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“I am very lucky to say I love my job."
Gemma, a buyer and health and safety manager at Crofts and Assinder, a company specialising in the design and manufacture of extraordinary cabinet handles and luxury fittings, openly admits to being a ‘problem child’ when young.
After leaving school at 14 with no GCSEs, Gemma initially pursued careers in hairdressing and hospitality, finding them satisfactory for a time, yet still sensing that they weren't her true calling. While contemplating her next career move, a recommendation led Gemma to successfully applying for a sales administrator role at Crofts & Assinder.
“The furniture and furnishings industry hadn’t crossed my mind as an area for me to work in as I thought of it as being a male dominated industry” explains Gemma. “However, many females work in the industry. This industry offers opportunity to travel, develop, work in wider administrative and strategic roles such as sales, finance, purchasing, project management, IT, HR, marketing or design, as well as work in wider administration or in production roles.”
Gemma was seeking a company that would offer her the chance for career advancement, and Crofts and Assinder has more than delivered on that front.
On joining Crofts & Assinder, Gemma was supported by the company to complete a diploma in business management. She then moved from the sales department to purchasing and trained under the head of the department. It was during this time that Gemma expressed an interest in health and safety and was supported to complete various qualifications from the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
“I am very lucky to say I love my job. I never wake up thinking I don’t want to work. I really enjoy it. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to travel for work, including India and parts of Europe. For someone who’s family did not have the financial means to travel, this has been an amazing opportunity for me.”
Continuous professional development is a top priority for Gemma, and she feels well-supported by Crofts & Assinder. “Alex Crofts has been my mentor at Crofts & Assinder since he took over as CEO. He has been my biggest cheerleader and supported me every time I have wanted to take on a new challenge. Having a manager that always listens is so helpful.”
Gemma’s hard work over the years has paid off as she’s now a member of Crofts & Assinder’s management team, but she doesn’t want to stop there. Her journey has just begun and she aspires to be promoted to senior management and director in years to come. “I have enjoyed working in the sales, production and purchasing teams over the years and feel this stands me in good stead for carrying my journey up the company ladder.”