My story in a galaxy far, far way.

“Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away… just kidding!

My O2 journey started 16 years ago. I left University and took a job at the ‘Mobile Phone Shop’ (BT Cellnet and then O2), until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life! I started working as an Advisor, and then worked my way up into the store Leadership ranks. I got my first Store Leader role in the Southport store in 2009, before making the leap into city life at the ‘Liverpool ONE’ store, where I led a large, fun-loving team of up to 20 people. Before too long, I got my chance at Area Leader level, on a secondment basis, and just before I was due to return to my Store Leader role, an FSM (Franchise Support Manager) position came up. I jumped at the chance to explore the world of Franchise. I applied for the role, and got it!

I, like most people, had some initial preconceptions of Franchise, so I was keen to see if the ‘rumours’ were true. On my travels I was astounded at the similarities with our Company Owned stores that I had worked with, and the Franchise stores that I was now visiting. It turned out we were all the same! The charity work was a real highlight for me. Franchisees really get behind their social responsibilities, and the awards that many of them have won is testament to what they put back into their local communities

What struck me hardest was the fact that we have Franchise and Company Owned stores just around the corner from each other, yet there was little or no relationship built. I saw and heard a lot of ‘assumptions’ from both sides. Bridging the gap between our Company Owned and Franchise stores is something that I feel very passionately about, and, having worked for both now, ‘myth busting’ certainly plays its part. So, I encourage all guys in stores to reach out and get to know their neighbouring stores. I truly believe that everyone will come away better for it

I have recently moved into the ‘Stores Engagement Manager’ role. I essentially look after ‘Be Brilliant!incentives. In my new World, there are no divides. Everyone who works in Stores, both Company Owned and Franchise, has access to ‘Be Brilliant’, and the incentives we run are for everybody. ‘Reward and Recognition’ is so important and, let’s be honest, we all want both! No matter where I have worked, or who I have worked with during my time with O2, one thing is very clear – everyone wants to give each day a purpose, and make each interaction purposeful.

My journey with O2 continues…..”

By Sarah Walton

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