“The best thing about my job would be the unknown”
- Name: Jordan
- Job title: Store Manager
- What area of Sky do you work in? Retail, Barnsley, East Midlands
- How did you get to where you are now? Well I started 4 years ago as a Sales Advisor. I put in a lot of effort travelling around different stores, working in different areas: from big busy shopping centres, to very small towns. This was to learn how other Advisors sell, and how the role changes massively depending on where you're working. Doing this gave me the tools and skills needed to adapt and deliver -wherever I was working. Over my four years I was promoted from an Advisor to a small Store Manager. As I continued to deliver, I was eventually promoted to manage a grade A store in Meadowhall - one of the busiest shopping centres in the country! This just goes to show if you put the effort in, how far and fast you can grow in this huge company.
- Describe a typical day… I'd say I'm the face of Sky but not literally! But it's me and the staff who do this job that bring products to life. We’ve got a real understanding of our products and take pride in delivering a great service. Customers always come first and I enjoy helping individuals or families find the right product for them.
- What’s the best thing about working here? 1) The diversity of the company. It doesn't matter what you look like, what religion or sexual orientation you have. Everyone is equal and your opinion is valid. 2) Free Sky- who doesn't love having a free Sky package. 3) Amazing benefits. I've had discounts on iPads, TVs, Surface Pro tablets and countless gifts like: Dre. Beats, George Forman grill, day trips out, gift vouchers etc…
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The best thing about my job would be the unknown. You never know what’s going to happen, you could be working on sales, dealing with complaints or helping to solve technical questions. Whatever the day brings, we always deliver our very best to show we don’t just sell but are here to help with much more. Like myself, the company doesn't stand still - it's constantly developing for the better.
- If Sky came to you and asked you to make a programme, what would it be? Who would be in it? If I had to make a TV show, it would be about the running of a successful shopping centre (similar humour to the Trollied boxset). James Cordon would have to be a security guard, Jimmy Carr as centre manager, and of course me as the Sky man.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I attended wrestling school for 2 years... I challenged The Rock but am still waiting for a reply …
- If you could be any Sky TV Character, which would it be and why? It's not really a character but I'd like to be Jeff Stelling "would you believe it"
“Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities”
I have been working at Sky for nine years now (hard to believe, I know, as I look so young) and in that time I have had a number of jobs which have led me to where I am today.
I started as a fresh-faced student working part-time as an Advisor to earn some extra pennies to pay for my beers (ahem… I mean books). I loved the products, the culture and the people here so, when I graduated from University, I started a secondment in the Finance team. From there I joined the Home Service & Supply graduate programme, and it was there that I found my passion for delivering change. That brought me to my current role as a Senior Business Analyst in Change, Quality and Billing.
My job is to work with different areas of the business to understand exactly what is required to deliver a specific project successfully.
Once we know that. I work with our delivery teams to develop and implement the change into the relevant areas of the business. It’s a really exciting role which has given me the opportunity to work on a number of exciting things, such as the launch of the Family pack, Sky Sports 5 and, most recently, the new Sky Fibre package. To top all of that off, I am now fortunate enough to be involved in the launch of Sky’s mobile phone product, which is pretty exciting!
Working in different business areas and joining projects I have no expertise in has really helped me to develop my skills both in change management and increase my business knowledge, which I am always able to use to my advantage in my next project.
My advice to anyone looking to progress their career in or outside of Sky would be, don’t be afraid to explore opportunities with your line manager or your network of contacts. Get involved in projects or initiatives within your current role (when you can) and build your knowledge of different business areas. This type of experience becomes invaluable when taking the next step in your career.
"What an amazing lady - it was an honour to recognise Issy, who’s seen and played an incredible role in the progress of our business."
Tom Scott, Customer Service Director surprised Issy presenting her with her Long Service award and some celebratory flowers at her office in Livingston.
Tom, "What an amazing lady - it was an honour to recognise Issy who’s worked at Sky for so long and who’s seen and played an incredible role in the progress of our business."
Isobel has seen more of Sky than most
Since joining Sky in 1990, Isobel has had a range of roles within our Customer Service Group and seen huge changes in scale and technology as we've grown to serve our millions of customers’ year on year.
- Isobel started Sky in 1990 with Telemarketing
- In 1999 she moved into Customer Service
- By July 2000 she became a Call Traffic Controller
- In 2007 she moved onto be a Real Time Controller
- After that in July 2010, Isobel became an Ops Controller
- And currently, she has been a Platform Management Administrator since November 2010
Even after 25 years Issy is always keen to get involved in new projects and loves singing with the Sky Choir.
"Sky has transformed me from a nervous student into an extremely motivated, passionate and successful member of our team.”
Holly Bentley is a student at the University of Hertfordshire studying Business and Marketing and, for 14 months, she has been part of Sky in Online Sales and Marketing on our placement programme. She shares her story as she prepares to return to her final year at university next week:
"Sky has transformed me from a nervous student into an extremely motivated, passionate and successful member of our team.
I have never worked anywhere where everybody is so passionate about their role, and really believe in Sky’s values of doing the right thing and creating change. When I joined Sky, I was nervous about entering an environment where I would have a limited amount of responsibility. But it has proven to be the complete opposite!
I feel I have had many achievements within my role, including setting many new sales records in the online mobile ‘Shop’. On my second induction day in August last year I, along with the other graduate and placement starters, had a Q&A with Jeremy as part of our centralised induction. I asked whether Sky was considering entering the mobile network market. At the time, it was something we weren’t going to jump into quite yet, but we were watching closely.One of the biggest things I love about Sky is how quickly we change, grow and excel as a business and, months later, we were brought up to speed with a project to bring Sky Mobile to market.I am extremely grateful for the amount of time Sky has invested in me through training, development and support from my team and agencies. I received regular support from my peers, and am made to feel like a valued member of the team - and never like a temporary colleague.I will take the Believe in Better attitude back to university for my final year, and work hard towards attaining my degree and coming back to Sky following my exams."
“What does Sky mean to you?” - “A place to thrive” had been my answer
There was something slightly unnerving about walking into the conference room at Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons and being met by a 10ft high image of me. Even though I’d posed for the photo and submitted my answer to the question, “What does Sky mean to you?” it was still a bit of surprise!
“A place to thrive” had been my answer. And this year’s Scottish Sky Finance conference certainly reaffirmed my view.
This year’s theme was “Brand” and looked at ways to answer “why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
A series of speakers from both inside and outside the business presented a fast paced and engaging series of stimulating insights, kicking off with a finance update.
Lucy Ratcliffe of IDology shared key lessons on developing a personal brand urging us to Believe it, Behave it and Become it, whilst Simon Buglione, Sky’s Executive Creative Director, led us through the changing faces of the Sky brand.
A thought provoking team challenge created a competitive edge to the afternoon with the finalists presenting their pitches to the judges, ‘Sky’s Silver Surfer’s’ were chosen as the winning team and went home happy with their prize - Samsung tablets.
The afternoon finished on an inspiring note courtesy of Oli Norman, CEO of Itison, Scotland’s most popular daily deals website. There wasn’t a dull moment and supporting his overriding message, “Regret what you do, not what you don’t”. A great takeaway for all.
Written by Gillian - Senior Finance Auditor
"Sky makes me proud to be part of a company that offers such good opportunities..."
- “Sky makes me proud to be part of a company that offers such good opportunities – not just for their staff, but for the community also” - George
- “The support at Sky is fantastic, even one year on there is always someone on hand to help” – Claire
- “Thanks to the Apprenticeship scheme I have the time to develop and better myself” – Matt
- “The training has given me more confidence in speaking to people” – Jamie
- “Participating in ‘Sky Sports Living for Sports’ and working with young people was a great experience” – Emma
- “I’m now a “buddy” for new Apprentices and it’s really interesting to see people being exactly where I was a year ago.” –Alex
- “The incentives are amazing, recently we had the chance to win “His&Her” bikes for Sales through service” – Scott
- “I now have a recognised NVQ in Customer Service and my apprenticeship developed into a full time career – I’ve been here for 8 years now!” – Kal
- “It’s a fantastic platform for you to begin your career with Sky and I would recommend it to anyone” – Stuart
- “We work here – that’s us in the photo!”
To find out more about the opportunities that exist at Sky in Newcastle click here: www.bit.ly/1iYB49L
“Here we have a real sense of family and community spirit.”
Our team at the Newcastle Contact Centre, are always looking for ways to support local charities. Whilst they can’t always do this during work hours, their recent charity dogwalk brought colleagues, their families (some of them fury) and friends closer together; giving them an opportunity to raise money for charity. Read more from our team below.
On a beautiful sunny morning in September, a group of us, our families, friends and dogs gathered in a local park, ready to set off on a 10 mile charity dog walk. The walk was open to everyone, including their friends and families; which made it even more exciting and created a really positive atmosphere.
As we set off for our10 mile challenge, we all got to know each other, trading stories about previous friends and family days. The 10 miles seemed to pass really quickly and we celebrated at the finish line with drinks and snacks. We had a great time and left feeling really proud to have raised £526.08 for the Dogs Trust. Now that’s past. We (and our dogs) are looking forward to our next event!
Want to join them? Follow the link above to find a job at our Newcastle Contact Centre.
“I love the opportunity to really make a difference here and have an impact on change.”
- Name: Jaine Duffy a.k.a. Duffs
- Job Title: Customer Advisor
- What area of Sky do you work in? TV Help at our Stockport Contact Centre. I’m also an Acting CEL (Customer Experience Leader) and part of the Stepping into Management Programme (SIMS).
- How did you get to where you are now? I’ve been here coming up to 5 years and I started as Customer Service Advisor on Broadband. I think it was fate when I joined, as I watched the centre here in Stockport being built whilst walking to my old job. After investigating I found out it was going to be a Sky Contact centre. I was really excited and went to the Work for Sky website straight away to apply.
- Describe a typical day… Manic (in a good way), very exciting and rewarding.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? People! I’m so passionate about encouraging and developing people. Another opportunity I’ve pushed myself towards is being a People Champion. This is a group of people from our site from all job titles, who get together and make Sky the best place to work. I love the opportunity to really make a difference here and have an impact on change. Happy people are productive people and that’s the philosophy I follow both with everyone here and with our customers. I love resolving issues, every case is different and like to make each of my customers feel like an individual.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I enjoy going out for meals and it’s brilliant that I can do this with my colleagues and now really good friends. I work varied shifts to fit my life and work, which is perfect!
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? People! Also a day never goes by without learning something new. I always come out of work with a smile on my face. It’s genuinely a great place to work.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Look on the careers website and do research on Sky. Find out about our products and opportunities and apply. Once you’re here, you’ll never look back! My daughter who now works here too would agree.
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? A double jointed finger and after a glass of pink fizz can do the splits!
- Duffer’s phrase- “I love to sprinkle my positive fairy dust”
“I could choose to learn just enough to do the job, but it’s much more rewarding if I use this time to work on new skills and broaden my knowledge.”
- Name: Carys
- Job title: Broadcast PMC Engineer
- What area of Sky do you work in? I work in Broadcast Services.
- How did you get to where you are now? I studied Media Technology (Operational Engineering and System Design) at Salford University. After graduating I followed in the footsteps of a number of other Salfordians into the PMC team here!
- Describe a typical day… Every day has its’ ongoing/new problems to look into at PMC. As a support team within the live production environment, we can go days looking at similar problems and then face totally unexpected curve balls the next. I spend a lot of time investigating issues raised by email as well as monitoring production systems in order to catch problems before they affect the user.
- What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? Our team provide support for a broad range of workflows within production and content preparation, from missing feeds in edit suites, all the way to troubleshooting problems with the preparation of On Demand and OTT assets. We really have a great overview of the work going on at Sky. This also means that we deal with a variety of teams within Sports, News and Production Services. Questions related to the MAM are always fired our way first, so it is a steep learning curve. Systems are always being adjusted and evolved– these changes bring with them new problems and we work hard with other specialist teams to resolve those issues.
- Describe your work/life balance at Sky? This is my first job after University and I jumped straight into 12 hour shifts. It definitely took a bit of getting used to, but for now, it gives me good opportunity to visit my parents (back in Wales) after each block of night shifts.
- What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love working within a role that allows me to learn so much, while applying my degree very directly. As with any role of this type, it’s what you make of it. I could choose to learn just enough to do the job, but it’s much more rewarding if I use this time to work on new skills and broaden my knowledge. I also like getting to work on a variety of tx-critical and non-live issues.
- What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? I remember somebody at uni asking our lecturer what we should be reading outside of lectures (crazy!). We were told that we should start reading something like PC mag, on the side of the broadcast stuff. Annoyingly, he was totally right. I’m learning a heap of new skills, but could’ve learnt some of them much earlier, for example at school. The other is, read whatever you can get your hands on. Stay interested in everything that’s going on in the industry as a whole – and get multi-skilled!
- An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? For a few years at high school, I played girls rugby (not that we actually got many games). I’m built like a matchstick – so was definitely a winger!
Hear from Bella about what we’re doing to develop a gender balanced workforce
In my new role as Director of Women in Leadership for Sky, building a business case hasn’t been high on my agenda. Why not? Because we know that diverse teams drive better business performance – we’ve read the research but more importantly, we’ve experienced it in the workplace
Today, over a third of our top 500 leaders are women – not half bad, but not ‘half ‘either. We want to go further by supercharging Sky’s talent and attracting great external talent. Over time, we want to move the gender balance to: a 50/50 split.
To do this, we’re taking a long term view. This isn’t something that we’re going to be able to achieve overnight, and nor should we try. If we just wanted to hit the number, that would be relatively straightforward, but if we want to drive business performance through this programme, that’s harder. We’re most definitely in the latter camp: after all, we’re not in the business of diversity; we’re interested in how diversity can drive performance. To put it bluntly, it’s not about employing and promoting more women, it’s about ensuring we’re creating a strong pool, a stronger pipeline and the strongest candidates for roles.
This isn’t something owned by me, despite my rather flashy title. It can’t be. To make this change happen, the business as a whole has to believe in it, own it, and push it through. Our Group CEO, Jeremy Darroch, is leading from the top, with the programme itself driven by Execs and their senior teams. My role, working closely with our People team, is to encourage, enable and support.
Our Women in Leadership Sponsorship & Development Programme will enable our best women to go further, faster. This 12 month programme provides our people with their own sponsor, who will advocate for them around the business, helping to identify and deliver new opportunities. They’ll also provide development sessions around self-belief and knowledge sessions on strategy and finance. Our pilot programme in Customer Service Group worked well and as a result we’re now extending it across new areas of the business. Around 40 women are taking part now, and we expect this to reach over 100 by next year.
We’re also looking at how we can better empower our people to work flexibly to get the job done. We’re supporting them with the right frameworks to manage key life events. For example our new shared parental leave scheme gives both parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year. Parents choose how they wish to split their leave; both can be off work at the same time or at different times.
And we’re not stopping there. In order to make sure we’re attracting the best talent into Sky, we’re committed to providing balanced shortlists for vacancies within our top 500 leaders. This is all about levelling the playing field: taking the time required to scour the market and find the best talent for the role, the team and the business. It’s not easy to do, particularly in areas where there are a lack of skills, but it’s a crucial part of the mix. We’re also changing how we approach to the wider talent pool from the language we use, content of our recruitment materials and looking beyond our usual channels; this includes recent events for women in technology that you may have heard about. And, of course, we’re rolling out unconscious bias training to our managers too.
We know that creating the best performing, balanced leadership team will take time and commitment. But we also know it’s a no brainer: it generates better ideas, better decision making and better business outcomes. Why wouldn’t you?