Learning at Work Week is a unique annual event to build learning cultures at work. It aims to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of continual learning and development. We caught up with Francesca Thorp, Customer Specialist in Octopus Real Estate, to hear more about her learning journey and personal development.
Francesca’s learning journey at Octopus
Francesca is coming up to her fourth year at Octopus, working as a Customer Specialist within the Octopus Real Estate, Residential Lending team. Francesca’s role focuses on delivering the best customer service in the bridging finance industry.
“Over the years I have grown confidence so much, especially in my knowledge. If I stop and think about how much I have learnt within four years, there is a great amount.” In the last year, Francesca has taken on more responsibility in her role, which means she is responsible for managing a team and has more visibility and involvement with more stakeholders. As a result of this, Francesca has been diving into more learning whilst in the role.
Learning something new
Throughout her role, Francesca has integrated continuous learning as part of her development. “Over the years I’ve taken part in various training sessions such as ‘project management and ‘dealing with conflict.’ Octopus has always been good at offering learning opportunities with the online education system.” Francesca has always been interested in a role that involves people management, so expanding her knowledge and getting hands-on experience with this, helped to achieve some of her career aspirations. For her own personal development, the next learning area that Francesca is hoping to gain theoretical knowledge on is People Management.
New skills Francesca has developed
Communication: “Being able to communicate with people and managing to get your point across and for it to be understood. One of things I am proud of having, is a good relationship with the team, and internal/stakeholders.”
Presentation skills/ public speaking: “Before taking on much more responsibility, I was in a junior role and wasn’t involved in a lot of meetings. Fast forward to now, I’m in a position where I am involved in more team meetings, around different levels of seniority and require a higher level of contribution to meetings”. Francesca’s progression in her presenting was developed by ensuring her involvement in relevant conversations, familiarising herself with the environments, and taking each opportunity as an area to learn and develop. “I did this work as much as I could to increase my confidence which worked great, as I now jump into presenting at any chance and don’t even think about it twice.”
Time management: With Francesca’s change in role and authority, one of the new skills/learning areas she has achieved is effective time management skills. “Organisation and time management have been useful skills I have accomplished, vital for my role. I must be so much more organised diarising meetings, working with the team and follow up on action points that I have agreed to do.’
Words of encouragement from Francesca during Learning at work week!
“If there is something you want to do or learn, do it, throw yourself into the deep end and out of your comfort zone. Additionally, if there are areas you want to develop on for example presenting or hosting a meeting, speak to your immediate team and ask if you can practice with them and get their feedback”.
Find out more about Octopus careers and culture