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Find your Co-op job


Do you remember when you were in school, and they asked you what you wanted to be when you were older? Well, I still don’t really know. This is where Co-op shines, offering an outstanding array of careers in areas like retail, funerals, insurance, legal, HR, technology, data, risk and management (amongst others). I don’t need to know what I want to do when I am older – working at Co-op offers so many possibilities. 

Working in store 

I’d previously worked for a competitor in food retail for 10 years. My Co-op career started 6 years ago as a Deputy Manager in food stores. I loved it – the culture and business ethic were a breath of fresh air. I knew from this point that Co-op was for me. From there I knew I wanted to be a Store Manager, so I jumped at any opportunity that arose until I finally got there. It was this point in my career I realised what Co-op had to offer. 

Becoming a Member Pioneer Co-ordinator 

My next challenge came with having a baby, bringing me an exciting opportunity to be a stay-at-home Dad. Back then I was working full time as a Store Manager. I knew I still wanted to work at Co-op, so I began looking into what my options were. 

One of the many opportunities I looked at was the chance to become one of the first Member Pioneer Co-ordinators in Co-op’s community team. I took this role because remaining in management, working part-time and developing a new team of Member Pioneers excited me. I learnt so much about Co-op, seeing first-hand the benefit we have in our local communities.  

Working in the support centre 

Being a stay-at-home Dad was a brilliant job, but eventually our second baby came along and I began another stage in my career as I chose to go back to working full time. I found a secondment in the Operations Support Centre, working with the MyWork task management system that supports Co-op’s food stores.  

In this role I got to understand the way things work behind the scenes in our food business, and it opened my eyes to other areas like risk and cost control. My biggest learning in this team was content writing. I’d never been good at English and yet here I was writing forms, communications, and project plans for stores.   

Digital Technology & Data 

My drive to continue learning brought me to my next role which was in Digital, Technology and Data as an Operations Officer in Strategy, Performance and Governance. The role was technically a small step down for me, but it was also an important part of my journey. I came into it with very few tech skills and no understanding of the terminology and the way operations here worked.

I had a lot to learn, but I knew I had a few strengths of my own that the team valued. I knew how to write content and streamline processes from my days in food stores. I also knew how the wider Co-op worked and how to run a project. So, despite the fact that I knew very little about technology, my previous experience really helped me in this role.  

To say that I learned a lot here is an understatement. Guided by a great manager, I learnt about different ways of working and came to understand terminology like: Minimum Viable Product, Agile working, and Retrospectives. I helped leaders across our department run various sessions, supporting them in areas like root-cause analysis. I also ran personal growth sessions to help colleagues push their own personal development in the same way I’ve pushed mine.

Continually evolving 

And that leads me to my current role in Data Enablement. This secondment is another great way for me to push myself and develop my skills. Here I’ll learn about data analytics, grow my network, build friendships, and push myself further than I ever have before. 

I am here to tell you that the possibilities in Co-op are endless. If you want to try something new, you can. Don’t be afraid if your career is ‘squiggly’ – it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do next! My advice is to dip your toes into the water and see what comes up - you might surprise yourself with what you are capable of.