At 16 years old I got asked THAT question…. What do you want to do for the rest of your life?
The same as most teenagers, I didn’t have a clue! I knew I didn’t want to endure any more time at school so opted for a two year course at my local college studying Beauty Therapy.
As much as I love having beauty treatments, I didn’t enjoy doing them. The whole process, to me, was boring and tedious. Therefore, when I completed my college course and aced it with distinctions across the board, I decided to go into a more “office” based role.
I applied for a job as a Document Controller at a small, family feel business, Alan Auld Engineering. I loved working there, however, the document control work was limited at the time, so I spent most my time sorting folders.
So, when we had an ISO 9001:2008 system audit coming up, despite not really knowing what it was at the time, I was all over that! I threw myself into the processes and procedures, learning the standard and realised how much I loved doing it.
It was then decided I would pursue a career in Quality. I had found my calling!
My company paid for me to go on Quality courses and continuously supported my development. As the only person doing Quality in the company, I struggled with bouncing ideas off someone and having someone giving me the reassurance and back-up. Therefore, my company agreed to contract me a mentor. So once a month my mentor, Jennie Clark, came in and gave the guidance I needed. My confidence had been shattered over my new, infant career as I continuously doubted myself and my abilities. Jennie helped me build my confidence and one of the activities she suggested was to enter the 2017 CQI awards.
So, being the always obedient student, I did. I entered the Emerging Talent Award. Not in a million years did I think I would get a phone call inviting me to London to do a presentation saying I was a finalist!! Then, on the 22nd November 2017, table 20, Karen Young was on the stage reading the card and then... called my name!
At first, I sat for a minute and looked at my Line Manager in complete shock! After that everything was a slight blur.
Winning this award has done so much for me. It has given me the confidence boost I needed. It’s made me realise I am good at what I do, really good to have come first against so many talented people! I was thrilled to bits when my name was called, and a little shocked if I am honest! It’s the biggest achievement of my career so far, but I do not intend for it to be the last!
This has given me the solid foundations to continue my growth and learning as a Quality Professional.