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How working at Legal and General helped me gain the confidence to lead.

Posting date: 25 Aug 2023

Growing up as the youngest of eight children, I’ve always loved being around other people. I’d always wanted to be a primary school teacher, but it never crossed my mind that my people skills would take me into management.


After a gap year volunteering in Africa changed my outlook on what I wanted to do, I was at a loose end. I went back to the job I had been doing previously, working at the pub chain Harvester, but I knew catering wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. Then, after putting up a Facebook post looking for opportunities, I got my first job at Legal & General working in a call centre.

After around six months in the job, I still wasn’t sure whether an office job was right for me, having done shift work in the past where I’d had a lot more free time. I was literally on the verge of typing up my resignation letter, but a conversation with my manager at the time convinced me to give it another shot, and I’m glad I did.


Everything changed after I applied for a talent programme at Legal & General called Step Forward. The programme gave me an opportunity to develop and during that time, I realised I wanted to use my people skills and go down the manager route. A few months after graduating from Step Forward, I applied for a seconded team manager role and was successful in the interview. I haven’t looked back since!


As part of the programme, you’re encouraged to get a senior level mentor within the business. I was overwhelmed by the commitment the senior leadership team had in staff at my level. Mentoring is something Legal & General is very encouraging of, to anybody at any level, not just the high achievers. That forms part of the culture. People might be really busy in their day-to-day roles, but they still find that time to invest in a member of staff who is trying to develop and progress with their own career.


As a new team manager, stepping up and managing my own team was a challenge at first, and I had to work against some unconscious bias because I was younger than a lot of the people on my team. Thankfully, the Step Forward programme had helped me learn the skills I needed and the confidence to step up to the role.


Now, I love managing people and being able to develop them and help them continue to move on in their careers. Quite recently, a member of my team was on the Step Forward programme. He was on a journey that I had already been through. A job came up that I thought would be perfect for him, so I encouraged him to go and speak to the hiring manager. He applied for it and was successful, so he’s moved on to a new role which is a promotion. It feels like it’s come full circle – my manager helping me by convincing me to stay was one of the reasons I wanted to become a manager, and it’s really nice that I’ve been able to help the member of my team in a similar way.


Step Forward has really changed the direction of my career. During and since the programme, I’ve never once had an opportunity taken away from me because I’m not ready for it. I’ve always been encouraged and given the opportunity to prove people’s unconscious biases wrong. The programme is a great example of how at Legal & General, there’s a wealth of opportunity and investment that is put into employees that really want to progress and develop.


If you’re interested in finding out more about careers at Legal & General, visit our careers site here: https://careers.legalandgeneralgroup.com

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