I have been a Customer Representative for three years now, but my career started out as something entirely different. I went to school in Germany and joined the Royal Navy at a young age. This gave me many years of worldwide travel and adventures. Leaving the Navy required a major life adjustment and I fell into insurance, which turned out to be a career calling.
What originally attracted me to the role of Customer Representative at Hastings Direct was that it involved supporting customers. I liked what I’d read on the careers website about the company culture, especially the fact that colleagues are at the forefront of everything at Hastings Direct. I was a little nervous on my first day and didn’t know what to expect, but I was warmly welcomed by my trainer and 11 other new starters. One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is working with such amazing people from all different backgrounds - I am still close to my colleagues who started on the same day as me.
The opportunities at Hastings Direct are amazing! You get supported in moving up the levels within our internal career framework and are regularly asked what your career goals are and given the tools to achieve them. My Team Leader helped me develop additional skills, which has given me the opportunity to work in different departments. These include a secondment in the Recruitment team and for the past two years I’ve been a part of the rewarding educational programme Hastings Direct is part of. There is so much that Hastings Direct offers to help you build a fulfilling career.
I joined Hastings Direct in June 2013 as a Retention Customer Representative, which meant working in the call centre in the Renewals department. My day-to-day role was negotiating with customers to renew their policies with us, helping with customer queries and making changes to their policies.
I have had a crazy journey at Hastings Direct and have been given so many wonderful opportunities, including working in South Africa for three months! So far, this has been the best experience of my life and I am very grateful that Hastings Direct gave me the opportunity. My role in South Africa was to support with training, coaching and developing the new staff. Shortly after returning from South Africa, I applied and interviewed for a Customer Service Team Leader role. I was successful and in May 2018 I started leading a team of 12 Customer Representatives. I still work within customer service as a Team Leader, but have also worked as an Academy Team Leader and Digital Team Leader.
I love how much Hastings Direct cares for its colleagues, especially through this difficult time with COVID-19. It has really shown how much they value their staff. You make so many life-long friends here and people will support you through the more difficult days. The social aspect and events are also so much fun. There is always something to look forward to.
Until joining Hastings Direct in October 2018 I had only ever been a customer of an insurance company, so I have learnt a lot in my time here. I am lucky to have such a great Team Leader who has recognised my hard work and put me forward for various opportunities. The most recent was a secondment in the Recruitment team in January 2020. I ran assessment centers and provided telephone interviews for the candidates for customer service roles. I’ve probably spoken to or met some of the newer colleagues that are reading this blog, so I do hope you are enjoying your roles here at Hastings Direct! During my time with the Recruitment team I had the chance to learn how to headhunt for more senior roles, which I found really enjoyable and very interesting. I hope to re-join the team at some point in the future.
I love the people I work with. My team has become my family away from home! I also love the fact that Hastings Direct puts its colleagues first. I think that this gives Hastings Direct a great culture and makes me feel that I matter. Whether it be by providing continuous improvement or providing a monthly budget for the team to have fun, Hastings Direct really invest in its colleagues. Sometimes it’s the little things, like a free ice cream from the van in the car park on a hot summer’s day, which can really make a difference.
I joined Hastings Direct in May 2020 – a great opportunity on a personal note to move closer to home, invest further time with my two children (and husband) and continue to add value in an operations environment.
Whilst my time with Hastings has been short (I am still very firmly holding onto my new girl badge) the opportunities are more than I could have ever imagined. From formal training environments and leadership guidance to best practice actively, which is shared across our stakeholder network and my team. The best thing about this is that there are so many improvements that we are actively working on, including our dedicated Learning and Development team and our roadmap initiatives in Customer Service. One of my peers is designing and developing a Leadership Development Programme which will launch this month!
People have constantly said (both in and outside of a work capacity) “I do not know how you moved jobs during a pandemic” (whilst homeschooling I may add!) and I am not sure what I imagined it would be like. In reality, however, it’s been seamless. Julian from our Recruitment team kept in constant contact before and during my on-boarding and my peers have been nothing short of incredible in showing me the ropes. This blog is a great opportunity for me to thank them for actively offering me help and taking time out during their already very busy schedules. They have perfectly demonstrated our 4Cs values, so thank you! I really feel a part of the team and that my voice is heard. Collectively we can make a difference – if that isn’t cool then I don’t know what is!
For a list of our current vacancies, click here.
Date added: 7th August 2020.