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May 23, 2022

You won't be able to switch off

by 

Andrew Beaumont

My motto is ‘your people are your biggest asset’.  And it would be remiss of me if I didn’t practice what I preach. 

A few months ago, I took on my first employee through the government’s Kickstart scheme.

The scheme provided funding to create new jobs for 16–24-year-olds who were on Universal Credit and were at risk of long-term unemployment.

Standing out in a crowd

I met Jess at a careers event in Rugby which was promoting the scheme.  I remember she was very nervous and possibly a little sceptical. From all the people I met, and all those who were looking for a position, she was the one who stood out.

I called her and offered her an interview, which led to her getting the job.  

In time, I found out that she is dyslexic and a mother to a young child.  None of this mattered though.  I knew Jess needed flexibility and I knew that her dyslexia wouldn’t hinder her ability to do the job.

Confidence comes with learning

I am very happy that I gave Jess the opportunity to prove herself, and I know that she is grateful of this opportunity too – especially the chance to fit work around her child.

Since Jess started working for me, she has really grown into the role.  It was a steep learning curve into the world of work and the world of HR, but she took it in her stride. She focused on working hard and she used her initiative to fill any gaps in her knowledge.

Now Jess is more confident.  So much so, that she handled things while I was away on holiday.  It was her first time left alone to manage clients and incoming enquiries, and she managed them wonderfully.  I think back to when I met her at the careers fair, and she has certainly come a long way.

And this meant that I was able to switch off on holiday (for most of the time).

Jess is staying

Based on this, I am very pleased to say that Jess is staying.  She has become an integral part of the team and, now that the Kickstart Scheme has come to an end, I have offered her the opportunity to stay, and I am pleased to say that she accepted.

I’m going on holiday again later in the year (a postponed trip from the pandemic), and I am much more confident that I can leave my clients in her capable hands while I’m away. In fact, I have promised my wife that I will leave my laptop at home.

Then I’ll have no choice but to switch off.

 

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