Catherine is a Human Resources (HR) Advisor in the transport and logistics sector.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day starts with our management meeting and the operational team meeting. The focus and priorities for the day are discussed along with any potential issues we may encounter. After that no two days are ever the same! I have many different responsibilities, including chairing grievance and disciplinary hearings, approving and reconciling payroll, managing recruitment, wage negotiations and employee rep meetings, carrying out consultations, working on projects, ensuring our colleagues’ wellbeing and everything else in between. My day always flies in and although this role can be very challenging it also can be great fun.
What career journey have you been on to get where you are now?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I knew I wanted to work with people but didn’t know what direction that would take. I worked in a fruit and veg shop, in a restaurant and doing night club and drink promotions during school and university for pocket money but hadn’t found my career in these roles.
After completing my A Levels, I went to the University of Dundee, where I graduated with a Masters in English Literature. I left University and still had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to register with a recruitment agency and they offered me a job with themselves as a Recruiter. After a few months, I was promoted to work as an On-Site Consultant for the agency with a large manufacturing company. This started my career in HR. In 2010, I went back to University on a part-time basis to formalise my knowledge and I achieved a Masters in HR Management. I have worked in many industries, including the public and private sector, and even set up an HR Department from scratch in a family-run company based mainly in America. Each job has been very different but they all have people as the main focus.
What excites you about your industry?
The amount of change and opportunity. It is an exciting time for the Transport and Logistics industry and it is facing huge amounts of change at the minute with Brexit coming up. There will be the opportunity for colleagues to develop and learn new skills and potentially new roles will be created. This industry gives people the chance to join at an entry level position with limited qualifications, and with hard work and experience work their way up through the ranks. It is exciting to be on this journey of development and achievement with my colleagues and see them reach their potential.
What advice would you give to your 13-year old self?
You can do it! Follow your dreams, never give up, and don’t settle for second best.