Five minutes with: Laura Girling – payroll administrator
As part of our new ‘five minutes with’ blog series, we talk to an integral member of our people support team, Laura Girling, to find out how she worked her way up the ranks in the Sim Trava family.
I started my career with Sim Trava in 2005 as a 17-year-old college student working part-time in the Northwich store. I continued to work as a part-time barista when I began university, before realising it was a career in management that I wanted to pursue, rather than the degree I was studying.
I was really enjoying my work as a barista and Sim Trava offered so many opportunities to further develop my managerial skills. I knew that with Sim Trava’s guidance and help, this would be a great path to go down.
I had the opportunity to complete the barista maestro course in Leeds, which helped me progress to a barista maestro. From this point, I was working as a full-time barista maestro in Frodsham. With experience came the development of much-needed team leading skills at the store in Frodsham, which lead me to being appointed assistant manager at Bury Market at just 20 years old.
By the age of 21, I achieved my goal and became store manager! I spent the next two years developing my managerial skills by attending a range of training courses, including the rising stars program. I also completed my NVQ level 3 in Management.
I then moved to manage our Cheadle store, and this is where I spent the next five years. At this point in my career, I felt confident enough in my own abilities and well-equipped to help train up other potential store managers. I became a mentor to a newer store manager, and helped guide and train him up.
In 2013, I started taking part in the ‘welcome days’ – a day for new starters in the company to visit the central office, meet the central team, and receive customer service and coffee-making training. I was really passionate about the training aspect of the role – it’s what I truly loved doing and I got job satisfaction from helping new starters gain confidence and develop their skills.
In 2014, the Sim Trava Training Academy was established which I applied to become part of and was accepted. I have since taken part in an external training course called ‘Train The Trainer’ which helped me develop vital training skills needed to become a great trainer. Alongside the welcome days, I have also become an NVQ trainer and have helped two students achieve their NVQs in customer service.
In March this year, I fancied a change and felt it had become time to gain some new skills. I applied for a role in the central office to become part of the people support team as the payroll administrator. I had experienced so much in the time I was a store manager that I felt I had a lot I could contribute to the people support team.
This brings me to the present – I am currently training for my new role in the central office, whilst continuing my work with the Academy Team.