2019 is a milestone year for Charlotte Williams, Contract Manager at Liberty. She will celebrate her 50th birthday, get married and mark 12 years since she first joined Liberty. On International Women’s Day she is taking stock, looking back over her career achievements and sharing some words of encouragement for women at the start of their careers.

“When I look back I’m very proud of how I progressed in my field. Career paths are rarely straight roads and I joined Liberty in 2007 after working in a stressful and negative environment which had taken its toll.

“My first day at Liberty in customer service was a bit of a baptism of fire! After one hour of training I was on the phones speaking to customers but I relished the challenge and knew I had the support of my Liberty colleagues behind me.

“I have always been passionate about learning and adding to my knowledge so I have been very fortunate that Liberty has provided lots of training and opportunities to develop new skills. I have always snapped these up and that’s one of the reasons I have moved up through the organisation throughout my time here. If people are ever offered these opportunities at work I would always say – put your hand up and take them!

“I now manage a team of 66 people and get to put the knowledge I’ve gained through my qualifications into practice every day. I have worked hard to foster a positive culture and have invested in my team and I’m proud to say that staff retention has really improved.

“Finding time to complete studies alongside work can be very challenging, it’s a lot of hard work but it’s very important to me. My fiancé thinks I’m mad pushing myself so hard all the time! But I really believe that qualifications are hugely beneficial to individuals and organisations. I feel a sense of personal achievement when I look at my certificates and I know I am able to bring real value to the company. I’ve recently completed my NVQ Level 7 in management. What’s next, who knows...

“I love to take any opportunity to pass on things I’ve learned over the years, successes as well as bumps in the road. Thinking about women at the beginning of their careers I’d say grab opportunities that are offered to you. An apprenticeship? An NVQ? These can be real springboards for a successful future.

“I’m always thinking about my future, too. I’d love to deliver training alongside my current role to formalise the support and advice I can share with others.”

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