"Never undervalue yourself"

Taking your first step into management

Kevin's Story

Kevin shares with us his career journey and how he uses Careercake to help power him at various stages throughout this path - from securing a placement on a graduate placement through to making his first move into management.  

This is Kevin. *waves*.

The Careercake team is a big, big fan of his. He’s a great example of how it pays off to have a clear idea about what it is you want from a career and how to apply the lessons you learn along the way.

(He's also a great all-round human being).

Here he shares with us his career journey and how he uses Careercake to help power him at various stages throughout this path - from securing a placement on a graduate placement through to making his first move into management.  

Hey, Kevin, tell us a bit about yourself.

‘From a very young age I’ve always had a vision of what job I wanted to do, at what age and how I would achieve this. This has come from having a very business-oriented family who taught me about structure but also seeing what they did in their employment and wanting to emulate their successes’ says Kevin.

Kevin studied Business Management with Human Resource Management at UWIC where he graduated with a first-class honours degree.  

It was here he set himself the aim of securing a graduate management position six months before he graduated so that he wouldn’t have any additional stress during his final exams.

He began to watch Careercake material to understand how to position his skills to a future employer. It was off the back off this and his hard work that led to an offer for a position onto Lidl’s Graduate Store Management Programme (which he accepted!).

'The Lidl programme was a great challenge which I enjoyed. I’ve always believed in being the hardest worker in the room and that hard work beats natural talent'.

Here he applied many of the lessons he’d learned from Careercake to help build and maintain relationships with his new staff.

'It allowed me to experience my first real taste of management, with the hardest part gaining the trust of my fellow employees who were significantly older than me and had worked in the store for a number of years. My first decision was to demonstrate the reason why I was successful through what was an intense selection process and that 86% of graduates don’t complete the first 6 months'.

Changing careers and facing new experiences.

Following on from his time at Lidl Kevin went onto enter the recruitment industry. Over a few years he worked for both a small agency as well as the global leader in recruitment.

Throughout his experience he faced many firsts:

The first time he had to hand in his notice.
The first time he had had to negotiate his package.
The first time he had to learn new skills (and quickly) outside of his remit.
The first time he had to manage ‘different’ personalities.
The first time he had to speak up in a senior management meeting.
The first time he had to deal with a decision he didn’t agree with.
The first time he realised he was pretty darn awesome at his job (and how to accept it).

Through hard work and applying the things he’d learned from Careercake experts (such as Aimee) he developed an awesome set of skills throughout his work. In fact, he went on to be offered a position heading up a new division within an agency and went on to achieve some fantastic things.

What is it about Careercake that helped you to progress?

For me Careercake is so much more than just helping you get that promotion and then thriving once you are there. It covers everything that you may come across within business

'Content that has really helped me in the past is salary negotiation as normally people just want to get hired. However, it’s about them being right for you and what can you offer them.

'Learning about how best to negotiate a package that is so important as you don’t want to undervalue yourself. I also have listened to content about how best to write a leaving notice and how to handle the difficult situation of working your notice period.

'All of the content is extremely easy to listen to and understand. One thing that is so evident from every single video is that the whole team really cares. You can take all the information and advice you are saying and tailor it into your own career.

'Still today I watch the videos, not because I need a new job, but because I use them as a refresher. Knowledge is power and if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, then you have to be able to adapt quickly'.

What lessons (if any) did you take away and then apply?

I’ve learnt many lessons from Careercake, the most important one being to know your worth and never undervalue yourself

'I’ve predominantly worked in recruitment which is a very cut-throat industry. I’m not a cut throat person and actually want to get to know people and companies in detail so I can fully understand how it all works.

'Once I’m emotionally invested in something, I give it my all. Knowing your worth and not accepting counter offers was a lesson that paid off for me.

'I’ve felt more confident in many aspects within my career so far: I negotiated a higher salary, new job title and some team leadership responsibilities within a very successful team. I’ve also learned how to lead teams who are more experienced than I am and how to deal with disappointments a career will throw at you’.

'I feel a part of the team – a Careercake ambassador!'

'If I hear people talking about their careers and wanting advice, I always point them in the direction of Careercake. I’ve not seen or heard of any other company that delivers information to the end user in a way Careercake does.

'The videos allow the viewer to either learn or develop skills that are essential within not only business but everyday life. For me personally, I listen to the videos, take away the action points on the areas I need to improve and then practice them. This builds my confidence and allows me to call upon them when needed'.


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