My career journey – Nicola Hancock

It’s tough to talk about yourself, because you don’t really know if it’s going to be relevant to others! However, I hope my journey captivates a few of you. Cutting a long story short, back in the day I previously worked for ‘Orange’, as a full-time Advisor. I loved every minute of it and I was progressing towards an Assistant Store Manager position. However, I fell pregnant with my daughter. I chose to leave ‘Orange’ and put my daughter first. In May 2010, I ended up joining O2, in the Newport store, as a 20 hour per week Advisor.

This was a huge shock to the system, not only dropping to 20 hours per week, but also as a new person in a new store, and for a new company! Whilst juggling working and bringing up my daughter, I remember O2 being extremely welcoming and supporting me with the times I worked during the week. I couldn’t have asked for a better Store Leader at the time.

At the back of my head though, I always remembered that I wanted more.

Time went on and I was back and forth between the Cwmbran & Newport stores. I fell pregnant again about 3 years in and gave birth to my son. I returned to work following maternity leave as a 30 hour per week Advisor. As always, this wasn’t enough for me. I always wanted more. Just achieving my targets and ‘doing my job’, day in and day out wasn’t enough for me.

Then, April 2015 came. I was called into the store office for a conversation with my Store Leader, and with my Regional Leader (Mike Adams) over the phone. They asked me about moving into the Cardiff Queen Street. There was no Leadership team in the store at the time and they asked me if I wanted to go to the store for four weeks, to provide this cover. My eyes lit up. I was amazed that this opportunity had come up, and I dived right in!

At this point, I was a single Mum of two kids, based in Newport. However, I was determined to make this work, and I did. I remember going for a coffee with Mike. Instantly I felt that he saw the passion and the drive I had in me. The store’s performance improved. The buzz and the drive this gave me was so motivating, but still I wanted more. When the permanent ASL position became available in the store, in June 2015, I applied for it. I was so nervous, but I got the position! I loved every minute of it, being surrounded by so many inspiring Leaders within the Region was exactly what I had craved for years.

My new Store Leader at the time, Mark, supported me with finishing work on time, so that I could drive home to get my children from childcare. It was an incredible feeling being supported to succeed within work, without my home life suffering. Over time, my passion for my job grew and grew. It came to a stage where I was still wanting more.

I then moved back into the Newport store, as ASL. The store wasn’t performing to its potential at the time.  However, by Q3 2016, I was seconded into the Store Leader position in the store. I led the team to earning a bonus payment for the first time in two years. The excitement, joy and passion continued to grow. In Q1 2017, I became the Store Leader in the store.

My story has a happy ending. I’m now back in the Cardiff Queen Street store, and no longer a single parent. I’m also getting married in June. I’m now working with the Queen Street store team to improve performance further. My passion for the job is still there every day, but is it enough for me? I’ll forever always be wanting more.

Nicola Hancock

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One Comment

  1. Wow! What a great article Nicola! You’re doing great! Although I agree with you with regards to wanting more. People like us who crave for more challenges requires a drastic change in our work environment and job description. Just like what the executive search personnel I met here in the Philippines said, staying with the same company throughout the years, will always be our greatest career challenge.

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