My Business Life: Helen Dobson
PUBLISHED: 16:05 23 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:21 20 February 2013
Helen Dobson, Director at Dobsons in Cheshunt shares her business background
Name: Helen Dobson
Tell us about your job
I am the Operations Director at Dobsons, a home improvement company which designs and installs luxury kitchens, bathrooms, windows and conservatories. My role consists of the day-to-day managing of our interior installations, ordering materials and coordinating the installation staff, as well as overseeing our company accounts, marketing, personnel, and much more!
What do you like most about your job?
I like the freedom and the variation that I have in my role, every day is different, also I take a great sense of pride in working for my familys business, which was started by my great grandfather in 1935 and in knowing that over the years we have build up such a great reputation for the quality of our work which is reflected in the many letters of thanks we receive from our satisfied customers.
Is there anything you dont like?
The nature of home improvement work means that sometimes things dont always go to plan so you have to be able to think on your feet and make important decisions quickly so as to keep disruption to a minimum, luckily we have a great team of installers who are all employed by us and do an excellent job so they make my life easier, but sometimes it can be rather stressful.
What was your first job?
My first job was working part time in a local shop as a cashier and general assistant while I was still at school. I did two evenings a week, stacking shelves and serving customers. It wasnt a bad job but the money was terrible so I soon moved on!
What was your worst job?
Working in a supermarket bakery while I was at college, I used to spend my days putting rolls and bread in their plastic wrapping and slicing customers bread which I was terrible at! The people I worked with were great and we had a laugh but I think it was when I was working there that I realised that I much prefer working in a smaller business as I found all the rules and policies of a large corporation were not for me.
What are your education qualifications
After leaving school with nine GCSEs Grade A-C I went to college and did an Advanced GNVQ in Travel & Tourism and A level Business Studies. A few years later once I had joined Dobsons I went back to college part time and studied accounting for two years and qualified as an AAT Accounting Technician. I then also studied part time at the University of Hertfordshire for a Postgraduate Certificate in Management.
How did you get your current position?
I joined the family business in 2002 after working in travel for a couple of years, initially my role was as a receptionist/showroom assistant but after a year or so an opening came about doing our company accounts which I decided to go for, hence the reason I went back to college, and then I just gradually started taking on more and more responsibility in the business and getting more involved. I moved into my current role about four years ago and I was made a company director in January 2010.
What one piece of advice would you like to pass on?
Dont be afraid to put yourself forward for a role or to ask for more responsibility even if you have limited experience in that area, I have always believed in taking every opportunity thats on offer and then learning as I go, sometimes itll work out and sometimes it wont but its worth taking a chance otherwise you will never know!