It’s a bittersweet time for one of our longest serving employees. Not only is she celebrating 15 wonderful years with our company, but she is now swapping her working week for semi-retirement.
To mark the occasion, we presented her with a bouquet of flowers and decided to take the opportunity to pick her brain on her experience with the company so far.
Julia Hewitt, who is our IT and Facilities Manager has witnessed the company grow and transform from Business Advice Direct to in2wrk and now to Think Employment. So who better to spill the beans on all things Think Employment?
Before joining the company Julia had numerous manager jobs, she worked as a restaurant manager at BHS for 5 years, and then a dry cleaning and area manager for 2 years at Johnsons Cleaners. It was here where she first got involved with the company.
In 2003, Think Employment was known as Business Advice Direct. The services and courses we offered were slightly different to what we do now. In fact, IT, English and Maths courses were only advertised to people in employment, so they could complete the courses at home in their own time.
Helen Umpleby (our Lead Partnership Coordinator ) came into Johnsons Cleaners one day to promote an IT course. It was here that she met Julia for the first time.
“I signed up for it and within a couple of weeks, I had completed it and then been invited for an interview and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Julia.
Julia initially worked as a Field Training Advisor, where here she enrolled learners on to the courses. “The company has changed a lot since then, we initially focused on employed learners in the workplace, and now we have a better range of courses but our focus has switched to unemployed learners to help them find sustainable employment,” she said.
However, the constant changes are what made her enjoy her job. She said, “I enjoy, being in an ever-changing environment, it’s a constant challenge and you need to learn to adapt quickly”.
She recalls her favourite moment as a staff day out in York. “I love the people I work with. My favourite work memory was when we had a full staff day and night out in York. It was a staff team building day and a medieval banquet at night. We did jousting and a bunch of team building exercises, I’ve never laughed so much in my life”.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing though, as Julia reflects on her biggest challenge. She said, “My biggest challenge was finding new premises and having new premises up and running in only 30 days, but I did it and we moved from Bramley into Pudsey”.
So what’s next for Julia? After 15 years, she is now going part-time. She said, “I don’t want to give up work, just reduce my hours”
Enjoy semi-retirement Julia, you deserve a well-earned break!
Julia can be found at our Grimsby centre Monday – Wednesday located at 140 Victoria St S, DN31 1NX.