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My Careers Week Experience

Natasha is a Fashion Media Assistant and gives us an insight into what Careers Week was like for her.

Having only been with Harrods for eight months, I continue to be impressed with the level of support and training given to employees. A perfect example of this is Careers Week, the bi-annual fixture that encourages employees from across the company to attend talks from internal and external speakers, along with a range of activities and ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours.

This Autumn, the Careers Week schedule invited a range of external speakers to Harrods to share with us their very different, and insightful careers stories. For me, the key highlights of these were Kriss Akabusi, athlete and motivational speaker and Cemal Ezal, founder of the charitable initiative, ‘Change Please’. I signed up for both of these talks with what was honestly a very minimal knowledge of the speakers but was engaged by their profiles and was interested to find out how they had found themselves in the position they are today.

Kriss Akabusi kicked off Careers Week with a great energy, and was the perfect antidote to any Monday moods. Interacting with the audience whilst telling his story, he highlighted the need to take yourself out of your comfort zone and learn from others, those that you might not expect, whilst finding your route to success.

"At a time when it is so easy to be consumed by your own bubble, I came away from the talk reflecting on the importance of widening horizons, something that I think is very relevant in a digital age."

This was a theme that ran throughout Careers Week as employees were allowed to learn more about different job roles, potentially discovering sides of the business in which they might be interested although would never usually have chance to explore. Talks on what it takes to work in .com and PR and Marketing gave us all a chance to find out more about what our colleagues do day to day whilst learning more about how Harrods works as a business as a whole.

Embracing the popularity for trends in health and wellness and engaging with the conversation of the importance of Mental Health, this Harrods Careers Week also saw Harrods explore some new and perhaps less expected tactics to coping with stress in and outside of your career. Whilst Terence the Teacher hosted employee Mindfulness sessions, allowing a calm and restorative start to the working day, I was lucky enough to book a slot on the massively coveted ‘Doggy De-Stress’ session. Already a dog-lover, I was keen to learn more about the benefits of animal therapy on wellbeing, and it has to be said that I can vouch for a sense of calm that comes with taking some time out of the day to focus on some docile (and adorable) four legged friends.

In a similar vein, the closing talk from Cemal Ezel provided a great example of the achievements that can come from broadening your horizons and pursuing your ideas. Cemal talked us through his story and how whilst travelling, he came to the realisation that he wanted to do more and leave a legacy of something he would be proud of. After learning and developing his thoughts, he came to the brilliant intersection of combining the money spent on coffee by commuters every morning with the homelessness problem, giving those without a home a purpose and career as a coffee seller and the coffee seeker a way to feel good about indulging their daily indulgence. Cemal’s talk was truly very inspiring and left me wishing I had thought of the idea myself!

"Nothing is impossible, sometimes taking things step by step and seeing where they lead can set you on an unexpected but massively successful careers path."

I feel that the whole experience of Careers Week was massively enriching and I’m thankful that as an employee of Harrods I am given access to such events. I look forward to the Careers Weeks to come, and if I take anything from the recent series of events, talks and activities it is that we should be open to all ideas and welcome opportunities to broaden our horizons, something that Harrods successfully supports and encourages.

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