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The Guardian: Fast forward

The Guardian (UK): Fast forward

Interview by Eileen Sheridan

Saturday May 28, 2005

“I’ve done best in the jobs I’ve most enjoyed, so I think carefully about the jobs I want to do and try to make sure I’m passionate about them,” says Sally. “I’ve learned to take soundings and trust the views of others as I’ve made decisions about what to take on. Having a few people in the organisation you can rely on to give you objective and honest feedback is something I’ve valued.

“Try to get familiar with the organisation. Oil companies are big and complicated and it takes effort to figure out what’s what and who’s who. Invest time in relationships – in a big company you’ll often find people who’ve already solved the problem you are facing.

“Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do and why and give it your best shot. Put effort into ensuring that people around you know how good you are. And when things go well, let the people around you know.”

Vickie, 27, has a National Certificate of Professional Competence in Transport. She works in contract operations support.

“My role is to co-ordinate work and pass information between Shell, the hauliers and drivers, the Shell markets and my own colleagues to ensure safe fuel deliveries. As the interface between the three main haulage contractors and Shell, I make sure the health and safety management of driver operations meets minimum Shell and legal requirements. I liaise directly with the Shell markets – retail, commercial, marine and aviation.

“In my first months I sat listening to people talk quickly about things I couldn’t understand. Now I’m beginning to see how it all fits in and where I influence the organisation.

“I’ll be careful with what I choose to do. I don’t have a specific role in mind so I’ll speak to people whose opinion I value before making a move.

“I’m given licence with my work and genuine authority for my responsibilities. My opinions are always valued, so I’ll make more effort to talk with people about what went right – and I’ll check out the people skills courses.”

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