We love to share the success stories of our members and recently we heard from one of our Fellows. Jayne Shufflebotham talked to us about her career to date and the big decision that she made recently.
1) Tell us a little about your career.
I’ve worked in some amazing organisations with some fantastic people (and some not so!) but all of whom shaped me into the resilient and confident person I now am. In each role I have moved to over the past 32 years, I have constantly been learning. Learning never stops, whether its technology, process, subject matter or just generally developing as a person.
2) How did your career start and where has your career taken you?
I started out in my first role as Office Junior at the age of 17 working for the North Western Regional Health Authority in Manchester and progressed by promotion. I continued to do this in the roles I moved into in the private sector and have been involved and supervised in many areas, such as marketing, payroll, purchase and credit control, fleet, insurance, sales etc. I’ve worked in global corporations, large companies and local businesses to where I am now, running my own business as a virtual assistant (VA).
3) What are the challenges you find in your workplace?
Discipline is the greatest. As I am now technically running my VA business from home I have to treat my home office exactly as I previously did in paid employment; and remain focused on my workload and tasks in hands. The transition was fairly easy for me as my last few employers were receptive to home-working when needed, so I was used to being productive at home and realised the benefits of lone-working when larger pieces of work needed to be done without distraction.
4) What are the challenges you find in your role?
Balancing my client workload whilst always having an eye on my own business plan and marketing. As a Virtual Assistant I have to practice what I preach, don’t I?
5) What is the best advice you could give to someone in a similar role and how to progress?
Be adaptable and flexible, but, more importantly, be receptive to learning and change. If you feel strongly about moving in a different direction then do it. What’s the worst that can happen.
6) What do you think the most important things are for people to develop in the current market?
Self-belief certainly. This applies whether you’re seeking your next employment role or looking to leap into the world of self-employment. Believe in your plans and they’ll happen, although it might not be overnight-sometimes we have to take a slight diversion to get where we’re going but you’ll get there.
Secondly, determination. Don’t give up. Re-evaluate where you are, what you are doing, what’s working, what’s not. You have to constantly evolve if you are determined. For some people things work out first time, for others, it takes a little longer but never lose the determination.
7) What do you feel your best achievements are?
Personally, my son. A well-rounded guy who is great company and who is now my personal taxi driver. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop next year, and whether he chooses university or an apprenticeship, he’ll do well.
Professionally, I’ve achieved so much in each of my roles. Sometimes I’ve achieved knowledge, in others I’ve achieved personal development. My most recent achievement has been taking the leap from paid employment to self-employment and all that it involves. From new ventures with networking events (who knew that these meetings happen all over the county in all sorts of places at all times of the day) to resulting one-to-one meetings with strangers, finding clients, supporting clients and losing clients. As a business owner you have to develop new skills and adapt as I’ve already mentioned. Age is no barrier either!
This series of member profiles will look at the successes, challenges and feelings that people have towards their careers so far, as well as their opinions on how they think the workplace is evolving. We are interested in members at all stages of their careers, and in all roles, so if you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.