Louise Shaw (Warehouse Operative, Kirkby Thore)
Sometimes pursuing a career without boundaries means knowing when it’s time to set off in a different direction.
Louise certainly knows all about this, having swapped her desk chair for the driver’s cabin of a forklift truck.
Tell us about your career so far
I’ve been with British Gypsum since 2002 and for most of that time I worked on the customer service desk, taking orders over the phone. Recently though, I began to feel like I wanted a change so I started looking around for a different sort of role – something that would be more of a challenge.
One of the great things about working for such a big organisation is that there are so many different types of job within the company and I kept my eye out for the right opportunity. When this warehouse operative position came up I went for it with open arms and started my new role in June 2016.
What are your days like now?
It’s very hands on! Instead of being behind a desk all day, I spend my time loading trailers, building up orders and driving a forklift truck. The days by go really quickly and you’re kept busy with trailers coming in and out – there’s never a dull moment.
What was the transition to your new role like?
I knew that changing from a 9-5 working week onto a shift pattern would be a bit of a challenge but I think I’ve adapted to it well. It’s difficult at first not having every weekend off but I’ve got more time to myself during the week, so it all works out in the end.
I was also a bit unsure about how the other staff on the shift would respond to me – particularly as a women coming into the job from an office-based role – but they’ve not treated me any differently. I didn’t know what to expect but everyone has been happy to help and guide me in the right direction when I needed it.
What would you say to someone else thinking about making a career change?
I would say just go for it and don’t be scared about going into a role where your colleagues are mainly men. I’ve really been welcomed and given all the support and help that I need. I’m glad I took the plunge!