Vercity Career Profile – Lisa Willocks
Can you tell us a little about your journey to Vercity?
At the start of the Covid lockdown, I worked for JCB as a Personal Assistant, a position I had held in various departments for 18 years. Furlough followed, and then after JCB decided to streamline all their management teams, redundancy. I was lost!
Looking for a new position at that time was very difficult as the future was uncertain, but I was determined. I wanted to find a different direction in a role that could encompass all my skills and experience but also be a more focused role where you have tangible results. So, the search began ….
Eventually, an agency approached me and said they had the perfect role with a company they highly recommended. Research and interviews followed, and here I am, Operations Officer on the Royal Derby Hospital Project.
How has your experience evolved throughout your time in the workplace?
Starting as a young woman, I developed my career in different industries through various administrative and PA roles, working my way up to supporting senior management. I have learnt that you develop a deeper understanding of people by working with different people and leadership styles. As a result, you can quickly adapt your style of working to suit the team and the environment in which you find yourself.
What has been your experience at Vercity?
My journey with Vercity started in February 2022. I have found it refreshing to work for a forward-thinking company that places so much resource on the well-being and development of employees. I have enjoyed meeting new colleagues and extending my network in the Vercity family. The conference is a highlight and an opportunity to interact with colleagues that aren’t typically part of your working connections.
Have you encountered obstacles along the way due to your Protected Characteristics?
I don’t recall meeting any particular obstacles during my work journey. However, choosing to work in administration early on, I found myself in workplaces where my peers were predominately female. In retrospect, the career advice handed to me when I was younger (after I did not express a desire for university education) pushed me towards a career in admin with the ultimate goal to become a PA. Maybe my horizons could have been widened more at that stage of my life. That said, I have no regrets and have worked in various roles in sales, manufacturing, hotels, theme parks, marketing and events, and have had some exhilarating experiences.
Vercity are committed to FREDIE. What does Allyship mean to you?
FREDIE at Vercity is evident of the commitment the company has and demonstrates. So many companies are paying ‘lip-service’ to advocate policies for diversity and inclusion and then only deliver the minimum requirement.
I have found Vercity’s approach refreshing and reassuring that consideration and respect is shown to
all. I was encouraged to respect my elders from an early age, but I see that everyone deserves respect and to be treated fairly and kindly. Being treated fairly also doesn’t necessarily mean that all are treated the same and ‘one size fit’s all’. It’s the knowledge and understanding to ensure individuals have the same opportunities and experiences, whatever our background or protected characteristics.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I love spending time with our extended family and our collective group of Dachshunds. I love live music, grass-root festivals, and well-being techniques, including mediation. For a few years, I have had a passion for cooking and trying out new dishes and techniques, but I also embrace the original methods of making jams, pickles and chutneys. It is fascinating what you can forage. More recently, I have been trying to hone my cake baking and decorating skills, much to the delight of the team at Derby – although I may be showing my true colours as a feeder!
What life achievement are you most proud of?
In my teenage years, I attained the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, there were various disciplines which needed to be accomplished for each level. I learnt so many life lessons in team working, perseverance, stamina, and the zest for challenges in our lives. The icing on the cake was definitely being able to take my Mum to St James’ Palace!
I am extremely proud of bringing up my two children, mainly as a single-mum, and they are amazing and well-grounded. Jemma is a singer-songwriter, and George is a young actor with huge aspirations, so watch this space!
Careers at Vercity
At Vercity, we encourage professional development and recruit for a wide range of roles across the UK, Canada and North America. Our workforce is diverse, we offer great benefits, flexible working and equal opportunities for talented individuals at all levels across a variety of disciplines.