Meet Penny

Having started as a Course Advisor, Penny is now putting her service experience to good use as a Client Account Executive. She provides support to account managers whilst managing some accounts of her own. Building relationships is key in Penny’s role and she demonstrates our DNA every day working collaboratively and delivering excellence in the service she delivers.  Penny has been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to climb Sydney harbour bridge with her fiance (a gift from her parents). A fantastic experience which always makes her smile when she thinks about it.

I have never worked with such interesting, smart, dedicated people with such enthusiasm for their work

I started working for Lifetime as a Course Advisor in the Telesales Team.  The hours and wage were appealing compared to previous jobs I’d had in call centers and I liked the idea of being involved in helping someone improve on their education.  When I came to interview everyone was really friendly and it seemed like a really great place to work.

The people.  I have never worked with such interesting, smart, dedicated people with such enthusiasm for their work.  While Lifetime is a big organisation with many of the team working remotely across the UK everyone still speaks to each other and the company has regular events which help to meet people from other departments and build those relationships.  Everyone helps each other too – if you ever have an issue with something there’s always someone who know what to do and will take the time to help!

As I now work as a Client Account Executive my days involve supporting our Key Account Managers with the accounts they look after and managing a few small accounts of my own.  In a typical day I’ll usually call each Account Manager for a catch up on their accounts and to see if there is anything specific they need me to look after, put together reports both for employer partners and for Lifetime on how our accounts are performing, produce marketing briefs, and handle general enquiries from employer partners, Regional Apprenticeship Trainers, Area Managers and Course Advisors.

I started out in the Telesales Team as a Course Advisor in 2014, which involved contacting learners and sites to generate interest in the qualifications Lifetime offer.  After about eighteen months I was promoted to Senior Course Advisor which meant that I still retained many of the responsibilities of a Course Advisor, but began to support the Team Leaders in the Telesales Team with things like 1-2-1s, call evaluation and feedback.  I also carried out the induction training for all new team members joining the Telesales Team.  After about a year of being Senior Course Advisor I took on the role of Client Account Executive for Retail and Active Leisure which involves supporting our Key Account Managers and the operations teams.

I think my biggest achievement would have to be implementing the induction training program that the Telesales Team now follow.  Before I took on the role of Senior Course Advisor there wasn’t really much structure to the inductions so I created resources and put a structure in place which meant that once someone had been through the training they would be entirely confident and ready for the role.  This structure is still used now despite the fact I’m no longer in the department and many of the people I trained have gone on to do really well.

I think making the jump from working in Telesales to being an Account Executive was a challenge.  I applied for the role several times before I was successful and each time I took on the feedback I was given and went away to work on improving that particular area / skill set.  I completed my Team Leader Level 2 qualification and arranged for Excel training.  I worked on building great presentations and strengthening my contacts throughout Lifetime and ultimately was successful in getting the role I wanted as a result.

I act as a point of contact at Head Office for employer partners, Area Managers, Regional Trainers, Business Development, Course Advisors, Learner Support, Marketing, Business Intelligence and learners in the Retail and Active Leisure Sectors.  I help Lifetime succeed by anticipating the needs of all of these groups as much as possible to make sure things run smoothly doing things like setting up reports before employer partners request them or zoning in on what information learners might request and the best way to communicate this to them.  If something does go wrong I’m often the first point of contact and will need to act to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.

Helping.  That could be helping a learner, an employer partner or a colleague.  It sounds cheesy but the team at Lifetime really do all work together to achieve the best possible outcome for the learner.  The learner is at the center of everything we do because without them we wouldn’t be here!

I work with a great team and have a manager who listens to my opinions and trusts me to do my job to the highest standard. I find the regular 1-2-1s and Evolve conversations a great way to plan for my future with Lifetime and put in place plans for my own development. We all celebrate each other’s successes in our team and no matter how busy the week has been we have a regular call of Fridays to all catch up on what has happened in the week. If I ever need anything or have an idea I want to explore I could confidently approach anyone in the appropriate department and be offered the support I need to succeed.

Fun, busy, challenging and always changing.

Lifetime has a culture of learning, fun and support. I don’t think there’s a single person at Lifetime who doesn’t aim to aspire to excellence in everything they do. There’s a culture of change here too. With the industry we work in changing so much it’s really important that Lifetime moves with the times and I honestly believe we do. In the time I’ve been at Lifetime we’ve grown massively and had to change the way we do things to support this which we’ve done to great success!

The opportunities they make available to their staff. These include educational opportunities, promotional opportunities, discounts arranged in partnership with some of our employer partners and local businesses or even just the opportunity to take part in events organised by our sports and social club like the annual rounders tournament or the regular pub quizzes. I’ve never worked anywhere else where I’ve had so many opportunities available to me.

It will be the best decision you’ve ever make!