JEM Retail Consultants providing services in buying and merchandising, Programme Management, IT services and Logistics & Warehousing.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

What A Year...

Good grief, it has been a long time since our last blog and that's mainly down to my colleagues and myself being busy on various projects. Erica has been, and indeed still is at Thomas Pink as interim COO whilst Mike has been programme managing a major programme with M&S.

My time has been a bit more varied with a number of different projects as I have branched out and tried new avenues.

Rewarding but also hugely emotionally challenging...

The first and biggest achievement for me has been becoming a volunteer counsellor at Childline, the journey started Xmas 2014 when I saw Esther Rantzen on TV talking about Childline and saying that they were always looking for volunteers to work on the switchboard. I thought to myself 'surely I could do that' and I determined there and then to apply to Childline and become a switchboard operator. Well this set me out on a 10 month journey from application through completion of training over a 3 month period to the point of becoming not a switchboard operator but a counsellor and October 2015 saw me taking my first unassisted session. I have now completed a year counselling with Childline, the whole experience has been amazing, exceptionally rewarding but also hugely emotionally challenging. On some level, I expected all of that but what I had not considered and could be the most special thing about Childline is that everyone at Childline is so lovely. My previous life experiences have been that wherever you are be it at work, at your club or just going about your daily business, you meet a variety of individuals and invariably that will include a number of people that may be bullies, gossips or just generally uncaring and unkind. Well at Childline you just walk into an environment where everyone is just so lovely, kind and gentle and it is so refreshing and enlightening.

Fancy offices, company cars and expense accounts?

My other change in direction has been the project management work at my Golf Club. My contract with XPO being a part time contract left me with the time and financial ability to give some time to the Club to project manage their new website implementation. This presented its own challenges, in a huge shift for me from working on projects with budgets of several million pounds to a project with a budget of less than £25k. Working with small to medium sized suppliers has been an eye opener for me in the quality and level of support received which easily compared if not bettered that I had previously experienced with some of the top tier major Suppliers. It has left me questioning how do those big Suppliers justify their costs where is all that money going? - maybe fancy offices, company cars and expense accounts?! Working with the very small team at the Club has also been hugely rewarding and an eye opener for myself as to how much I do have to offer in terms of experience and 'how to' approach all aspects of project management and Supplier relationship and where needed get down and dirty in to the nitty gritty stuff. In addition it has also been refreshing to be working in an environment free of corporate politics and red tape. Maybe one of the biggest challenges has been with the Members and anyone who is a Member of a private Golf Club will understand exactly what I am saying. But the new public site is now life and its still safe for me to go in to the members bar!

So what next you say, well I am hoping that I can continue working for small medium sized business such as the Golf Club, maybe a new start up or even a charity. Watch this space...

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