Senior IT Consultant, IT Services
(video link at bottom of page)
I’m Charlie and I’m a Senior IT Consultant in Hampshire County Council. My job is to find ways of using information technology to help to improve our organisation. I work with staff within the departments to work out what IT solutions they need, and I organise projects to make those things happen.
I took a fairly standard career path, and at each stage I was promoted on the basis of my performance. Later on when I wanted to get a supervisory role I found getting that promotion was quite hard work.
I volunteered to establish a 12 person development team and I achieved that and I felt that I broke new ground in the process, however I still did not get promoted. I wondered why that was and whether I should continue or leave. It was a bit of a low point for me.
I feel that my career was turned around by a talk with my then line manager, Mike. During an annual staff appraisal, he suggested that I needed to raise my profile and gain wider recognition for my achievements.
That led to me attending a 2 day course about influencing senior management and I began to read about other personal skills, and all of this was good preparation for my third promotion attempt, in which I succeeded.
I enjoy working at Hampshire but I do feel that I made slower progress than others with similar status and ability around me. At first I felt that this have been due to ethnic differences but I now recognise that my cultural upbringing, coupled with my own compliant nature, meant that I tended to avoid conflict and failed to set out my own case.
I did learn to turn that around by being more proactive but it took a lot of effort which I wish that it hadn't been necessary.
I hope that my story will help others from a similar background to avoid that problem or to overcome it sooner.