00:00:05 I’m Toni and I work for Vodafone. I’m a store manager. I’m based in Banbury. I originally came to Vodafone eleven years ago and I started working in a call centre. I took on a part-time position because I’d just come off my maternity leave. Within a few weeks I was back to working full time, and from then on things have just moved on. The thing that I, you know, I really love about my job is that it changes all the time. I have my set tasks that I have to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, but we’ve always got different people coming in through the door, and there’s always different projects and different challenges. I just think it’s a fantastic job.
00:00:51 As regards my schooling, I stayed on for the first year of sixth form to do A levels and then discovered a course at my local college called a BTEC business diploma. I’ve studied for that for two years. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I did actually go and work in the city in stocks and shares but I didn’t enjoy it and I left. I took a completely different track then and I went and worked in catering, and went to work in a pub and restaurant business and ended up on the management side of that.
00:01:29 I always felt a pressure from my father to do well. He was an area sales manager and very successful at his role. And I did feel that my career choices were somewhat limited because everything that I discussed with him, he sort of poo-pooed them really. I had a knack for photography, and for drawing, design, but I didn’t want to follow that because my father didn’t expect me to go down that route. He wanted me to be in a business role, which I think is why I ended up working in the city, and then realised too late that maybe this wasn’t the right direction for me.
00:02:12 The big turning point in my life was having my children. Before they came along, all I did was work. Having them just made me step back and think, well, there is more to life than work all the time.
00:02:31 I manage my career with my children with a very good, solid network of family and friends. We still have good quality time. We have good quality time in the evenings. I go to clubs with them. I help out with the clubs that they’re in as much as I can. I still try and create as much time as I can for them.
00:02:53 Art and design is a passion of mine. I do actually attend evening classes for art. It’s great. Maybe one day I’ll turn that hobby into a money earning project but probably now is not the right time.
00:03:12 Well, in five or ten year’s time I’d still like to be working for this company, probably more Head Office based, but exactly what role I don’t know yet because somebody could turn up with an opportunity tomorrow, which is something that happened last year as well. Somebody came to me with an opportunity for another role within the company and I went for it on a temporary basis, so it makes it interesting.
00:03:39 As far as regretting the choices that I’ve made, I do wish that I’d listened to what was inside, to what was going on in my heart, but I did what I thought was expected of me. If anybody wanted any career advice, or advice about life. I’d say go with what you want to do.