"I have a fantastic manager who always encourages work/life balance"
Name: Sara Browne
Job title: Service Release Manager
What area of Sky do you work in? Digital Trading – Leeds Dock
What’s your career journey been like up until now? I spent a long time at my previous company (12 years!) where I was able to learn a number of skills within both IT and Service Management, enabling me to now wear 2 ‘hat’s’ for both Service and Release Management.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? In the Support world most days are very ‘untypical’! I spend time at meetings, calls, emails etc like most people, but in the event of a major issue this will take priority. Otherwise I work with the digital teams to find ways of improving our platform and fixing existing issues, working this into our overall development and delivery plan.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? I’ve been here nearly a year! I came into the role when it was new, so up until now a lot of my job has been getting people and processes set up to support Digital Trading, which is now running as BAU. Recent feedback I had is that my approach to this is leading to a culture change within our squads around supporting and monitoring our applications J.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? The Black Friday campaign, which is the biggest sales/traffic dates by far for online in the calendar. By managing a diverse number of teams, the online shop remained stable throughout, working with the teams to support this was fantastic, it sounds strange to say something is a huge success because nothing happened!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I work with a lot of different areas here which is great for getting different opinions on things or advice from more established areas. I also enjoy working with our talented developers, who continuously find creative solutions to fixing issues as well as working on the shiny new stuff!
Describe your work/life balance? For me my role is a little unpredictable and often involves unsociable hours, however I have a fantastic manager who always encourages work/life balance. I also have a young family so if I get called out in the evening/weekends, I always work a way around it with my manager, which makes it easy to manage.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Look at where your skills might cross over into something else. For example, requirements gathering for a project involves asking the right questions to the right people, so make sure you have the appropriate network to do this.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I played rugby league for 6 years before retiring through injury and age (!) in the women’s premiership league!
"There are always opportunities to progress at our Sheffield Contact Centre”
Name: Aimee Louise Siddall
Job title: TV Technical Advisor for Sky Q
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work in TV Tech for Sky Q in our Sheffield Contact Centre. I take calls from customers experiencing technical difficulties with their Sky Q equipment and I help them fix it.
How did you get into your role? I applied over 4 years ago because I wanted to work for what looked like a fantastic brand. I was given an interview and here I am today. I started with Sky+ TV Tech and Billing and then applied to do the trial for Sky Q, which was an amazing experience. I took Broadband Tech calls for a while and then moved back onto TV for Sky Q - what a journey!
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? I love speaking with our customers & building rapport with them as I want to give them the best experience possible. I’ve started coaching my team on improving their conversations with customers and adding value to the conversation. My proudest moment was being part of the Sky Q Trial, it was great to be part of something new and have the opportunity to mould a new product.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? My team. They make work fun and we all get on really well. We all have different strengths so we’re able help each other and each take charge of different areas to keep everything ticking over.
Describe your Contact Centre or area of the business - what makes it a great place to work? I work in our Sheffield Contact Centre. We deal mainly with Sky Q TV, Broadband & Account Management. The people really make this place, I can honestly say that I’ve made some lifelong friends here which I’m very thankful for.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? There are always opportunities to progress at our Sheffield Contact Centre. The Sky Q Trial which I was part of was a big learning curve and we all became Subject Matter Experts after the product was launched. I also had a chance to work with our Retail department for a day, working at the stand in Meadowhall. This was a great opportunity to see another part of the business and talk to our customers face to face.
An interesting fact no one else knows about you: I worked a season in Ibiza when I was 22! ☺
"My advice would be to never worry or panic in a situation where an issue arises. because the support around you from both your team and manager is great."
Name: Claire Sellar
Job title: Home Service Apprentice
What area do you work in? South West, Plymouth
What attracted you to joining the Home Service Apprentice Programme? The Home Service Apprentice programme gives me the opportunity to work while gaining a customer service qualification. I was attracted to the apprenticeship because as an engineer every day is different and your day to day work means you are out and about all the time. There are also many benefits you get while working here and many more opportunities within the company that I could look into for my future.
Describe a typical day… I wake up around 7am and leave the house by 7:45 at the latest to meet my mentor at my first job for around 8:15. On average we get 7 jobs per day ranging from installations to service calls and also move home offers. My typical day means I will be travelling in and around Plymouth with most jobs being around a 15/20 minute drive from the last.
At current, due to the recent release of Sky Q, we have many installations throughout the day. If we are visiting a new customer then we always discuss the work that will be done i.e where the dish will go and how the cable will be ran.
At the end of every job, I will showcase the equipment and ensure the customer understands everything.
At the end of the day, Phil (my mentor) and I will ring around to check how the rest of our team are getting on and offer our support if needed.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I currently have a fairly good work/life balance. It’s taking a little while to get used to working quite a few weekends in a row, but it’s really nice having weekdays off. I think it's important that, when I've finished my days work and get home, I try to shut off from anything to do with work/the apprenticeship.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The most enjoyable thing about my job is that no day is the same. I like the fact I’m always outdoors and interacting with different people throughout the day.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? I’d recommend this apprenticeship to anyone and highlight that you need to enjoy being out and about all day and interacting with customers. My advice to anyone interested in this apprenticeship would be to never worry or panic in a situation where an issue arises because the support around you from both your team and manager is great.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I was extremely lucky - when I was 6 years old my parents took me out of school to travel around the world for 7/8 weeks with my family. And then when I was nine/ten years old we went traveling again for about 5 weeks.
"After leaving college, seeing the excellent benefits on offer for this role made it incomparable"
Name: Ryan Hope
Job title: Home Service Apprentice
What area do you work in? GU postcode (Guildford)
What attracted you to joining the Home Service Apprentice Programme? I had finished a 2 year college qualification and wanted to try something new. My main focus was for it to be a practical based role, which got me thinking the Home Service role could be for me. After looking into the job description and discovering the excellent benefits that we offer, this role was incomparable.
Describe a typical day… A typical day starts with a trip to my dedicated stock location where I collect stock that I’ve ordered, return any faulty equipment and send all rubbish I’ve accumulated back. From there, I have a mixture of installs and services to complete at various customers’ homes within my working postcode. These jobs could vary from setting up ladders in difficult scenarios, swapping faulty boxes and taking trips on to customers’ roofs to access dish locations. Once all jobs are completed, it’s time to go home.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Work/life balance will need a bit of adjusting to and preparation in advance. Some days can be longer than others, it's all dependant on how the day goes. Organising your days off is important.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Definitely the problem solving throughout the day. Having to set up ladders in difficult scenarios, thinking of ways to run cable is something I really enjoy.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Take the rough with the smooth. Some days may be difficult but when there's a great day, you'll feel amazing. Especially when it's pay day and bonuses are attached ;-)
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I once did a paraglide of a 7,000ft cliff over the coast of Turkey. It was the most impressive view and best experience of my life.
"Apart from the people and the amazing culture, it’s very exciting to be part of the future of television."
Name: Diana Hajnal
Job title: Social Media Executive
What area of NOW TV do you work in? Brand Communications Team
What do you love most about your role? Social media is always changing, and everyone’s still discovering best practices – we’re not only able to do amazingly creative work in house and with our agencies, we’re also able to try new things and shape the future of brands on social media.
What is the best thing about working at NOW TV? Apart from the people and the amazing culture, it’s very exciting to be part of the future of television and work on content I’m truly passionate about (yes, especially Game of Thrones…).
Take us back to when you were little, and tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up? I was a bit of a daydreamer, always making up stories – I definitely wanted to become a writer at that point. Now I can luckily channel all this creative energy into my job instead of stories heavily inspired by Harry Potter.
Give us a short play-by-play of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: As a teenager I used to sleep till noon, but these days I wake up super early (before my alarm – unheard of!). This is awesome as I can make some breakfast and a cup of tea, sit in my bed and read the news on my phone (ok let’s not pretend, I kind of just check my Facebook and Instagram). I get ready and take the shuttle bus to work – such an awesome perk!
Once in, I tend to catch up with my manager and then jump into responding to my emails. After this, it’s usually delivering a campaign we’re doing – I might be writing a brief for The Walking Dead, reviewing copy for our Christmas campaign or putting the results of our Westworld activity into a deck (we love decks!). I will probably also collaborate on some work our PR and Community Team is doing, and we often meet and talk about strategy.
At the end of the day, I just like to take a few minutes to look at my To Do list (I love lists!) and see what awaits me the next day.
What is your top tip for someone looking to ‘move on up’ in their career? As someone who had a few lateral moves, my main advice is don’t limit yourself to just focusing “up”. There are a lot of opportunities when you move sideways, which expand your experience, knowledge and open up new opportunities. Never underestimate these, as they might lead to that next step up you’re looking for, and you might learn something about yourself that you weren’t expecting!
What do you specialise in? Apart from Social Media of course, in terms of all things NOW TV, I’m definitely the biggest nerd when it comes to TV. According to myepisodes.com, I’ve spent almost 6 months watching TV shows. This passion comes super handy, especially as most of our campaigns and activity evolves around our Entertainment Pass. Knowing shows like Game of Thrones, Veep, The Affair, Last Week Tonight and Hannibal like the back of my hand; watching a few Netflix shows for “research purposes only” (wink wink), and knowing the ins and outs of the channels in America comes super handy – it makes me better at my job, and my job even better for me!
Tell us about a project or time where you were working at 110%, and how did it feel to complete it? 110% is pretty BAU at NOW TV, so I would say this time it was around 150%. To provide some background, our team works very closely with the Customer Service Team, as we operate on the same channel - this day and age you can’t afford not to offer customer support on social media!
We recently moved our Customer Service Team, and I wanted to get involved in training them up on social media – all while doing my own job of course. It was a very busy period, but I enjoyed every moment of it (except maybe for my plane being delayed). It was also fantastic to help another team out so much, and they definitely appreciated it which made me feel even better about my work. The team is still doing a fantastic job, and I won a NOWbel award on top of everything, so I have to say that was a great quarter for me.
"I’m right at the heart of sports content, what could be better?"
Name: Joe Reid
Job title: Content Scheduler – Sports
What area of NOW TV do you work in? I work within the Editorial team
What do you love most about your role? I’m right at the heart of sports content, what could be better?
What is the best thing about working at NOW TV? It’s just a great place to work. There’s a fantastic, friendly culture and everyone’s striving to better themselves and the business.
Give us a short play-by-play of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: I’m normally out of the door by 6:30am and driving from Guildford, so I’ll skip the traffic and be in the office by 7:30am latest. This gives me the chance to get my headphones on, plough through some work early doors and get the first coffee of the day in, which I definitely need at that time!
I’ll check the content we’re serving customers, whether that be on the NOW TV box, mobile, etc. and will make the relevant changes to sport, which happens a fair bit due to the ever-changing nature of the events and fixtures we’re showing. A lot of my time is spent planning, so I’ll be readying content weeks in advance to make sure that I’m on top of any changes that need to be made.
The afternoon comes around so there’s time for an episode of something during lunch. Coffee number two sets in and the afternoon picks up again, usually planning what’s going to be served to customers on Web and the NOW TV box, the latter tends to be later on in the week. I’ll catch up on anything I may have missed through the afternoon and will be out of the door on time.
What’s your favourite moment at working at NOW TV to date? I’ve been lucky enough to meet some awesome sporting icons, like James Haskell, Thierry Henry and more.
Tell us about something interesting you’re working on at the moment? I’m going to cheat a bit as it’s not something I’m working on. This is my first really big job so I’m spending time across other teams within NOW TV to see how they work together, how the business works, etc.
What is your favourite NOW TV benefit and why? Free NOW TV. I mean, everything is awesome when it’s free. I can binge on as much TV as I like and no one can stop me!
What is your favourite TV series? I literally can’t choose one! I love The Walking Dead and Blindspot, but my guilty pleasure is Ex on the Beach. I can’t get enough of it!
What do you do outside of work for fun? I played a lot of hockey at university and started up again just before Christmas. I got involved with the new men’s team that was setup in Guildford this year and we got promoted, so I was a bit chuffed to have been involved with that.
"We’re constantly looking to develop ways we can use the passion and skills of our people"
Sky employees and initiatives were among the winners at last night's UK National Contact Centre Awards in London.
Livingston's Vicky Sim and Karen Chalmers, Dunfermline's Carol Beveridge, and Sky Academy picked up awards for Contact Centre Manager of the Year, Support Manager of the Year, Customer Experience Champion and Most Positive Impact on the Community respectively.
These awards recognise those who go above and beyond to make industry-leading contact centres and are judged by people working in the industry full time with operational experience.
Jack Eatherley, Head of Sky Academy, told today@sky: "This is a fantastic recognition for so many people at Sky who have volunteered on initiatives in the Bigger Picture that are having such a meaningful impact on our communities. We’re constantly looking to develop ways we can use the passion and skills of our people and as we relaunch the Bigger Picture in the coming months there will be even more ways to get involved."
Sky had 13 finalists at last night's awards, all of whom came through interviews with our judges to reach this stage. Take a look below to see who else was recognised as a finalist on the night:
Contact Centre Manager of the Year - Large
Murdoch Dalziel (Stockport)
David Holmes (Glasgow)
Contact Centre Manager of the Year - Small
Tracey Fisher (Livingston)
Support Manager of the Year
Lesley Mahady (Dunfermline)
Team Manager of the Year
Maureen Duff (Dunfermline)
Angela Richards (Leeds)
Rising Star of the Year
Steven Paterno (Dunfermline)
Mike O'Rourke (Stockport)
“It’s fantastic Sky have been recognised as a top place to work”
Today, we’ve been recognised at number 12 on LinkedIn’s list of top places to work in the UK, putting us alongside brands such as John Lewis, Facebook, Amazon and Virgin. The ranking is based completely on the actions of its members, focusing on activity related to: job applications, social engagement and new hire staying power.
“It’s fantastic Sky have been recognised as a top place to work and we’d like to thank our people for being advocates across LinkedIn. It’s our people’s authentic storytelling that’s given us credibility and really showcases why Sky is a a great place to work“ - Alison Todd, Director of Talent Acquisition
To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with LinkedIn to offer a once in a lifetime experience for a sports enthusiast with an interest in journalism to spend two days with our teams. The winner will get to go behind the scenes live from Lord’s cricket ground as England take on South Africa on Monday 29th May. They will also get to visit our offices to write a piece on their experience; sitting with the Editorial, Online and Social teams. If you, or someone you know is interested, check out their competition here.
To find out more about the list here.
“The most enjoyable aspect of working here is the people, I’ve met a lot of great people”
Name: Darren Campbell
Job title: Sales Advisor
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I’m based in our Glasgow Contact Centre in the Inbound Retentions department. My role consists of speaking with customers who would like to cancel their package.
How did you get into your role? I started in 2015 in the Outbound Retentions department. I moved across to my current role in 2016 when the Glasgow Contact Centre became a Centre of Excellence for Retentions.
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? My proudest moment working here was helping an elderly man who was very concerned about his dish hanging off his building above a busy street. The soonest date available for anyone to come out was over a week wait but I phoned and emailed several departments and was able to get an Engineer out a few days later.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The most enjoyable aspect of working here is the people, I’ve met a lot of great people and I even met my fiancé through working here.
Describe your Contact Centre - what makes it a great place to work? Our centre in Glasgow is massive, with over 1000 employees under it’s roof! It’s a great place to work due to on-site perks such as free hot drinks and ping pong/pool tables.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I’ve had lots of opportunities to progress in my career here. I’ve worked alongside my manager on my personal development, my objective being to move from my current role into a Role Model, which is someone who provides support for new Advisors coming into the business. My advice to others is just to know the job, once you’ve reached the point where you know your stuff, people will start to come to you for advice, which will give you a taste for a more developed role. If you are looking to develop yourself, speak it over with your manager who can give you any necessary guidance.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I have a Masters degree in Computer Animation and have been credited as an animator on a Scottish Bafta winning short film called “Marty goes to Hollywood”.
“We have great facilities, it is a lovely place to work in and there is a family culture here...I have a work wife, a work husband, a work brother”
Name: Kim Little
Job title: Customer Experience Leader (CEL)
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work within the Retentions department. There is no typical day for me – each one is totally different! I have a fabulous team and I’m fortunate enough to have had the same team for a number of years, so I can depend on them to do the right thing for our customers. This allows me time to focus on engagement and development for my team, and myself.
How did you get into your role? I started on the phones as an Agent and then I became an Accredited Trainer, but I missed the operations floor so I moved back to take to the challenge. After a few months I was successful in becoming a Customer Experience Leader (CEL) and I’ve been working in my current team for a couple of years now.
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? My proudest moments are honestly when my team have successes. Our team are consistently great when it comes to feedback, for me, this is a reflection of the passion and care they have for their job – I am really proud to be their CEL.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Everything is subject to change! No day is ever the same – you always need a plan b!
Describe your Contact Centre - what makes it a great place to work? We have great facilities, it is a lovely place to work in and there is a family culture here in our Glasgow Contact Centre. I have a work wife, a work husband, a work brother – the people here are what makes this place special.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I believe there are outstanding opportunities for those who are ambitious and committed. There are high expectations but we are definitely rewarded when we put the effort in. My advice to anyone looking to progress is to have a structured personal development plan, update it regularly and be open to every opportunity that comes your way!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I’ve had dinner with Sean Connery – just ask me if you want the details!