This is the fourth blog in our ‘My Time at Highlander’ series, where we help you discover more about the amazing people that help to make our team so special. Today, we are introducing one of our newest recruits, Jamie Yates, who’s brilliantly overcome the challenge of settling into his new role mid-pandemic.
I’ll start out by acknowledging that my time at Highlander has been brief so far! I joined the Highlander team as a Help Desk Engineer in October 2020, right in the middle of COVID-19.
In light of the current climate, I consider myself very lucky to be where I am now.
Working in IT wasn’t always my plan, but the idea of it struck me one day and I haven’t looked back since.
After completing a range of industry-specific courses including cloud, networking, and business processes, I was able to apply for an Apprenticeship which set me on the right path to my career in the sector.
After working at another smaller IT services provider for some time, like many during this pandemic, I unfortunately found myself in the job market. I took on a temporary customer support role for a broadband company whilst I looked for my next step in the IT industry. Thankfully, just a week after my search began, the opportunity to apply for a role at Highlander emerged, and I jumped at the chance.
Interviewing isn’t the most comfortable process at the best of times but interviewing during a global pandemic has an added level of pressure.
Paul Burgin and Peter Cadman were my interviewers and they put me right at ease. All the necessary safety measures were clearly being taken very seriously. The guys were considerate of my own personal working preferences and I felt totally comfortable to express my preference to work from home if possible.
Something must have gone right because they called to let me know I had the job whilst I was still on my journey home!
We’re definitely still in the early days, but things are changing pretty quickly at the moment.
My first couple of weeks were spent in the office full-time for the most part, getting to know the role and the rest of the team. This was pre-second lockdown so back then we would have half the team in the office at any one time, whilst the other half continued from home. This definitely worked in my favour, as being amongst smaller groups made sure I could get to know my colleagues on a more individual level before we all returned to remote working.
My previous experience in a similar role meant that I was able to get my feet under the table nice and quickly, even starting to help customers with live tickets on my very first day. I’m not sure that it was something the leadership team expected from me so early, but I think they were impressed with my desire to get going from the off. That may sound like a bit of a brag, but I think it’s proof of the trust that Highlander puts in their team to do the right thing.
The attitude at Highlander is that when a support ticket comes your way, and you are in a position to help, you get to work right away to find a resolution. It’s great for our customers, who get quicker results, and it’s great for the helpdesk team as we’re always keeping our skills on-point.
We’re now back to remote working, and I feel totally comfortable doing so because I’m already so settled within the team.
Working on the Helpdesk, we’re the first line of support for all of our customers. Every ticket is handled by the technically trained team, so we immediately get right to the heart of any customer queries. I’m already building some great relationships with our customers and am enjoying getting to know them and their unique systems.
The great relationships aren’t just external. The ethos is here is special. The Highlander team really aren’t joking when they say it feels like you are part of one big family. I was really drawn to this atmosphere back when I interviewed, and it’s an environment that is great to work in. It’s testament to the strength of Highlander’s ‘family feel’ that it’s still felt strongly even when we’re all working apart.
It may seem a bit early on in my Highlander journey to be thinking about the future, but I think it shows just how comfortable I already feel in my role.
Such a supportive environment means that there’s plenty of opportunities to grow and progress within the team. I’ve long had a natural interest in networking, but as demand for internet security support increases, so too does my interest in that sphere. Highlander’s ISO27001 certification means that there’s a load of invaluable material here that I can use to further my learning.
The last few weeks have genuinely been a great experience. I’m excited about my future at Highlander and to see what happens in the coming months and years. I’d definitely like to stay here for as long as they’ll have me.
Something that is on the ‘to do’ list: finding a permanent way to resolve any potential name mix-ups between myself and James Yates, our Commercial Director.