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Career Stories

My Careers Week Experience

Irene is an Assistant Sales Manager for Womenswear International Designers and she gives us an overview of her time during Careers Week.

After two weeks of annual leave I came back to the business during the bustle of Careers Week - and it completely cured my holiday blues! I want to share this experience and the general experience of being a Harrodian.

What is Harrods Careers Week?

A variety of enjoyable events, sessions, and inspirational courses to develop employees.

Harrods is a fantastic organisation that cares about employee development and learning, it knows that people are key to its success. Careers Week is an initiative designed to engage; a wide range of workshops, events, all built to further employees. It takes place twice a year, but the themes, interesting topics, varied content, means that the sessions become very popular, some of which are booked up in one day!

What have I learned from the sessions I attended?

(Too much! It would be impossible to summarise in one sentence.)

I attended the last Careers Week as a HMP (Harrods Management Programme) Delegate, and have since then taken on a more senior managerial role. My perspectives changed, and with this Careers Week I found myself filtering the important information that I can share with my team. It is often a frenetic period, but I was excited to see my colleagues learning, and hearing them share their Careers Week experiences with me.

This year I noticed myself developing skills outside of the session during these one and a half weeks. Being a Careers Week Social Media Ambassador whilst taking part in a HR Resourcing Secondment, I was able to stretch myself, I learnt how to organise my day-to-day more efficiently without feeling like I have so much going on; it was an extremely satisfying feeling.

At Carli Barker's My Career Story talk she themed her career journey using the nursery, elementary school, college, and university on each company that she had worked for. It was inspirational hearing how she never stopped pushing herself out of her comfort zone. I saw a leader who keeps her genuine self - and she spoke to the audience from the heart. She has had many 'sideways' moves during her career journey, but we are reminded that it is essential to embrace every change of your career.

"Don’t be afraid to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation because that’s where you can stretch yourself the most and learn the most." - Carli Barker.

"Be a people-oriented manager. My inspirations are my staff." - Bane Blagojevic.

My team and I attended Bane Blagojevic's (Sales Director Saint Laurent) career talk. It was a very informative conversation with him. He began as a temp in Saint Laurent, so his career story inspired us that no goal is too big as long as you have one. He shared with us that favorite part of the job is developing people which linked perfectly to our ultimate goal at Careers Week.

Among the most useful sessions I attended this year was Career Conversation with Managers. It was a very small group of us, and we role played - putting what we learnt into practice. Robyn Thomas, our learning advisor, guided us through what a great career conversation looks like and we were able to share our struggles when holding a career conversation with our direct reports. It was a very practical session as well as a great networking opportunity with managers from other areas of the business. I was able to review the structure I used and create a better one according to the key points I took away with me afterwards.

"My favourite part of Careers Week has to be the sessions that focus on well-being and giving back to the society. I love to read about it in my spare time so it was a true enjoyment for me to be able to learn it while at work."

What's next?

Letting the information soak in ...

An intense week of learning often requires a period of digestion, it is vital that the information soaks in and registers, making it easily applicable moving forwards. I took away so much, and set some new goals. I am keen on starting my Trusteeship application, among other things, and with Winter arriving that means Christmas and the busiest retail period and now I am really looking forward to it!


Tags: Careers Week
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