Following a career in the travel industry, our colleague Tracy joined Hastings Direct while she mapped out a new life for herself in Australia. After achieving a great work-life balance and grasping several opportunities along the way, those plans changed and today Tracy is our (Sussex-based!) Business Incident and Resilience Manager.
My previous career was in the airline industry – I spent a short time at British Airways, then Virgin Atlantic Airways where I joined as cabin crew and progressed to onboard manager. A back injury led me to being grounded, so I spent some time at Virgin Holidays before returning to Virgin Atlantic Airways as a senior instructor in safety and security. It truly was a dream job and I got to travel the world, but after 14 years I was growing tired of travelling and the industry hit hard times, so I applied for the voluntary redundancy that was on offer and joined Hastings Direct as a PA as it was local to home. I planned to stay for a year or two before emigrating to Perth in Australia – 12 years later, I’m still here and living in Bexhill not Perth!
A varied new career
When I joined Sales & Marketing (as it was called back then), they were a small team of around ten colleagues. After a couple of years, I was asked to join Retail Operations to support the new Operations Director. This role gave me real insight into the world of the customer, and I took on a second role (working three evenings a week and every Saturday) as a Team Leader in Customer Service, supporting our first team of part-time call centre colleagues. After a three-month secondment as a CCL in Renewals, I returned to my PA role but spotted a role advertised for a Junior Project Manager. I applied, was successful and my career at HD changed. I threw myself into the world of project management which enabled me to use existing skills and to develop new ones. After several years in project management, more recently I've joined the Risk and Resilience team as their Business Incident and Resilience Manager, which I am really enjoying.
Every day’s a school day
In my current role, every day is proving to be a school day! Each day is different and I love working with all areas of the business. I am learning more about the importance of cyber security which is something I had completely underestimated the impact of until now – it’s so important to be vigilant as systems can be lost within minutes and it’s concerning how organisations are being targeted.
Some people may see this area as ‘not particularly exciting’ but they would be wrong. I have been astounded at how interesting I find the work I do every day, and the warm welcome and support I have received has been truly heart-warming.
Work-life balance and so much more
I joined Hastings Direct as I wanted a better work-life balance – something the company has always afforded me and for which I am grateful. They also supported me when I wanted to work two jobs at the same time which was unconventional, and I have been presented with opportunities here that I may not have been given elsewhere.
I never expected to be here for 12 years – I’ve made some lifelong friends who I treasure and also met my husband, Paul, who I should probably mention! It really has been an incredible journey and I have loved (almost!) every minute.
Join us: If, like Tracy, you’d like to grow a career in a fast paced and digitally-focused company, click here to find out about available opportunities and apply.