From work experience to payroll adviser

Do you remember my story of my work experience with The Development Company? Here is a link to my first blog about my 8 weeks’ work experience in 2016, and this is my story now.

Upon finishing my work experience in February 2016, I was fortunate enough to secure two weeks temporary work as a direct result of my time spent at The Development Company. The week following, I was temping with Nimlok and was helping to set up a new client database system.

Alongside working for Nimlok, I continued to be offered interviews for job openings that I had been applying for. As I approached the end of my final week there, I had scheduled an interview for the Monday following, of which I was wished good luck by everyone. Upon leaving Nimlok, I was happy that I had further developed my CV with experience from my temporary work as well as The Devevelopment Company, however reality struck me and I realised that I would suddenly not be keeping busy day to day. I kept myself motivated and saw my interview on Monday as an opportunity to prove myself and show the skills that I had learnt during my work experience.

I was offered the opportunity to be trained on-the-job as part of Berry Kearsley Stockwell‘s payroll team. Suddenly I went from completing my work experience to carrying out temporary work to securing full time employment with only a few days in between, which felt absolutely brilliant!

I have now been working here for just over a year and have come on leaps and bounds, to the point where I regularly process some of our largest payroll clients single handedly. Prior to starting, I was unaware how tax was even calculated however I am now able to advise clients about any queries they may have about the very same thing I had no knowledge of.

My time spent at The Development Company was just what I needed to kick start into the world of work and for that I am forever grateful. It gave me a taste of what it’s like to work for a tight-knit company with an end goal in mind. Although my current role entails relatively different work, I feel that I have taken a lot of what I learned during my time with Kay, Adrian and Louise and have adapted it to fit my current workplace. During my time at The Development Company, I produced templates for a Mail Chimp newsletter, uploaded data and designed the first e-newsletter . I had to work towards deadline as it would be sent out to potential new clients that had met the team recently at events. Now, my work is very much deadline based, as I need to ensure everyone is processed either by the end of each week or by the end of each month.

As well as this, I was able to further develop skills that I have self-taught for example helping to build webpages, and learning new skills like using social media to market products and increase website traffic, which I have always been interested in. Another advantage of working for a company that specialises in training is that I was able to clarify my strengths, and help to build on them. A key thing that personally helped me was that I was shown the benefits of LinkedIn, having had no previous experience with it. I was taught how to use it to appeal further to new opportunities and build up connections in a professional way. I was able to develop my CV to appeal to employers – and they were right, it worked!

My advice to jobseekers

I’ve heard it a lot myself however I’m ashamed to admit that I did not see just how much on-the-job experience can make a difference when seeking employment. Getting experience in a similar role that you intend to go into will show future employers that you are compatible for the position they are wanting to fill. Even experience that you may not see as relevant can certainly help in other areas and shows that you are employable, such as volunteering or dog-walking. It will show that you are trustworthy and hard-working and the people you work for can also be used as references for the future.

I feel that not enough small companies are taking a chance with fresh graduates however I hope that I have shown just how important we are in the corporate ladder. The Development Company made a difference to me, and I think all small businesses should think about how they can offer valuable knowledge, skills and experience to others. Yes, we may need additional training and patience, however when given the opportunity, we can make a huge impact. At the end of the day, employers are looking for a long-term loyal worker and if we are shown warmth and feel we are appreciated then we are likely to provide this.

My final words of wisdom would be to keep at it and do not get put off by rejections, use that as motivation and strive for the role you want. I had lost track of the amount of jobs I had applied for so it’s definitely a struggle to stand out against your peers. Always remember that good things come to those who wait and as long as you don’t get disheartened then you will get to where you want to be. Remember to develop your CV as much as possible while you can so that it gives you a head start over everybody else. Also think of answers to common interview questions that you find difficult to answer, for example ‘What is your biggest achievement?’ so that you are as prepared as you can be. Use difficult questions to your advantage as often a lot of people will also be stumped by that same question.

I honestly would not be where I’m at without the opportunity and guidance of Kay and Adrian. Others to thank are Josh from Talent Match, a lottery funded group who are able to help young people that are seeking unemployment. Diane from Nimlok, who saw my potential, and in turn, offered me my first paid employment. And also my current workplace for taking me on regardless of my lack of experience and for helping me to build my knowledge, skills and confidence.

On a side note I have also felt a lot more positive since 2016 and I’ve also started to exercise and have changed my diet. I feel very glad that I am able to help out my family financially and I hope to be driving towards the end of this year.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading my life update and I hope that some of you may benefit from it if you are in a similar situation to me.

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