How a Short Term Role has Developed a Whole New Career
Tom Beardmore started working with Groundwork in January 2022 for what he thought was a short term role before he joined the army. But he soon found he didn’t want to leave. Here Tom shares his story…
What made you choose this Kickstarter position?
When I left university, I thought my next step was to begin Army Officer Training. I applied to Sandhurst and I was waiting to get started. While my application was going through I decided to apply for a short term job to get some money coming in. I went to the Job Centre and they shared the Groundwork Kickstarter role with me. It seemed perfect. It was six months and it sounded really interesting. I’d always loved the outdoors growing up, so to have a job relating to the outdoors seemed perfect.
What did the role involve?
I was working for 25 hours per week, Tuesday to Friday. I was supporting project delivery. I was basically that extra pair of hands to help ensure jobs were done. It was a downscaled version of a Project Officer role, which gave me a lot of great experience. I can honestly say I threw myself into it wholeheartedly.
What challenges did you face?
The biggest challenge for me was that I had never had an office job before. I didn’t even know how best to send company emails. I knew I needed to learn the Groundwork voice and ensure I represented the company properly. I’d sent loads of emails in my personal life, but it was a new thing to know how to send formal emails for work.
What did you enjoy most?
Working with the volunteers was the best part. I was really pleased with how quickly and easily I picked up the role, and I was very interested in finding out what happens behind the scenes of sessions. I honestly fell in love with the job.
How did you transition to full time employment?
In June 2022 the Kickstarter position ended and I knew my Line Manager had been very pleased with me. By a total coincidence, that month a Project Officer handed in their notice, leaving an opening. I couldn’t turn it down. I really wanted to stay with Groundwork. I wanted it more now than joining the army. I couldn’t start the job until September, although I wish it could have been quicker. Because of the skill set I’d developed, I managed to get a short term placement in Cheshire doing land contracting to plug the gap, and then in September 2022 I started in my new Project Officer role.
What does the new role entail?
The Project Officer role is like an advanced version of the Kickstarter job, but doing that placement gave me a really good foundation. The staff knew me, the volunteers knew me and I knew how everything operated. But this role was a real step up, like a promotion. It’s exactly what I wanted and I am loving it.
What is your favourite part of the job?
The volunteer sessions are my favourite bit. People are so open and honest about their feelings. They take on feedback and really get stuck in, and it’s a real pleasure to work with them. I think they like having somebody who is involved with them.
Your family must be very proud of all you’ve achieved?
My family is very supportive. I’ve actually moved in with my girlfriend since starting at Groundwork, and now she’s got a job here too! My family can see how happy I am in my job and they’re really happy for me.
What advice would you give to other people looking for jobs?
I’d say you need to give anything a go. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the Kickstarter role, but it was a fantastic opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. I’d advise anyone to grab opportunities that are presented to them. You never know, you might end up really liking it!