I can’t quite believe an entire year has passed in my role as Head of Responsible Business & Sustainability (RB&S) at Just Eat Takeaway.com (JET).
I can vividly recall the day I accepted the offer, which at the time felt like such a leap of faith. I was leaving behind a familiarity and comfort that felt safe, and leaping into somewhat of an unknown. But now an entire year into the job, I’m pleased that I trusted my instincts and pursued a role that I trusted would broaden my knowledge, challenge my thinking and develop my leadership skills.
When I first joined 12 months ago, there was a lot of sector specific knowledge I had to upskill myself on. This was an industry I’d had limited dealings with (mostly just as a customer on competitor platforms). But thankfully my onboarding plan really allowed me the time and space I needed to understand the product, meet key stakeholders and figure out how all the various functions within the global company were organised. These first 30 days of breathing space were crucial in setting me up for success.
The following 335 days however have been quite the adventure. As I reflect on this whirlwind year, I share five things that I think made this year one which I will look back on with pride.
Unashamedly showing up as myself
No matter how many times you do it, starting a new job in a new company can be extremely daunting. But with each move I’ve made, I’ve become more and more comfortable in my own skin. From day one at JET, I’ve shown up as myself, not having to pretend to be someone that I’m not and not having to spend endless amounts of energy assimilating. Instead, I’ve had the utmost confidence to dress, act and talk in a way that’s true to me. I believe this authenticity and vulnerability has helped me to build trust and respect both with my team and amongst my colleagues, and it’s helped us deliver some incredible results together.
Defining, sharing and delivering our goals
In the first few months, I made defining and immersing myself into our RB&S team goals my biggest priority. Setting out key milestones allowed us to better understand what success would look like throughout the year. Having actionable and measurable quarterly goals was key to us developing a plan and more importantly learning to be nimble when these plans changed (which they often did) served us particularly well.
But embedding sustainability in a global organisation wasn’t something we could alone, we needed the support of many other teams in the company. By sharing our goals with others, we were able to inspire and empower more people into action. And by staying focussed on these goals, we were able to broaden our reach, widen our impact and make progress against the targets we laid out.
Asking for help and offering it too
Asking for help can be scary. Over the years I’ve met many people who’ve felt reluctant to ask for support, in the fear that it may come across as a weakness. But throughout my career I’ve never been afraid to ask questions or ask for help. And my first year at JET has been no different! I’ve always found drawing on the knowledge of others so useful in helping me formulate my approach. Thankfully, I’ve found so many people within JET who’ve been willing to lend a listening ear and a helping hand. It’s this culture of care that really makes me grateful and inspires me to help others too.
Across JET we have a number of Employee Resource Groups that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of. Through these community groups I’ve met some amazing fellow JETters with similar interests and life experiences as me. Whether it’s the Women in Tech community, the BAME community, the STEM Ambassadors or the Parents and Carers community, there’s been plenty of chances for me to get involved. Putting myself forward for events and opportunities in these groups has helped me to build my network, develop my skills and feel a part of something bigger than just my day job.
Managing my mindset and attitude
However, it’s not always been plain sailing. As with life there have been good days and not so good days at work. Days where the task in hand can feel overwhelming, weeks where it feels like the progress could be made faster, months where I question the impact that I’m having… But, what I’ve found really helpful is proactively managing my mindset. For me, this means allowing myself to experience the lows, but finding the tools to help me navigate myself out of them. Whether it’s carving out time to walk and think, reflecting on my challenges with friends and mentors or crafting hand drawn cards as a creative outlet; In the chaos of juggling lots of metaphorical balls, I always make time for things that bring me peace and perspective.
Because you may not always be able to change a situation, but you can always change how you respond to it. Your attitude is everything!
Here’s to my second year at JET being just as fun, challenging and fruitful!