It was the beginning of the third week and things felt to be transitioning. With our full-time class based training coming to an end, it was time to start applying our knowledge and putting things into practise as we all collectively began to sink our teeth into the work at hand (safe in the knowledge that our trainer and now manager would always be on hand). We were starting to have work passed over our desk and it was exciting to have active roles to begin putting the processes we had been taught in the previous weeks.
As Andy filled in the blanks, the classroom sessions became less and less frequent, resulting in a smooth transition into the busy office floor. The energy was high, and Alex having multiple vacancies to work was enough drive to make the rest of us work to catch up. There was a tangible feeling of motivation when we all got stuck in, with the drive each of us gave off encouraging the others. The rest of the office would chime in whenever we did something note-worthy which was always welcome.
It was all about application. We had the knowledge and we understood everything, it was just a case of simply doing it. This is easier said than done, and being more freedom than ever before, meant that not just myself, but Alex, Tom and Ron all felt a little lost in amongst the massive sea of opportunities we were swimming in. Knowing there are thousands of vacancies out there is all well and good, but not understanding how to engage with and find the relevant individuals to speak is easier said than done. Being in a position of wanting to do a job but not knowing where to start can fester a feeling of not being good enough, and this early on, that’s a feeling you do not want to allow room to grow!
There was always a joke going amongst the four of us that embarked on this training coursed that not all of us would make it in this notoriously competitive and difficult work environment. Andy was a fan of hammering home how difficult this industry is with the figure of 90% of new starters packing it up and calling it quits within the first year. This was a stressful figure, as of course you want to be in the 10% but, as much as I hate to admit Andy is right, it is a bloody hard time. Andy also would say that of the 10% that make it, 90% love the job and make it a full career. I am in the 90% that loves it (at present), and determined to be in that 10% that makes it past their first year.
With the transition from training room to the main floor, all of the trainees finally had a place to call our own, within a dedicated team and market. I was moved over to retail, working with Lewis, the biggest biller in the company. The move immediately allowed me to focus my efforts, and learn on the fly with Lewis sharing advice across the desk after each phone call.
Whilst things were certainly different to when we started, I can’t help but think that the way each of us are working now means we will start earning our keep soon. The other guys have joined Freddie and myself being mentored by Lewis was exactly what we needed, and that tangible feeling of belonging to something special was welling up inside.