Emma has established a number of successful teams across the Legal and Local Government sectors since beginning her career at Venn Group in February 2005.
Following her promotion to Director, we spoke to Emma about her seventeen-year career and what she has learned.
Stepping into the new
I was not long out of university when I started my first ‘proper job’ with Venn Group. You don’t always know what to expect in a new role, and you’re not always sure how good you are going to be at it! I knew I had a lot to learn, and it took a few months before I really started to think: I can do this.
I had been working on the Midlands Finance team for three years when I was then asked to set up a legal division for the office. It was hard to move on from my place on the Finance team. I was doing really well and loved my job, but taking that step was a great decision as we ultimately grew four legal teams across the Midlands and South-West that are all doing really well and which I’m extremely proud of.
In 2015 I had some time off to work on another special project, and my son is now nearly seven! It took a bit of adjustment when I came back from maternity leave, but I have been able to create a positive work-life balance, which is fantastic.
Success through teamwork
Two things that are hugely important to me as a manager are honesty and integrity. I really care about every client, candidate and colleague that works with me at Venn Group; I want to succeed so they can succeed.
We’re all ultimately working towards the same goal: our clients want the best candidate; our candidates want the best job for them; and our colleagues want a successful partnership. Right from the first month there was a real excitement for me and feeling of satisfaction from placing people in jobs, and that has never gone away. Hard work is integral, success doesn’t just land in your lap or come overnight, you have to really work hard to achieve it.
When I first joined Venn Group, my manager and team did things a bit differently to me, and I had to demonstrate that my approach worked best for me. Now as a manager I am very aware it’s not about teaching someone a style, but letting them use the style they already have and making it work for them. I have also learned the importance of motivation and giving everybody something to aim for, because you get the best from people if they enjoy their job and are working towards a goal. That’s something we do really well at Venn Group and we have seen incredible growth as a result.
The way we work at Venn Group is geared towards continuing to learn and develop. Some organisations have the directors all sat in their own offices, but we’re sat on the communal desks, which means you get to be in on the action and help people deal with situations as they arise. Even when you’ve been in the job for seventeen years, things inevitably happen that you’ve never come across before which requires keeping an open mind and learning from your experiences.
Success for me goes beyond measuring our billing milestones; if I’m still motivated and enjoying my job, and if I’m still growing and developing, that demonstrates success. If I then see that same thing around me – if my teams are happy, motivated, and developing – that shows I’ve had success as a leader. This often means helping people meet their targets on Pathways & Milestones and achieving promotions into management; I want to make sure everyone gets to where they want to be if they are willing to put in the work.
I’m looking forward to continuing to grow my business unit in this next step as Director. Two years ago, I set up a Local Government team which is doing extremely well. I’m hoping to divide that into further teams which will in turn provide further opportunities as they grow. I also want to continue to expand the Legal Division across the private and the public sectors. I am fortunate to work for a fantastic company and have an excellent team around me, who I am incredibly proud of for their dedication, great work ethic and achievements. As things continue to develop, I’m excited to be part of the next chapter.