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How Co-op helped me continue my career development

On 23rd September 2019, I woke up and got myself ready to head to work. But when I turned on the news that morning I knew it wasn’t going to be a normal Monday. The breaking news was that the company I worked for, Thomas Cook, had collapsed.

My job at Thomas Cook was my first after I finished university, and it came at a time when I was struggling to find work. I initially joined as a contractor for 3 months, before becoming permanent and traveling around the world to places like Abu Dhabi, the Philippines, and Estonia. I felt like I had an important role in my team, and my career was moving in the right direction. The Friday before the collapse, I’d just signed up for another month-long stint in the Philippines! One of the many things I’ve learned over the past few months is just how quickly things can change.

Viewing change as an opportunity

We’d known that Thomas Cook was struggling for a little while, but the news still came as a shock. Later that day I was invited to a meeting with the liquidators. It felt strange sitting in a room amongst my colleagues and friends; talented people who I’d learned so much from, knowing that every one of us was now unemployed. But I made the decision to be positive and view this change as an opportunity, so I started my job search that day.

The Co-op appealed to me as friends who have worked there always spoke highly of the business and the way they treat people. I was also really keen to work for a big, well-established company where there would be lots of opportunities to learn and develop my skills. I saw a Promotional Forecasting and Replenishment Analyst role, which looked like a good fit for my skills and experience, so I decided to apply.

Co-op felt like a place where I could learn and grow

I enjoyed the interview and came away feeling like it was a place where I would fit in with the team. I was really impressed by the head office too! Most importantly, the Co-op felt like a place where I could learn and grow. A week later, I received a call with the good news that I’d got the job!

I’ve been here a few weeks now and I’m still learning about a new industry and getting to grips with a new role. My job is focussed on promotional forecasting in the confectionery category, and the Co-op supply chain operates on a much bigger scale than Thomas Cook’s, so there really is a lot to learn! I’m getting plenty of support from my manager and my new team, and I’m already developing lots of new skills. 

I trusted my instincts and did what felt right

The past few months have been life-changing. I trusted my instincts and did what felt right, and I’m happy this led me to a great opportunity. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my old job, but I can see a lot of similarities in terms of the great people I work with and the supportive culture. I’m optimistic about the future here, and I feel lucky to have found another employer that really cares about me and my career.

Cameron Laws,

Promotional Forecasting & Replenishment Analyst