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Analee’s Story

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Case Study: Analee, Acting Team Manager

After doing a degree in computing, I’d just completed my Masters in Digital Marketing when I became part of Certitude.

I’d had various jobs that covered such a wide range of skills and experiences – being a brand ambassador, situational analysis work, strategic planning and teaching computing. English is not my first language, so I took up teaching to help me communicate fluently. I even have experience in quality control and have developed a keen eye for detail and maintaining high standards. Now I’ve worked with Certitude for about three and a half years. I started off as a support worker and progressed to deputy manager after about five months, and then I got this opportunity to be acting team manager across three support locations.

“I didn’t know it, but all of these experiences combined into the perfect preparation for my position now. It’s a really varied role with lots of different challenges.”

I love watching the developments and achievements of the people we support – gaining new skills or more independence. It feels great to be part of making a positive impact on people’s lives, however big or small. I also enjoy supporting my team members to develop and grow in their roles. Just like when I joined, many of them are also new to support work. I get to enjoy their growth as well as my own. I also like the dynamic nature of this job. Every day has a different challenge, but also a different opportunity.

When I joined as a deputy manager, I didn’t know anything about what I was getting myself into. But I took it one step at a time – collaborating with my team, building relationships with the people we support and their families and doing presentations. My manager said I’d tackled a lot of new things very quickly, that even experienced managers would have found challenging. I didn’t realise that my strategic planning skills and experience gained in a different field would have prepared me as much as they did.

My favourite part about how I work is the opportunity to lead a team of such enthusiastic people who always want to do better for the people we support. Sometimes we start supporting somebody whose previous support has been based on assumptions that haven’t changed for 10 years, because “that’s how it’s always been done”, so it’s great to be part of a team in an organisation that believes in giving people a say in their support – to see them communicate how they want to live their lives rather than what somebody else is planning for them.

“The freedom and encouragement that we’re given to challenge things and the transparency we have around decision making – it helps build a culture where we do that for other people too.”

Our teams know that they can speak from their heart and be heard and understood. I feel so rewarded when a team member chooses to talk to me and ask for my support. It means they trust me, just like I trust my managers.

One thing that I really enjoy about Certitude is that people are there to listen. I like that our senior leadership team and Board come and see what we’re doing in person.

The support we get from our Operation and Community Managers is so important for new managers too. It’s great to see that people are actually interested in what you’re doing and asking us what they can do to support us as a team. There have been times when I’ve not known what to do, and I’ve found that people in other teams, despite being busy, are so helpful and supportive to one another.

Also, there are so many courses available to us to further our career and our knowledge and understanding. I am doing my ILM Level 5 at the moment which, as somebody who is new to care, is amazing because I’m gaining completely new knowledge and skills. Being at Certitude and having all of these different experiences has developed me into a completely different person. Trust me, there’s so much to learn every day.

I have been able to use some of my previous learning in my role too. One of the changes I was able to do quite quickly was use my IT expertise to transfer all of our paper-based processes into digital systems. I consider it one of my biggest achievements so far. I was so proud to find a use for my university education and skills – it was a kind of relief. It feels like it’s all just coming together.

I think there’s room for that to happen more too. I’m fascinated by our projects, especially integrating systems to improve the way we work. I’d love to get more involved in that then I’d really feel like I’m using both my experience and studies in providing support alongside my previous studies in IT.

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