The Wonder would like to introduce Lucy J! A go-getting girly girl working for the Worlds Best Department Store 2019 – Selfridges!
(Read more about that here: https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/05/selfridges-reclaims-best-department-store-world-title/ )
She recently won Selfridges Extraordinary People Award for adhering and representing one of the core values – ‘we lead and inspire’ … I had the opportunity to be her plus 1! In this interview, Lucy talks about her career changing experience and her goals for 2019 as well as highlighting the challenges of working in an IT department.
Q: Tell us about you, your career and your goals?
Well, my name is also Lucy (must be something about the name 🙂 )
I currently work for Selfridges within the IT department. My work life started off very differently to what it is today… I started my career working with adults with special needs, I then moved into working with children in schools, also with special needs. I then spent time working as a cover teacher in high schools, which still to this day I look back and absolutely loved – a HUGE challenge (imagine, 30 teenagers staring at you, waiting for their science lesson to begin…) I wasn’t long out of education myself, so I knew all the tricks of the trade & the kids seemed to love that about me!
After meeting and moving in with my, now husband – the above paid appallingly (education budgets SUCK), so it was time for me to move into something new. I then started working for a company called Retail Assist, which is where the IT came into play. My Mum works for RA too, so I’d grown up around everything IT & she always reminds me that I was probably around 8 years old when I would answer her on-call phone, so maybe I was destined to start there.
I was then contracted into Selfridges for POS Support and after 6 months, I began working for Selfridges full time. I’m still working within IT, but instead of POS Support, I am working with the Buying & Merchandising Teams on new Supply Chain projects landing. My skills in IT are growing and developing daily… learning and developing is something I am extremely passionate about. I continually endeavor to motivate myself and others around me.
Q: What has been your career highlight?
I am a huge believer in strong, positive values within a workplace, I was fortunate enough to be nominated and win the Extraordinary People Award for my work at Selfridges for the value “We Lead & Inspire”. This was an amazing achievement to be chosen as the winner out of hundreds of nominees from across the entire Selfridges business. It was a glamorous, positive evening, surrounded by people who were totally inspirational, so I was truly shocked to have been called as the winner.
Q: Do you think there is a lack of females in the sector that you are in?
Unfortunately so… IT I believe has that typical stereotype of being full of men & you have to be very “head down and write code” – which doesn’t really scream at women as the ideal job.
I am the total opposite of that stereotype – I fell into IT and being honest, it was my absolute worst nightmare when I thought about doing it growing up. I am not a coder by any means, I let the teams who love doing it, get on with that – I have got where I’ve got to by being a relationship builder; I am a people’s person and that is the part of my job I absolutely love. I love meeting new people, growing strong relationships with key stakeholders and inevitably helping people with their issues and concerns.
I am SUCH a girly, girl – make-up is my LIFE (in fairness, a lot of that is down to Selfridges and some amazing discount, HA!) I have an Instagram account for all things beauty – @lucyj_beauty, as I just love it… My husband can’t keep up with the endless packages – “how many more eye palettes do you need?!”
So yes, an unfortunate lack of females, but there are people like us out there that are trying to change that. After all, you can love Huda Beauty as well as telling someone to “turn it off and on again”… 😉
Q: What are your goals for 2019?
I am incredibly itchy to move on to the next steps at Selfridges – I need more within my work life, so I’m currently fighting to make that happen. Watch this space!
Q: What good advice would you give to our Network?
Know what makes you happy & go for it. Nobody else can make changes for you, BUT YOU; so go out, grab the bull by the horns and get what you want in life! Believe in yourself, because you’ve got this.
Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucy-jennens-950599122/