11 March, 2016

A job for life; not just for Christmas

You can build a career within M&S. Wherever you start out, there are so many opportunities within the business you can get involved with. It comes down to being vocal about where you see yourself on the career path and driving your own development.”

After completing an Electrical Engineering degree, Fiona had worked in retail for some other businesses before joining us as a Christmas temp way back in 1994. Things have changed a lot since then, and so has Fiona’s role – seeing as she’s now our Islington Store Manager. 

“From starting as a Christmas temp at the Brixton store, I feel that M&S has really allowed me to flourish. Within six months of joining I was given the opportunity to be a supervisor on GM. I then moved to Walworth Road to become a Section Manager on Foods. Having a passion for fashion and the commercial side of the business, I then decided to apply for a programme which helps individuals to become Commercial Managers. This then opened doors for me to become a Store Manager.”

Seeing how opportunities arose in her own career, Fiona’s keen to pass on what she’s learnt to everyone she works with. 

“Overall, my job is to excite and inspire my customers. But I need my team to help me do that. So I also look to create energy and enthusiasm through my leadership. Helping my Customer Assistants to further their own careers and become Section Co-ordinators and Section Managers; I see that as one of my biggest achievements.”

Obviously, what it comes down to is drive, determination and willingness to work. But sometimes you do need some support. So how does she feel that M&S has helped her get to where she wanted to be?

“The company provided various courses and tools to support my development. But the key to my success, I believe was building a network of peers who you can pick up the phone to and spend some time with.”

Just time for one last question. With 21 years’ experience under her belt, who does she see as being a good fit for M&S?

“Someone who is passionate, enthusiastic about their role, willing to be self driven in their development and motivated to demonstrate our values. Don’t let being a “Parent” stop you achieving your goals. I certainly didn’t.”

Inside M&S