As I sat on the big bird in the sky, en route to Heathrow airport to begin the new chapter in my career, it allowed me time to contemplate, review and also enjoy the clear blue skies above the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
I was filled with all of the normal feelings when starting a new role; nerves, excitement, trepidation, the unknown followed by the unnerving thoughts…
Will I fit in?
Can I make a real impact on the business?
Have I made the right choice?
Monday 8th June – my official start date and my re-introduction with Chris Macdonald (Managing Director), a formidable character standing 6ft plus in stature, well-spoken and, on first impressions, a great judge of character – after all he did offer me the job!
It wasn’t long before I was put at ease and was immediately made to feel at ‘home’ in the beautiful surroundings of the converted barn housing the Propertyserve UK team in rural Amersham. As we worked our way around the different departments being introduced, I could not help but feel the buzz and team ethos emanating from the teams. This became infectious, however I was still the new kid on the block and had to earn the right to be part of the team.
As Vanessa, Oli, Mel and Lawrence took the time to hold my hand and introduce me to the helpdesk I was struck by the professionalism, dedication and positivity from them. I must however reserve special thanks to Sam Wooster who had unfortunately been lumbered with me for what must have felt like an eternity. As I sat in listening to calls coming through the system, I had a flashback to all those years ago when I was a helpdesk operative and remembered these guys are on the sharp end of the business.
Sam soon managed to shake me off and it wasn’t long before I was thrown in at the deep end taking calls – the less said about this the better!
The following days I spent time getting to know some of the contractors who had visited the office for reviews, as well as spending time with Nikki and her fantastic team in the accounts department. This was followed by a visit to the Excel in London. Once I had finally figured out the way around the FM show I accompanied Chris in collecting the Tomorrow’s FM 2015 Helpdesk of the year award. This, after the time spent with the guys on the helpdesk, all made sense and simply confirmed my initial thoughts of the team.
Following my two week ‘initiation’ I was released back up north along with my new colleague David Lackenby. I was home. “Time to get cracking,” I bellowed in my deepest Yorkshire accent as we set off on our northern contractor adventure. As we pounded the M1 and M62 motorways meeting and greeting many existing suppliers as well as meeting potential new relationships I already felt like one of the team, a feeling which helped me as I followed David’s lead on the initial meetings.
As we swept across the Northwest, Yorkshire and the Northeast like an election candidate on a voting drive, we found ourselves in Manchester searching for respite by means of food and a light beverage. Given the feeling of progress and small victory I felt we had achieved it was only fitting that given we were in Manchester, and following the wise words of a one Louis Van Gaal: “We win, we go to Wings!”
It wasn’t long before our little venture was at an end and we parted ways to enjoy the weekend and reflect on the work and progress we had made with the supply chain. As I drove home that evening I was again offered the time to reflect on the last 3 weeks which allowed me to re-contemplate the questions I had whilst on the flight to Heathrow:
Will I fit in? I hope I have as I could not help but already feel an affiliation to the team, the company ethos and a feeling of content.
Can I make an impact? Only time will tell, but I sat in the car with a great feeling of excitement, optimism and energy.
Have I made the right choice? My response: I wish I had joined Propertyserve UK sooner!
To the future!
Richard Parkin – Regional Contracts Manager – North