Your one-stop career shop
WE owe a huge debt to supermarket staff. From delivering stock to stacking shelves, these essential workers have kept the country running during the pandemic.
And it’s not only shop floor roles – there are a multitude of fascinating jobs behind the scenes too at FTSE 100 business Tesco.
It’s one of the UK’s biggest employers, and many of Tesco’s store managers, executives and staff at its Welwyn Garden City HQ started out on the shop floor. The company is proud to train and develop its own talent so it can promote from within, as well as seek diverse talent externally.
Career opportunities for younger employees just starting out are something Tesco is passionate about. And it’s a well-trodden path: one in five people have worked in a supermarket during their career.
For Tesco staff, 82 per cent recommend it as a great place to work – and you never know where it might take you.
You could start your career on check-outs and become a store manager. You might want to carve out a career as part of Tesco’s distribution team, or cybersecurity might be the choice for you: the opportunities are endless.
No matter which direction you take, you’ll be helped and always learning – the culture is friendly, supportive and can-do. Plus, you’ll be part of a vital service for the local community – every £1 profit made by Tesco drives £20 spent in the wider economy.
Jumpstart for jobs
To this end, the retail giant is committed to helping 45,000 young people from all backgrounds gain employability skills and jumpstart their careers over the next year with schemes such as its Business Diversity internship, Graduate programmes and apprenticeships, as well as extending its partnership with The Prince’s Trust.
It hopes to reach people like Rhiannon Whelan, who joined Tesco as a graduate recruit and who is now an area manager at just 29 looking after 27 Express stores in east London.
She says: “I have huge sympathy for young jobseekers. To be looking for your first job at this time must be so daunting – I know first-hand when we do store recruitment how many people are looking for work.”
Empathy comes naturally for Rhiannon, who graduated from the University of Warwick with a psychology degree.
She says: “I wanted to work with people in some form of management – I enjoy understanding how people work. I applied for billions of grad schemes but Tesco was the most appealing. Why? My mum always shopped at Tesco and I have memories of when I was little, walking round Tesco Extra in Shoreham-by-Sea with her. It’s still one of my dreams to manage the Shoreham store one day.”
In fact, Rhiannon started at the busy Bishopsgate store opposite Liverpool Street Station in the financial centre of London.
“It’s very busy – lots of champagne buying! I ran various departments, a bit of check-out and a bit of shopfloor, to get an overall view. It was a learning curve and quite overwhelming to go from never having worked in a shop to being in charge. But I loved the buzz, the busyness and being part of a team.”
She moved up through the ranks, working closely with store managers, taking advice and learning as she progressed.
“I still ring my previous colleagues for advice today. For such a big company Tesco is a very small world so you always cross paths with people again, which is nice. Pre-Covid, the graduates got together every year for a reunion,” she adds.
She still likes to help, by speaking to the new recruits every year and also organising talks and events as part of the Women in Tesco network, which provides advice and inspiration to help women drive their careers forward.
“The beauty of Tesco is that many people in senior leadership positions have come from within. Talented and skilled colleagues that we already know and who are loyal to the business are championed.”
Rhiannon’s future looks bright, but what next? “I would like to explore other avenues at Tesco, whether that be in the office or distribution or a different team – there are so many options here. The hard part is deciding what I want to do next.”
A born leader
Another proud recruit is Berkshire area manager Freddie Sackey-Addo, 38. He knew he wanted to work in retail from the moment he began working at Tesco while studying for his A-levels.
He started out with two days a week on the fruit and veg aisle and loved everything about the store, from helping customers to the camaraderie with his colleagues, so he decided to take a retail business management degree and opted to do his 12-week industrial placement with Tesco.
He says: “I enjoyed interacting with people and the variety of the jobs you could do. There was this sense that you could do whatever you want to do.”
During the placement, his enthusiasm and initiative shone and in 2006 he joined Tesco permanently.
Since his first team manager job at Abingdon Extra he’s had quite a journey, including numerous leadership roles, working as a night manager and leading the property team to manage an extensive property portfolio.
“Moving to head office was like going into a new business,” he adds. “In store it’s like, ‘Right, I’m here, I need to react, to serve’. Here the roles are more strategic – looking ahead, but with a big impact.
“You pretty much have a blank piece of paper to come up with something to move the business on. It might look small, but whatever you implement is going to touch 3,000 plus shops, so you better make sure you get it right! In stores it’s like you’re leading an army. It’s a very different skill set.”
He now works as an area manager, looking after 32 convenience stores across Reading, Newbury and Swindon.
Which does he prefer – store or head office?
“Initially I did miss my time in shops and talking to customers. And I did miss Christmas because the buzz in store is awesome. It can’t be replicated. It’s an environment where work doesn’t feel like work.”
In fact, Freddie’s role at head office even saw him plan Christmas for Tesco’s entire business for two years running, both times delivering a great festive period for customers.
“It was awesome: I was working with the marketing team, working with the product team, working with finance and deliveries and seeing how it all comes together for the customer.”
After tackling all these challenges, Freddie doesn’t want to stop there: his dream is to become a director and eventually a business leader for the company. “That’s the beauty of Tesco,” he says. “You can learn so much and get amazing hands-on experience in such a wide range of areas and skills – it’s never boring!”
Fancy joining the Tesco team?
From working on the shop floor to software engineering, finance, cybersecurity and beyond, there are plenty of training schemes available, including Tesco’s Graduate programme, apprenticeships and Business Diversity internship.
There are also permanent roles available at all levels.
To find out more about how you can start your career at Tesco go to tesco-careers.com/programmes
Source: Read Full Article