Graeme White, “The geek who can speak” is that rare breed. A people person with an aptitude and attitude for technology; yet just at home coaching, training and presenting.
I believe that everyone in gainful employment should be respected for what they do and that there is no such thing a job that should be considered beneath you.
Not that I am saying the unemployed are not worthy of respect – everyone deserves respect as a person. No one deserves disrespect for the job they do… ..unless of course their job involves selling meth to kittens or other such unscrupulous activities.
The story of my(somewhat) professional life
My own career path has been a varied one:
Upon leaving school, my part time job became my full time job. This was working at the local big chain pizza outfit.
Here, I worked my way up and to a shift supervisor position. It is through the chains leadership training program that I discovered what I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be that guy at the front of the classroom teaching people the skills, both soft and hard that would enable them to perform their duties in the best way.
While making pizza, serving customers and dealing with drivers and staff was enjoyable, I felt I could do more and so went searching for my 1st “Proper Job”.
But what could I do? Scouring the newspapers, remember them I was seeing a lot of classifieds for Customer Services. I could do that, I currently did that. And so, after typing up my limited C.V. and covering letter on a typewriter, I took it to the local copy centre , made a few copies and posted my application to various recruitment agencies.
Believe me, I am not as old as I am making myself sound here.
After a few interviews, I landed a job in the call centre for a major bank. Thinking that the training for management at the pizza chain was good, I was overwhelmed by how exciting and thorough the classroom was when it came to getting us ready for our roles.
Now, I was certain that training was what I wanted to do!
I was also certain that I did not want to purchase any pizzas. It would be another 18 months before I would order and eat another pizza.
At the bank my aptitude for technology began to surface. I became one of the “go to” guys for technical problems and how to use the systems. When internet banking started, I was promptly placed to support users that may have problems. (I still did not have my own computer at home or any internet connection).
Around a year after the pizza eating beast was reawakened within me – although I had helped out with induction, mentoring, buddying and training, I could see that a full time role as a trainer was not going to come along very soon, so I moved up by moving out.
Somewhere along the way, away from the office, I managed to get myself online at home and father a child. Two things I am not sure the world was ready for.
Staying in the financial sector and call centres, I found myself in a supervisory position for the telesales department of an insurance company. My job title indicated that I had finally reached that 1st rung on the ladder. Here I got to organise and facilitate the inductions of new staff, take care of call monitoring and discover another talent, reporting.
In setting KPIs, measuring and monitoring staff, I became adept at reporting and analysis. Measures that I had been told were impossible with our reporting suite and thus had to be manually counted were both conquered and accurate. Most of this was due to my ability to pick up and understand the CMS applications and dog of a reporting program.
After a few years in insurance, a restructure saw me without a work.
This last role also introduced me to the grumpiest collections and administration girl on earth. We married in march of 2014.
Fortunately, after a weeks “holiday,” I was now a full time tutor at a private training establishment that specialised in getting people work ready. I taught NZQA certificate subjects in customer services and office administration.
Here , I also became the unofficial trainer of the tutors for the IS related subjects that we covered becoming the academy’s “go to” guy for many technical questions. As well as delivering practical and theoretical topics in class room, I led campaigns for charitable organisations which my students participated in.
I had finally made it. I was doing as a full time job what I set out to do back in my ways of wearing an apron. So of course, I needed something else.
A large focus of my role at the PTE was supporting my students into employment. This included C.V. writing, interview coaching and motivation. Mixing my technical prowess, people skills and interest in the recruitment world, it was back to the bank for me.
Now, in the recruitment department for the same bank I had left a few years earlier, I was looking after their ATS.
As well as training and supporting users of the application, I was responsible for developing and running recruitment related reporting for the team and the business.
After a HR restructure, I moved beyond simply owning the ATS to being a HRIS analyst – responsible for not only the recruitment systems but also the position/establishment management and much of the intranet content. I was charged with data integrity for much of the people related data of the organisation.
Oh and I entered the housing market – and you thought you had bad neighbours.
Then it happened again, being a tumultuous world, the decision was made to move my role to another city. I decided not to move with it.
Over the next few months, I did a bit of contracting, writing reports and training the system administrator for the recruitment area of a government health organisation, teaching at the PTE I had worked at before and being worried that there was no more work out there for me. I left the bank in December 2008, right in the middle of the global financial crisis. The roles that I were looking for were not easy to come by.
In April 2009, the go to systems guy, took his first role in the I.T. department of a District Health Board. Here, I was a trainer of on-the-job systems; clinical and non clinical for all hospital staff, from doctors and nurses to administrators and management in both a classroom and live in the workplaces. All was going well until…
…the recruitment department started knocking. They wanted someone to run their ATS, not for the one DHB but for all the DHBs in the region. I would support four separate businesses.
This role has now progressed, I am now the Senior Regional HRIS Consultant. The regional “owner” and point of contact (Auckland Regional, and other North Island DHBs) for Recruitment Systems, Onboarding and HRIS integration. My work sees me heavily involved in projects and process improvement.
You could have received an abridged version of this if you had just checked my LinkedIn profile. Thank you for reading this far.
theGraemeWhite lives in Auckland with his Son, daughter and Wife.r.