A casual look back on a great career so far. Being made redundant will surely suck but I will ensure it makes me stronger and more open to new opportunities. 💪🏽🧘🏽♀️. Treat it as a gift 🎁 .
( all companies mentioned exist and are real and I only skim for a millisecond on my time there.And for context those who don’t know me I’m a 53year British Asian woman).
I wasn’t bright enough to be a doctor. Or was it that I never wanted to be one. Oh the disappointment. Having met many of late, infact I can’t escape them (Bandhan Bedford you have lot to answer).I have realised they are normal lovely people and don’t want to be put on a pedestal. They even have fun. Sometimes even more than me 🤔.
So I became an engineer, only by qualification you understand 🤦🏽♀️! Why would you do that. The great ratio of men:women on the degree course ? Possibly ?The need to be practical- definitely. Thankfully and to everyone’s relief I never got to the stage of designing anything that could blow up🙈.BTW university gave me my first husband so I didn’t spend all my time in the library 😉.
However what the Chemical Engineering with Management Economics degree gave me was the most in depth interview question, judge for yourself.
⁃ Question Are your parents ok with you living away from home for this job?
⁃ Answer Hmm I just spent 4 years in Bradford studying. It wasn’t a punishment you know!! Oh did you not realise that Southall and Bradford are just not dropping in distance apart.
But then it also got me almost all interviews in those days – a female Chem Enger;but wait an Indian female engineer.Better still a vegetarian Indian female engineer. Not quite a vegan yet!
Standard Soap(part of Croda International)- Ashby de la Zouch
Even after the random questions I got the job. Amazing Graduate Training Programme that allowed me to make Redken Shampoo, Johnson’s Shout Sticks, Clinique Soap, Tuscany Soap and to top it off M&S toiletries.M&S at that point was in the glory days and had the wonderful maze that was Baker Street! I just couldn’t cope with the slowness of the progression- so left for the big smoke (London for those who are behind the times). Standard Soap taught me that opportunities can come at you at anytime and in any form- grab it. It also introduced me to the world of trade shows through Spring Fair.
Babychoice – London
Marylebone High Street was the place to be. No money left ever because of expensive lunches and the pull of Oxford Street! I learnt to write faxes to the Far East factories here ( yes some of us were around pre email). The routine of sending them on your way out and collecting the replies on your way in. Keep comms simple always !! And who doesn’t want to work for A workaholic that turns you into one too. I learnt how to build a business from nothing ; just need a great idea and here it was licensing and baby products combined 🍼. Who doesn’t like Beatrix Potter on a bib?
Tommee Tippee (Cramlington, Northumberland)
Hours spent on the M1/A1🙄. Learning to love story cassettes (starting to feel really old now) on those long drives. First foray into “proper” sales with a proper car. Silver Cavalier SRI which was such a mean machine .. so much so that it was always being broken into in Newcastle (not judging). Matured into a racing green Rover – old before my time.The travel cups and travel potty! And the lovely Sangenic … the nappy sausage making machine. I’m all about providing a service for all areas of your life. How apt to have a baby whilst working for the number one baby brand – it’s like I planned it. Yes it was a MAJOR LIFE EVENT: I had a daughter – ffs she’s 21 this week. I’m really not that old. We look like sisters – yes we really do. I learnt the value of hard work and the value of a great brand here. I also got my first mobile which my boss said I could use as a baton!📞( for self defence).🤷🏽♀️
Cole & Mason(Farnborough)
Yes we were right by the dump- especially yummy on hot summer days. Only the planes from the air show made it worthwhile. I met my sister from another life here. It’s not a salt and pepper pot I learnt- it’s a mill. Not any old mill but a Cole & Mason mill. We hustled and beavered away to make it a success. Long awaited Rounders tournament every summer that created heated competition and memories. This is where I learnt the art of detail, process and knowing your numbers. This is also where I entered the world of Ambiente, Exclusive Housewares and The Progressive Housewares Dinner. They all definitely deserve their own entries another time. Hard work but what fun! All that air kissing …
Tefal to Groupe SEB (Langley)
This is the brand that gave me my second husband. Not sure if it’s part of their ongoing ranges. I also picked up some other WOTEs (women on the edge) along the way. Those that transition from being colleagues , to work friends to friends for life. Working for the French was a pleasure and as you know gave me exposure to non veg veg food!
Nearly 10 years of my life. Surely deserves its own private hearing. The non stick years with a few plugs thrown in. It gave me confidence and taught me the phrase “soft launch” and “more champagne “, fell in love with Jamie Oliver and had Conference overload. Too many shenanigans to publish. I learnt the art of air kissing, juggling and showing how it’s done with an all female team and learning to work with Marketing muppets as a sales tosser or box shifter!🤦🏽♀️. And they were the best Marketing Muppets around.
DKB (Cole & Mason all grown up)
I continued my love of Jamie Oliver here but may have shifted my loyalties to a certain guy called Ken Hom. I accumulated a kitchen full of tools and gadget that could chop/peel/prep any fruit or veg you care to throw at me. I learnt the value of TK Maxx -“It’s not just clearance”, whilst being a John Lewis junkie and a Lakeland luvvie. And I perfected my art for schmoozing and building the wonderful Housewares network of colleagues,friends and acquaintances. I learnt a new word “cardrobe” that depicts my mobile life.
The Belgian chocolate makers. No no – not unhealthy chocolate but healthy ceramic non stick. Ready to conquer the world . Just need to get their army and plan ready. I am just not part of that mission any more. This business gave me my first Directorship and allowed me to spread my wings. It also allowed me to travel to China and HK, alas on economy. Not a good look when your buyers are ahead of you in business 😂. I learnt how to be independent, build a great team and be even more determined.
Now I am working out redundancy protocol.Wondering whether I can be a stay at home lady that lunches – unlikely. Have a daughter to get through uni and give her more amazing experiences. And myself.
So will invest (thankyou to a friend for that word) some time on the Seema brand rather than other brands for a short while and recharge the grey matter. Did the History Degree a while ago with the Open University but those brain cells need reawakening. My mum’s take on it was “is it going to help you get a new job?” – no . “Is it going to get you more money “- no. Poor mum just didn’t get my need to just learn. The options are bombarding my brain 🧠
Seema 1 wants to be a gym bunny
Seema 2 wants to sleep
Seema 3 wants to hop on a plane and be with her sick mum.
Seema 4 wants to finally sort out her storage issues (😉 if you know you know).
Seema 5 is expected to be a dutiful wife 😘 (hmmmm) and provide home cooked meals.
Seems 6 wants to do more yoga. Flexible be more flexible.
Seema 7 wants to study some more
Seema 8 wants to work for a great company and fit in all the above.
Seema’s friends want her to relax for a while.
But if anyone does want to employ a woman who gets results and brings a bit of Indian spice with her please call my agent 😉. Just be clear that I will have to check with mummy and papa first. Don’t all Indians? And please don’t worry I’m not looking for husband number three 🙄