Welcome to the seventh instalment of our ‘My Time at Highlander’ blog series where we turn the spotlight on some of the brilliant people that make up the Highlander family. This edition, we hear from Hadiya Jibrail, a long-standing member of our Core Support Team.
In July next year, it will have been 10 years since I first stepped through the doors of the Highlander office, and what a decade it’s been! With a role that spans across accounts and administration, I really do mean it when I say that no two days are the same, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Highlander has not only provided me with a supportive and enjoyable environment to work in every day, but also life-long friends who have been a huge part of my journey here.
Back in 2012, I was weighing up whether to undertake an Art degree, or take a different path altogether and kick start my career in the unpredictable world of work. Favouring the latter option, I found myself in an interview for my first ever office job and 10 years later, it’s safe to say I’m over the moon with my decision!
The team immediately made me feel at ease; from the interview (which just felt like a friendly chat), and every day since. As I said before, I’ve made life-long friends amongst the people I have worked with, and even met my partner here, whom I have gone on to have one (soon to be two!) mini-Highlanders with!
While I was on maternity leave with our first child, I had regular ‘Keep in Touch’ days which meant I could come into the office once every few weeks to catch up with all my colleagues and stay up to date on everything that was going on within the business. It was a huge help for my transition back into work and I was able to pick up right where I left off.
At the end of my maternity leave, it was also reassuring to know that the business was willing to give me flexibility to return to a role that accommodated my needs, something that was very much appreciated as a new Mum.
As you can imagine, after nearly a decade I have seen a fair bit of change at Highlander. When I first started there were only 30 people and now we’ve grown to a team of over 70! It’s been wonderful to see how we’ve developed and I’m excited to see what new faces we’ll see in the year ahead.
A growing business has meant many teams have physically needed to relocate around the office to allow space for growth at one time or other. The Core Support Team have done our fair share of ‘upping sticks’ but it has brought us into contact with pretty much every different group within the business. It’s something I have enjoyed as it’s helped forge new relationships, but has also given a window into the work that other people do. But wherever we end up, the Core Support team desks would never be complete without a plant or two, so they always travel with us!
I’ve been fortunate enough to join in with a new Health and Wellbeing team, a recent initiative that kicked off earlier this year. As we all know, keeping our minds and bodies healthy plays a massive role in how we function both in and outside of work, and it’s something that Steve and the rest of the management team are keen to support as much as possible.
This new team is definitely something that I look forward to taking further in the future and I’d love to be part of more positive change within Highlander! I like to think of myself as a positive person and so being given the opportunity to spread some of that positivity around the office is a very exciting prospect. Who knows what we’ll have happening in the office this time next year. Weekly massages anyone?
With the arrival of mini-Highlander number two, it’s likely I’ll just miss out on being at work next year to celebrate my 10-year anniversary in the office with my friends. However, I’m looking forward to seeing how my role and the business develops in the future.
The support network and opportunities I’ve been presented with have been the biggest contributors to my time with Highlander so far, and it’s why I love being a part of the team so much.