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Why I moved up north for the Co-op

It’s an exciting time to be in Manchester

Two years ago, after living and working in London and the south for nearly twenty years, I made the move up north and joined Co-op as the Head of Agile Delivery. We’re currently looking for an addition to our team here in central Manchester, so if you’re contemplating a move from the big smoke, read on.

Back in 2017 I was very much loving my previous job at Ustwo but I’d started to feel tired of London life. Every year our rent was being put up and despite earning a decent salary it felt like I’d forever be at the mercy of a landlord.

An opportunity at the Co-op

Growing up in North Wales I always thought I’d end up back in the North, but that I’d probably have to take a pay cut or a step back in my career. However, it felt like the time was right to start investigating my options.

Thankfully an opportunity came up to work with the Co-op, on behalf of Ustwo. This was my chance to see what it would be like to live and work in Manchester.

Thanks to the project, I built great working relationships with Co-op colleagues and kept up to date with what Co-op digital were up to via their blog and social media channels. When the project ended  I saw my current Co-op role available. This offered career progression that doesn’t come up that often, even if you do live in London.

My new role and my new city really exceeded my expectations. Manchester has a growing digital community and it's an exciting time to be part of it.

As well as using everything I’ve learned over the years, working at the Co-op feels like a place where I can grow and develop. The opportunity to be a part of transforming a bigger organisation is fantastic and I get to see the long term impact of what our teams work on, and how it’s improving our colleagues and in turn, our communities day to day which is hugely rewarding.

Living in London you’re convinced that you’re in the epicenter of everything and if you’re not there you might miss out. It’s really not the case. If anything there’s more space up North to share ideas, stand out and be supported. The pay is a lot more competitive than it was 5 years ago and your money goes a lot further here! I can go from home to deck in 20 minutes and can afford to own a house with a garden and even a shed! During my spare time, I love to visit the Peak District or the Yorkshire hills because it’s so close by.

The London grind seems like a lifetime ago and I haven’t missed it for a minute.

Cara Bermingham,

Head of Agile Delivery