My career progression made easy

Jo Martin
By Jo Martin | June 7, 2017

After doing my degree, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a Personal Assistant (PA) role, but when I came for an interview at Barclays, I thought the team worked together well and had to come aboard. And, here I am, nine years later.

I was in that role for about six years, and in that time, there was a lot of opportunity for development. Before my time here, I had no knowledge of banking, but I knew I had a love for customer contact. I was aware that some of the Relationship Support Managers (RSM) I had encountered in my role were taking their banking CSC modules. I asked to do them, too, and my line managers supported me all the way. I got the theoretical knowledge, so when a role became available, I was ready to really go for it.

A seamlessly professional transition

The PA role enabled me to shadow. I already worked closely with the RSMs and had very good organisational skills from the events management I was doing with the team. Most people would agree, we’ve got a fantastic RSM community. They took me with them to meet such a mixture of customers. Our customers can be anyone from hairdressers and farmers to specialist IT companies and national rugby teams, so what drew me to the role was interacting with an abundance of different people. No two meetings are ever the same.

In the RSM role, I’ve loved the diversity. You get control and freedom. We manage our portfolio of corporate customers and we develop an understanding of how each one of them operates. Whether I’m talking them through their lending options, or helping them overcome an act of fraud, I’m in a position to make a real difference to their businesses. I’ve become their trusted advisor.

Championing a cause

Citizenship is a big deal at Barclays, giving us a chance to make a difference in the community, and help worthy causes. Barclays is supportive of anyone who wants to do this. As part of this we’ve got a partnership with Gloucester Rugby club. I have underprivileged kids come in every 12 weeks, and show them what a good CV looks like and run through mock interviews with them so they can go on to have worthwhile careers. This is a fantastic part of my job and I’m proud to work for an employer that takes their role in the community so seriously. It’s nice when people aren’t giving you a hard time for being a bank, and parents come up to you to say their son or daughter did so well in an interview, thanks to our guidance.

In future, I’d like to help coach and develop people on a professional basis. I’ve just been asked to head up the support team, which will enable me to cultivate my line management skills, but still work closely with the RSMs and maintain that client focus. I’m still allowed to be involved with the sides of the business I love.