Welcome to Staff Spotlight! A place where we speak to our staff to gain insight into housing, career advice, and get inspired. We sit down with Vicky, our Neighbourhood Manager for Splott. She tells us how she accidentally found her career for life, what makes her feel fulfilled at the end of the day, and genuinely caring for others is invaluable to her success.
Tell us about your career journey so far:
After school, I started off working in a hotel and, then, in a supermarket. I then trained as a teaching assistant, gaining experience in a nursery and a primary school. When my children got older, I switched careers and I worked for an energy company.
In time, I realised that it didn’t fulfil me. I liked having conversations and getting to know people. The role I had only allowed me to give answers to people; there wasn’t space to get to know them.
Despite this, I wasn’t looking for a new job; in fact, I was helping my son look for a job! But, as I was scrolling through job sites, I saw one for a Customer Service Advisor in CCHA. It looked like a rewarding role, and CCHA looked very community focussed. I applied, got the job, and I’ve never looked back!
I know that social housing is where I want to be. I wanted to gain experience in different areas and progress in my career with CCHA. I became a Senior Customer Service Advisor, and now I’m a Neighbourhood Manager. I love it! It’s been so great to get out and meet tenants. I get to support people in many ways. It’s such a rewarding role.
How does your role align with your personal values?
It aligns with all my values. I care for people, I’m genuine, I want to help people. For some people I support, it’s their first tenancy and its an exciting time for people. I see people go through exciting, sad, and difficult times. For me, it’s about getting that genuine feel for what they’re going through; using empathy to help others. Life is full of ups and downs, but it’s so rewarding to journey with people through those times.
It’s an exciting time for CCHA. We’re got more Neighbourhood Managers now which means we’re going to have more time to get involved with tenants and communities. The service is going to be better and more personal.
How does social housing compare to other sectors you’ve worked in?
You’re able to see people on their life journey, supporting people from start to finish. No matter how old we are, we’re always learning! It’s amazing to see people progressing in life. This inspires me to keep helping people.
Housing is my career for life and I don’t want to leave! CCHA is such a nice place to work; I love all my colleagues, and I love coming to work. Yes, there can be stressful days, but it’s where I want to be.
What do you love about working for CCHA?
It’s seeing people lives change for the better. It’s what makes me go home happy. For example, one day I could be working one day with someone who has come out of homelessness. It’s their first tenancy, they not sure what the next step is after taking the keys, but they’re so excited! That’s only one example. At the end of the day, I go home and I know I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
Seeing someone come out the other side of a challenging time is an incredible thing. I love that feeling of wrapping something up; that a cycle is complete. It’s a joint effort between tenants and yourself to get to that place.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell myself to identify what I love, rather than chase money. You’ve got to do what you feel is right. Don’t stay in something you don’t enjoy; take every opportunity, and go for it. Unless you try, you never know! Don’t fear the knock backs – things happen at the right time.