This blog is the first in our brand new ‘My time at Highlander’ series where we give members of the Highlander family an opportunity to share their thoughts on their time with us, what they’ve experienced so far and their plans for the future. First up is Elizabeth Middleton, Administration and Finance Assistant.
It’s been over 7 months since I started with Highlander at the beginning of 2019, and it’s absolutely flown by! Having worked for over 18 years in a completely different environment, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the role has been everything I’d hoped for and more. From the very first day every member of the team welcomed me with open arms, and I haven’t looked back.
Although my role is very much an administrative one, no day is ever the same, and I’ve really enjoyed working alongside a great group of people as part of our Core Support Team, taking responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the business including office management, purchasing and finance alongside a whole host of additional ad-hoc tasks. Working as part of a 4-person team, I know that I have the freedom to manage my own time as well as the authority to make my own decisions. It’s enabled me to grow my role in recent months to take on new responsibilities, and it’s something I’m very much looking forward to continuing in the future.
Having recently moved to Sheffield from West Yorkshire, I was on the lookout for a new opportunity that was not only closer to my new home, but that allowed me to work within a friendly and relaxed environment. Having spent 18 years working in Social Care, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was understandably nervous when I came for my first interview with Erica, our Office Manager.
My previous interviews had always been a very formal affair, but from the moment I walked into the building the entire process was very relaxed and informal. Erica and the rest of the team took a genuine interest in who I was, not just what I’d done. It was evident straight away that they were looking for a person, someone who was a good fit with the rest of team. On the back of my first interview, I was invited back for a follow up with Erica and MD Steve Brown, and was subsequently offered the chance to take up a short-term contract.
After an initial introduction to Highlander and the wider team, my first few days were spent shadowing Hadiya, the person whose role I would be filling during her time away on maternity leave. Obviously, starting a new position can be very daunting, and getting to know a new group of people can be challenging, but everyone was very friendly and took the time to ask how I was getting on and if I needed any help.
My arrival coincided with the start of the month, typically a busy time for everyone including the Core Support Team, so this presented an opportunity to get involved straight away which certainly helped me to settle in and gave me a real confidence boost. In truth, within the first few hours I was already feeling like I’d been working at Highlander for years.
Understandably it took some time to adapt but I feel like I’ve now settled into my role and I enjoy having the freedom to take the responsibility for planning my own day, safe in the knowledge that help is never far away.
I’ve also expanded my role to take ownership of health and safety, undertaking various courses including health and safety, first aid and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), using this new knowledge to update the various policies in place across the business. As a company we’re committed to maintaining our various ISO standards, and implementation of a strong health and safety policy plays a key role within this, so I feel like I’m making a contribution to something that really makes a difference to the wider business – even if I do drive everyone mad trying to keep them in line!
I’m delighted to have now taken up a permanent position at Highlander working full-time. The business has created a new role for me, so I’d like to think that the hard work I’ve put in and the extra responsibilities I’ve taken on has been rewarded.
Moving forward, I’d love to learn more about the other areas of Core Support that I haven’t experienced as much to become a more rounded member of the team. Despite not being hugely technical, I would still like to learn more about some of the different solutions we provide, while I’m also keen to engage more with our ISO procedures.
That said, I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far, and I honestly enjoy coming to work every day. It’s such a nice environment and the role offers me everything that I’d wanted, so I’m looking forward to what the future holds.
Interested in joining Elizabeth and the rest of the Highlander team? Take a look at our current vacancies here.