line skating or roller-balding, again.
I have not found Cap Gemini to be prejudiced - it recognizes that without its staff it will not grow or succeed, so it makes the effort with training and encouraging people. I have deliberately steered myself towards the managerial type of training, developing leadership skills, team management workshops - all geared to improving work per-romance.'