Ask me your
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I was never really sure what I wanted to do after school. I had I wide range of fanciful ideas like maybe a helicopter pilot though!
I matriculated (Leaving Cert) in 1994 in South Africa and committing to a university or college course would have been a huge financial commitment as third level education in South Africa requires long term student loans or very wealthy parents!
However, I was already working as a waitress part time with a large restaurant group and was offered a management position when I left school. I really enjoyed the work although it was long hours I did learn a lot about myself but only realized this later in my career.
After the birth of my daughter I couldn't maintain the long hours and did a variety of other jobs such as receptionist, internal computer sales and a corporate computer hardware sales rep.
The last computer company I worked for was a small business from which I was made redundant.
After this I was genuinely looking for a large company that would be able to offer me job security and benefits. This is how I came to work for McDonald's over 10 years ago.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
I think I realised after a bit of job hopping that I needed some of the following things to ensure I was happy with my career choice: Variety, changing/challenging environment, interaction with people, learning, development and opportunity and recognition.
My daily interaction with many of my previous bosses and work colleagues all helped me to see what kind of a career direction I wanted to follow.
My best friend Amy ,who is a field services consultant for McDonald's, has been a big influence on my career path, as she encouraged me to apply for the job and has been a sounding board throughout my McDonald's career.
How did you go about getting your current job?
A good friend of mine Amy had just gone back to working for McDonald's and suggested I apply.
I completed an OJE over a 3 day period - (On Job Evaluation) which gave me the opportunity to see what the company was about and for the company to see if I was suitable.
I started in McDonald's as a Trainee manager in 2000 and remember being told if I was willing to put in the effort and hard work I would reap the reward.
In 2001 I had completed all my management development courses up to Store Manager Level and was promoted to Store Manager.
It was only with the responsibility and challenges and daily interaction of the staff and customers that I realized I had found my career.
Describe a typical day?
One of the things I like the most about my job is that very rarely are any two days exactly the same.
Any one day involves providing leadership and goals for your team. Interacting with both customers and staff. Ensuring the highest levels of customer expectations are met are the main objectives.
This could be anything from quality checks, working front line on customer service and of course cleanliness of the restaurant.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
The main function is ensuring the customer expectations are met and even exceeded.
My main tasks are to make sure that my team of managers and staff understand what is expected of them and how they can achieve what is required of them.
I am responsible for a multi million euro business and profitability is of course part of my job. I am required to manage controllable costs such as labour, maintenance and repair, utilities etc on a daily basis to achieve the budget forecasts for my store.
I have a responsibility to ensure my store is at all times legally compliant in areas such as employment law and food safety.
I am also responsible for the development and training of my managers and staff, a role I particularly enjoy as you get to see people reach potential and develop.
What are the main challenges?
The job can be a highly pressured one with a lot of set objectives to realise and sometimes things do go wrong.
I feel most challenged by the fact that I can't do everything by myself to achieve these results, I have to achieve my results through others.
I am challenged in that I am also always learning and have the opportunity to up date my skills for example I completed a situational leadership course which challenged my views on how managers react to situations and that there are different approaches available.
Whats cool - I enjoy the responsibility I have. I believe that even in the current climate that my job is secure.
The rewards and recognition I receive when I do well such as bonuses, trips abroad and evenings out.
It is cool to have the opportunity to further my education - I am currently completing a course through The National College of Ireland that recognises my work experience in management. Oh yes and my company car!
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
The specific skills I think I have are good communication, people person, self motivated, hard working, leadership and the ability to adapt in a challenging environment.
I believe I enjoy my job because I enjoy interaction with people, I need to be challenged, I am results orientated and I like to develop and teach others. I also enjoy variety.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
Honestly, I was not all that school focused, I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I finished school.
I completed school in 1994 and most of my courses have been management development courses through the various companies I have worked for.
In hindsight I would have applied myself more in school and once I had realised that I enjoyed management and working with people I should have studied in this field.
I am lucky in that I have the opportunity now to have my work based experience recognised with the course I am doing through McDonald's and NCI that will result in a degree for me in the future.
What is your education to date?
- Completed Secondary School in South Africa 1994
- Situational Leadership
- HSE HACCP Certificate
- Targeted Selection and Recruitment
- Labour Relations Course
- Ocupational First Aid
- Management Development courses -various McDonalds
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
After joining McDonald's in 2000 I was awarded Store Manager of The Year in 2002.
In 2004 I was recognised as a significant contributor at the Global McDonald's conference held in Australia attended by over 3500 store managers world wide.
This award recognised the top 1% of restaurant managers. I was very proud of this achievement. I am always very proud of any managers/staff that I have mentored or trained and developed when they are promoted and achieve recognition.
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
I think I am a people person, I can relate well to people. I am ambitious and so I am driven and hard working. I enjoy challenges and recognition. I am open to change and like a variety of tasks rather than a prescribed day!
On the negative side I am probably quite hard on myself and have high expectations of others.
What is your dream job?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
McDonald's at first most definitely covered my initial requirements of job security in addition the benefits such as health care and pension were very important to me as a parent.
My job has allowed me over time to progress and learn. I have travelled to Australia, England and Spain and of course it allowed me to come to Ireland were I am now settled.
The job affords flexibility in that I currently enjoy club netball twice a week and am studying part time through the National College of Ireland.
It also allows me time with my family.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
My advice would be it is definitely a job where if you work hard and maintain your ambition you can have a satisfying career.
I think the biggest misconception is that McDonald's is only a job and stop gap to something else.
You will need patience, drive and commitment and be able to adapt to change. The skills you will learn with this job will be lifelong skills.
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
What is your favourite film?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
Education and Training?
Advice for Others?