Help your stars to shine

January 27, 2022

I’m obsessed with career development. I have always said that people are your greatest asset in business. Helping those people to thrive and rise through your organisation is a particular focus. I truly believe that everyone who works for me has the right to a fulfilling work life, with lots of opportunities for training and advancement.

This isn’t just because failure to offer opportunities for career development is the number one reason why people leave their jobs – it has been the top reason for a decade too, in case you were wondering .It’s because this is one of the most basic and powerful ways that you can help your colleagues. By offering career development opportunities, you help them to realise their potential, open doors for them, and show that you believe in them.

This is why this week’s post is all about Lisa Boonin.

For those who don’t know Lisa, she is one of the stars of our RoadCrew team. I know some of our customers have spoken to Lisa over the past three years. Many of you have praised her effectiveness, positivity, and organisational genius. What you might not know is that over the last 18 months, Lisa has been spending her free time completing an HR qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). And that in April this year she moves into a bright and bold new career at BigChange as an HR administrator.

I want to talk about Lisa because she is an example of what can be achieved when you take an individual with get-up-and-go, brains, and ambition, and you support them to focus that energy on their career.

Back in 2016, Lisa came to BigChange to do work experience while she completed a business studies degree from the University of Birmingham. She worked across several departments and impressed everyone with her ability to learn quickly and her people skills. She came back after finishing her degree to take a full-time job in RoadCrew.

“BigChange was a fast-growth technology start-up, so I knew I’d have a great experience,” she says. “As a first job, being in RoadCrew has been incredible. It teaches you all kinds of skills, from communication to confidence, and helps you learn the product inside out.”

During her time on RoadCrew, supported by her manager Tansy, Lisa took on many new challenges. She began hosting customer tutorials online and had hundreds of people hanging on her every word for those 45-minute sessions. “It’s amazing what life throws at you, but it was great to step out of my comfort zone, and a real learning opportunity,” she says.

RoadCrew also helped Lisa to hone her organisational skills. “That’s my real strength,” she tells me. “I’ve learned to stay on top of tickets and field incoming queries and manage my time well. That skillset will be so valuable in everything I do in the future.”

During 2020, Lisa began thinking about her future: what path did she envision for herself? What skills did she want to hone? She decided to take a look at HR and, with some help from Sonal, our people director, she chose a course from the CIPD. “I had considered a Masters from The Open University but that would have taken much longer,” she says. “I completed this course in 18 months.” The BigChange HR team helped with some assignments and offered advice and moral support while Lisa juggled her studies alongside house-hunting and planning her wedding. “It’s been a crazy time,” she says.

Lisa is now looking forward to starting her new role in April, when she can put all her knowledge into practice. Her advice to anyone who is at a crossroads in their career: “The timing of this course was perfect because I started it during the first lockdown when there was nothing else going on. I’m young, I don’t have kids to support, and I live with my parents. My advice to anyone is to try new things. Even if you’re not absolutely certain. I could have started this new course and got six months in and hated it. But the leap of faith paid off; I’ve enjoyed every module and now I know this is what I really want to do.”

I wanted to share Lisa’s story because she inspires me, and as a reminder to all of us leaders to take the time to speak to our colleagues about how we can help them take that next step in their careers. We employ stars. Let’s help them to shine.

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