Anna-Jayne completed the Agile Nation2 Career Development Programme in late 2020. We had a question and answer session with Anna-Jayne, who shared her career development story, with thoughts on what she learnt, tips for future participants and why it’s important that we improve the economic position of women in Wales.
Your name: Anna-Jayne Davies
Where you work: Leekes, Crosshands
About the programme
How did you hear about the Career Development Programme?
Chwarae Teg contacted our Head office who encouraged me to apply for the programme.
Why did you apply for the Career Development Programme?
When I first heard about the it, I thought my place of work had emailed it to me by mistake as I wasn’t even a supervisor.
I didn’t think I would ever progress although deep down I wanted too. After speaking to my store manager who encouraged me to do it I decided I had nothing to lose and applied.
What did you find most challenging about the Programme?
The course was fantastic, there was so much support in the classroom, on the on line dashboard and though email anything I thought would be challenging was soon easy to approach. The most challenging part for me was to realise that I had the ability to do a more senior role and to believe in myself more. There was an activity early on in the course where we had to write down on paper what we did in our workplace/job role, as I wrote down the things I did and suddenly started to realise that I did a lot more than my job role and had taken on a lot more roles which I was enjoying but hadn’t realised I was doing so much. I also remember using the word just, for example I said that I was responsible for “just maintaining the first aid bags and supplies” our course tutor emailed to me I didn’t “just” so this and this would surely involve stock checking the kits routinely, ordering supplies, refilling and there was a lot more to this task that “just”. This really helped me realise that the roles and tasks I was doing within my job role and the extras I had taken on were a very important part to the business.
Did you get help and support from other participants/tutor/family/friends? How did they help?
I had fantastic support from Chwarae Teg, always available on email or to meet in between classroom sessions to offer more support or advice with not only assignments but also personal development, cv help etc.
I also had fantastic support from colleagues in store and my store manager who I cannot praise enough for taking the time and having the patience to listen to me and coach me.
On what has been learnt
What has the Programme shown you about yourself?
It has taught me to go for things in life, don’t worry about what people think and you have nothing to lose. It’s given me so much more confidence in all aspects of my life.
Has anything changed for you in work since completing the Programme?
I was going to apply for a position as a supervisor however when I applied I was offered the position of Department Manager! After completing the course I am comfortable and confident of most aspects of this role and with the ongoing webinars and support of Chwarae Teg and my employer I am still growing in confidence and my skills are developing.
Have you applied what you have learnt in your life outside of work? If so, how?
I have applied the same aspects to my outside life as I have to work. I am now confident and happy in doing what I want to do more, whereas before I would only do and go along with what others wanted and often did things I didn’t want to do to please them. My promotion has also given me confidence as I feel I have more of a career now.
Your message to future participants
What would you say to someone considering applying?
Go for it! You have nothing to lose but so much to gain.
I thought this would be a course I did, a tick box exercise I could just put on my cv and forget about it. However this has honestly changed my life (cheesy I know).
What would you say to someone worried about writing assignments?
I was worried about this at the beginning, however you have notes from the day in the classroom, other participants ideas and thoughts, the on line hints and tips from Chwarae Teg on line and also the opportunity to meet with the tutor 1 – 1 in between sessions or ever email. Once you start writing it all comes naturally as really you’re only noting your own thoughts and ideas.
On empowering women to achieve their potential
Why do you think it is important that we all work together to make Wales a fairer place for women to live and work?
I think it’s very important to make Wales a fairer place as there needs to be more equality. I personally think it’s good for us as women for our well-being. But also our places of work will benefit from the ideas and outlooks of all genders.