Tell us about yourself
Prior to working at Softcat, I was a recent graduate from the University of Salford where I did a BSc in Professional Broadcast Techniques (basically TV & Film Studies). My end goal was to work as a Sports Production Producer, however, after completing multiple roles as a runner on different productions, I quickly realised it was not the career I had once dreamt of. After this realisation, I sat down with my parents and discussed what I liked and didn’t like in a job and what I wanted out of a career. We concluded that starting off in sales would suit my strengths and give me a financial platform that would ultimately allow me to move to a city and start adult life- my mum’s exact phrase was ‘well you love talking Lucy!’. It was at this moment that I found Softcat, from the website I could see that this was a company that could offer me what I was looking for in terms of culture, career opportunities and in an industry which was stable and fast growing.
What is your role?
I am currently a Regional Sales Development Programme Manager. This means I am responsible for recruiting our new sales executives and management talent, developing the management on the programme, and ensuring we strive to achieve our regional sales targets and KPI’s. Alongside this role I also manage a small set of accounts, whereby I am passionate about delivering the highest level of customer service. My aligned focus on our Sales Programme is Diversity, which coincides with my role as co-chair of the Softcat Pride Network. Diversity and inclusion are a huge passion of mine, as I believe every individual should be able to bring their authentic self to work.
What drew you to apply for Softcat?
I first discovered Softcat online, when typing in ‘best sales jobs in Manchester’ on Google one day. After doing further research into the industry, the Softcat story, and then speaking to a recruiter, I soon realised the company was a good fit for me. The culture and career progression on offer were the two main reasons I applied. I’ve learnt that for a job to be truly worthwhile I need to enjoy the environment and be able to create a network of friends- as a society we work most of the week, so it was a no brainer to choose somewhere exciting and friendly!
Tell us about your candidate experience during the recruitment process
The recruitment process at Softcat is thorough, but hugely enjoyable. I personally found all stages insightful, especially the assessment centre. There was less of a focus on ‘why me’ and more of a focus on ‘why Softcat’; I found that really comforting as it reassured me that the company did truly care about its employees. Interviewing is always nerve racking, but I use the mindset of ‘what is there to lose?’- I believe that any interview is an opportunity to grow and better yourself, so even if you don’t get the job, it is still a huge learning experience.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself at the start of the recruitment process?
Be yourself- you don’t need to try to fit the stereotypical ‘sales’ image. Softcat recruit unique individuals, so embrace your personality and what you stand for as ultimately that is what matters.
How has your Softcat experience been so far? How do you feel Softcat has supported you in your career?
My Softcat experience has been a whirlwind. From day one, I’ve always had strong management support within the company, which has allowed me to embrace every opportunity thrown my way. When I started at Softcat, I knew I wanted to be a part of the management team and to have a voice to make positive change. Therefore, I quickly made this apparent and strived to stand out by focusing on the areas I truly cared about. After 14 months, I was given my first opportunity to progress, and it has just gone from there. In addition to this I am a network lead for the Pride network. D&I is an area that is extremely important to me and being involved with the network initiatives gives me the job fulfilment I look for. This month we are celebrating Softcat’s Pride Month and the theme is Gender Diversity. We have hosted several panel discussions with external and internal speakers on both their personal journeys and advice for allies. We have also planned an office Pride Day which I’m really looking forward to as Charlie Hides will be hosting a drag bingo event for everyone to get involved with! The freedom of being yourself in the workplace is one of my favourite things about Softcat and who doesn’t love Drag Bingo…
What would be your ‘Top Tip’ for success within Softcat?
I have said this before and will say it again, the key is to just to be yourself and to work on your self-development. As part of fast-growing company, you need to be able to adapt to change, thankfully Softcat are always on hand to help with this too through various coaching and mentoring schemes. Also don’t give up, if one thing doesn’t go your way it’s fine just try again and it will work out!
What advice would you give someone thinking about joining Softcat?
If you want to join a fun, passionate and genuine company then go for it! Softcat is fantastic for allowing you to get on to the career ladder or for giving you the opportunities to fast track your existing career. We are a company made up of individuals who care, and I can guarantee it’s a place you’ll make friends for life!