00:00:04 My name is Matthew M. I’m a team manager in outbound retention, and that’s our call centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The essence of our department is we call and speak to customers who have requested to leave Vodafone. We try and save them and keep them with the company, whilst trying to offer world class customer service. I love being a manager. I’m a people person. I take a great interest in what makes people tick, you know, how people learn, and I enjoy getting the best out of people. I like seeing people progress. I like giving people the same opportunities I had.
00:00:41 Absolutely loved school. I was one that took on my father’s advice, which was to enjoy school because those are the best days of your life. I really did enjoy it. I did well in class. I always had on my report that I talk too much. I come out with all nine GCSEs. I didn’t really know at that point what I was going to do, what I wanted to do. I went to college, sixth form college, did four A levels. I only came out with two of those, unfortunately. I think by that time, or by the end of that period, I was on the verge of feeling school or more schooling wasn’t on my particular path.
00:01:19 At that point, my path led me into the working world. The very first job was working for a carpet retail company, so selling carpets. I had an interview with the manager and he was an absolutely brilliant guy. He was more interested in who I was as a person and what that could mean to him than had I been in sales before. So he gave me an opportunity based on me and not where I’d come from.
00:01:50 I went from there into a completely different job. I went into working on the roads as a labourer – no forethought to a career at that point – still really floating through where I was going. After that, I just fancied working in car sales. I spent not very long in car sales. My perception was completely different than the reality. It was a bit slow, not very exciting. It just wasn’t enough. It wasn’t satisfying my needs for a career. I sort of fell into Vodafone’s lap really at that point. A colleague of mine who I worked with at the time just happened to mention one day that Vodafone were recruiting and it was that simple.
00:02:33 After two years – two or three years – I remember a distinct turning point. I decided, you know, I wanted to move on. At that point, once I’d voiced that opinion, you know, a whole world of support opened up. Once I’d asked for something, you know, the stuff I could do and the stuff that was given to me was absolutely brilliant.
00:02:56 My mum still is today one of the inspirators I’ve got in my life. She left school with not a lot of qualification, and put herself through nursing college, and held down a job, and, you know, she’s now a senior sister at the local hospital. So she’s testament to the fact that the only boundaries that we have are what we set for ourselves. Anytime I’ve thought I can’t do something or I can’t get to that place, you know, I just think back and think, you know, I’ve probably got it far easier now with the opportunities that I’m being afforded than she perhaps had it.
00:03:28 Outside of work, I have three young children. I have twin boys and a little girl, so it’s quite important for me to have that good work/life balance. It’s not all about work. I also have a second job. I actually work nights, as well, as a doorman, strangely enough. Very contrasting.
00:03:52 I would hope in five year’s time to be in a sales manager’s position. I hold no boundaries for myself. I will take opportunity as and when it comes, and I will use that opportunity, and I will learn everything I can on the way, but certainly there’s always got to be a focus and my five year focus is that.