Ever wondered what a career journey looks like when it starts at the age of 19 as a Business Apprentice and leads to becoming a manager? Look no further! Michelle Harman’s path is a rollercoaster of growth, from launching products to leading teams. Dive into her story, aspirations, and tips for success in our latest blog:
Q: What position did you start in and what is your position now? Please describe your current responsibilities.
I started at 19 as a Business apprentice which enabled me to experience many areas of the business. I am now in the Branded Goods area which we call Collections as Planning and Market Performance Manager. I am responsible for the launch management process, project managing the stakeholders to deliver on time to spec. This includes products such as apparel, models, caps, umbrellas etc that retailers may sell or gift to customers along various touchpoints of the Customer Journey. In addition to this I also manage the Markets Performance, working with market champions to understand their needs and ensure we get the global exposure required for our collections.
Q: Are you involved in any other projects / networks? If so, please describe what they are and what your contributions are.
- Founder and Co-chair of the Working Parents Network – A HUGE passion of mine. Working Parents are often an under represented group in the workplace and there is plenty of unconscious and conscious bias towards working parents – the network helps change culture, empower , engage and educate others.
- Workforce Experience Projects – At JLR we have plenty f opportunity to make a difference outside our day job and the Workforce experience projects are great to be involved in for this. The last two projects have centred around recognition and wellbeing so it’s very rewarding.
- I am on the D&I Awards Squad – supporting the growth and engagement in D&I
Q: What do you like about working here?
There is a lot of flexibility to change career direction. The hybrid working is literally life changing for me as a full-time working mother too. The JLR Creator’s Code sits very well with my values, and it is great to see over the years how the culture is really changing for the better.
Q: What are your career aspirations? Do you feel that you get the necessary support from your management / department to help achieve your learning & development goal?
To continually add value and be the best version of myself – this is super important to me. This may be progressing to a senior managers role longer term but essentially, its achieving value add in the business whatever my grade and enjoying what I do, whilst balancing motherhood. Feeing like I am not good at either work or parenthood is soul destroying so getting the balance right is imperative to me. Where you work and who you work for is crucial in supporting this and not being judged on being a mother limiting career progression is important. I am lucky that I have a really supportive manager and he has created a really great, inclusive culture within the Collection and Licensing Team.
Q: Describe your team / department, and what makes it stand out from our competition?
The collections team is relatively small, but they really work together as a team. The pull to the job for me has always been the team culture which aligns as closely to the Creators’ Code more than any other area I have worked in. The standout for me is everyone truly is their authentic self. For example, It’s ok for a dad to leave work to a poorly child, for someone who is part-time to want to progress their career. Inclusive, non-judgemental and full of team work and enthusiasm.
Q: Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
1. I have a twin sister
2. I am a qualified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner
3. I have worked at JLR since leaving school
Q: What hints and tips can you share with the potential candidates who are going through the application / interview process?
Always be true to yourself. Recognise your self-limiting beliefs and be kind to yourself. Confidence is key but you have to believe you can do it.
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