Victoria Ellis Johnson joined calfordseaden in November 2019, as a Health and Safety Consultant. In this article, Victoria shares more about her experience to date and unique career journey.
I had initially trained as a welder/engineer, having completed an apprenticeship as a welding instructor at college. Whilst in my apprenticeship, I gained several transferable skills, perhaps most importantly the ability to confidently interact with people of all ages and experience and be understanding of how everyone learns differently and at different paces.
After my apprenticeship, I took a career break to raise my daughter. When trying to get back into work, I was finding it really difficult to re-enter the world of working and I felt that I had lost a sense of direction. I realised that I could give myself a stronger chance by taking up some extra educational courses. I gained a Customer Services NVQ and a HNC in Business Management, and then started working various admin jobs for the next 6 years in the Construction, Health & Safety, Maintenance, and Fire Safety sectors.
While I was learning a lot from the industry, I felt unfulfilled in these roles. I refused to admit that at 27 years old I had got to the peak of my career and that there was nothing left for me to achieve. This was why, when the opportunity to train as Health and Safety Consultant at calfordseaden was presented, I jumped at the chance. It was exactly what I had been waiting for.
It felt right to start building a career in Health & Safety as I am known in my family as the ‘safety police.’ I will always be the first to point out how something could go wrong and how to prevent this from happening, a major part of my job is constantly looking for risks and identifying ways to avert them.
My previous career in administration equipped me with valuable skills especially understanding the background processes that go in to ensure our jobs can run smoothly, this enables me to be more organised and manage my time effectively. My skills in customer service means that I am able to adapt my communication and I have learnt to always be mindful and empathic to everyone.
Since starting at calfordseaden, I have already passed by IOSH: Managing Safely and have started my NEBOSH General Certificate. My career with calfordseaden so far has been immensely enjoyable and rewarding. It has been a breath of fresh air to enter my team and feel appreciated for my contributions. I am constantly learning and adapting myself. The most challenging part has been adjusting to and building a new career, particularly when juggling that with being a parent. I feel that a lot of parents can relate to the sense of guilt when feeling as if you are choosing your career over spending time with your children, but I also think that it is extremely important to set an example for children of a hardworking and determined role model that they can aspire to.
My next steps are to finish my NEBOSH General Certificate, gain my NEBOSH Diploma and hopefully gain a Chartership qualification. Once my skills and experience have developed, I will have a clearer idea of the subject that I want to specialise in.
My career journey hasn’t always been easy but it has been so rewarding and I look forward to where it can take me. The most important advice that I can give anyone is that, whilst it can be challenging to completely change the direction of your career, if you have the determination to achieve your goals, and you work hard at it, there is no doubt that you will succeed.