New chapter begins now.
Resignation can be positive…
My reflection on 6 years with Vertu Motors plc
Friday 22nd March 2019 another crucial date in my professional chronology. That date has marked my departure from Vertu – the day I handed back my laptop, credit card and car. Yes, I am carless for the next two weeks – better get used to walking and check that bus timetable haha.
This was a special day for me, time to reflect. I have worked for the company for the past 6 years even though it felt like a lot longer. I have changed as a person during these six years. I joined them as a twenty something young & inexperienced person and left as a thirty something expert in the field. Yes, I am proud to say I am an expert in what I am doing. It was so rewarding having people come to me to ask for advice and help. Only few years ago I was the one searching for help.
The time with the company has given me so much. I moved from fair sized limited business Pentagon Group to a few thousand employee’s plc Vertu Motors. Beginning was really tough on me. I never hid the initial thought and feeling like I made a biggest mistake of my life at the time. I was still young, I came from comfort and security of working for Group’s Head Office to the dealership environment. Not your usual set up either. Straight into deep waters of the Multi Site set up that no one before managed to tame. These were tough months and it was scary, many nights crying to the pillow and not having no one to comfort me either. Already at the time I used to go to an empty house and had to manage my feelings alone.
Those experiences I find either make or break you. It made me who I am today. The team there, difficulties but also friendships and connections that formed over the years, management changes and the people I worked for. Some of them remained, some of them left. Looking from perspective now I don’t think I would achieve everything I did, if I was employed to work at the well performing, settled dealership with well established team.
Instead the 6 years took me from weaknesses to strengths and each time I though I got a place settled, I was moved to another location. I feel that maybe my bosses knew me and my strengths better at the time, than I knew myself. I worked at struggling Multi Site, I worked with a brand-new acquisition, I worked away from home at the lowest performing dealership and I also covered at transitioning dealers, I commuted to work 50 miles a day, I commuted less than a mile and finally commuted around the country. Versality of the roles I got to do, led me to win CEO Award for the Accountant of The Year in 2016. Year after I got chosen to join company Leadership Development Programme and not long after promoted to a Divisional role.
I remember in my initial interview for the dealership accountant at Derby, Steve asked me where do I see myself in 5 years – full of confidence as I do, I replied “doing your job”. And you know what, if we believe in ourselves and work hard, we can become who ever we want – I am a living proof of that.
Things don’t get handed to us on a platter. Success is the combination of hard work, commitment, attitude, talent and personality. I worked as an accountant for many years yet I barely passed math at school! I always say, maybe I will upset few people with this statement (for that I AM DEEPLY SORRY) – you can teach anyone to complete accounts, but it is what we do beyond that matters. Numbers are numbers, any computer nowadays can calculate your profit and compare the results versus KPI’s. Though Emotional Intelligence is a key in any role. Ability to read others, ability to adapt ourselves to situations, recognising emotions, read peoples minds – that will allow us to manage teams, teams to follow our goals and teams wanting to do thing for us.
Another statement I live by since young age is, to treat others how I would want to be treated. Too many times I have seen people not respect other people. And I don’t even mean customers (since I come from retail-based environment) – but people in your surroundings, from cleaning team, valeters, delivery drivers, postman. Why would I treat any of these people with less respect than I do managers, directors or a CEO? Each of us, no matter the job title, has a job to do in order for the business to function properly. If everyone does what they supposed to do, it is well run “machine”, if one piece of a puzzle goes missing everything can very quickly collapse.
I have personally worked in many different roles, including lower skilled jobs, that I feel I can relate and appreciate the hard work that goes into those jobs. I will repeat myself but if we respect the work that the people put in, we respect them as people they will work twice as hard. I assure you of that.
Going back to my last day at work. Maybe not even a day but last few weeks were exceptional. The amount of appreciation, love and gratitude I received was overwhelming. Maybe I should resign more often 😊 ? It is funny how at times we don’t realise how much we mean to others or how good of a job we do. I had an opportunity to hear from so many people, on how I affected their lives and how much I helped them. I would lie if I said feedback is not important. It taught me a lot, the two weeks showed me that I should be proud of my achievements, but also that I am leaving on good terms, proud and that I will be able to come back at any time.
It was not 6 years of only happy and rosy moments. It was tough work. Hard times. Long hours – at times 60-70 hours weeks. But at times a given flexibility of working from home in Poland when my grandad passed away, ability to take long term holiday, continuous learning and access to training tools. Once you build your reputation and name, it is very easy to lose it, it is not a timed journey – it’s a way of life.
To end this note, I wanted to add one big difference in how I finished my journey with Vertu. In the past wherever I worked, my last day would be full of tears, emotions and to a degree sad moment, and worrying about the future. First time in many years, I left without that. Instead I left with happy memories, smiles, hugs and taking it all in. Few dinners and leaving parties that were organised for me, I will remember with all the friendly, smiley faces, laughter, cheer and remembering all the good times. I know for a fact this is not the end of the road and I will get to see many of the friends and colleagues from Vertu in future.
In the meantime, BIG THANK YOU to everyone I worked with, everyone who supported me, everyone who helped me, everyone who laughed at my silly jokes. Look after yourselves and you know where I am, if you ever need any help!