Seize the Day! | What does career progression look like at Gatwick Diamond Business?

Seize the Day! | What does career progression look like at Gatwick Diamond Business?

Our partner Gatwick Diamond Business tells us about career progression. 

GDB staff

In our last piece for this newsletter I wrote about the qualities we look for in a candidate and what I need to see from that candidate that sets them apart.

The organisation I run, Gatwick Diamond Business (gdb), is quite unique in that we are a Membership Body for businesses around the region.  We currently have over 420 members and we provide them with networking opportunities, publicity and the opportunity to influence issues that affect the local economy.  We are focused on customer delight as the members have a choice whether to belong or not and, like most businesses, there are competitors that our members can (and do) belong to.

If we get the first part of recruitment right (and we have done so far) then the qualities in the people we employ mean that they will be looking to progress in their careers, so we must be prepared for that.

In the past 5 years, we have been involved in apprenticeships and two of these have stayed with us in promoted roles while I do hope we will be able to continue with our current apprentice when she completes her programme. 

Sophia first joined us in September 2013 for a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.  Once qualified we discussed her options and she elected to take a one year Chartered Institute of Marketing Certificate on day-release at the University of Brighton while taking on more responsibility for the marketing of events in the organisation.  Whilst we were able to keep her on &s support her growth, Sophia had long decided that she wanted to work in London so, in March 2016 she left us to become Marketing Executive with a recruitment company in London.  From Apprentice to ‘Londonista’ in 30 months!

Our next Apprentice, Shelby joined soon after Sophia left and completed her Apprenticeship in August of 2017.  Shelby has been promoted up to Events and Marketing Assistant and is taking a more ‘A La Carte’ development programme, finding short courses and learning opportunities as and when they arise.  This work is ongoing but suits her and the work we need her to do

I’m also delighted to have been able to promote internally to the Office and Events manager role.  Sally Brown joined us in May 2011 as part-time Membership Executive and has worked up to full time and then taken on more responsibility as the needs of the business have changed.  During the course of her time, Sally has undertaken a number of part-time and one-day courses, all aimed at supporting her in her role.

As part of our recruitment, we are looking for people who can take responsibility and work well within the team.  That aptitude, or the lack of it, manifests itself quickly and then it is up to me to make sure that the right people are given the opportunities, the skills and the space to develop their skills.

It’s extremely important in our small organisation that each member of the team can self-select their development.  Obviously, our Apprentice has a set learning programme but each of the team has a training and development budget that is theirs to spend.  They must make a case to their line manager for that activity, they then report back to the team on what they’ve learned and how it can be implemented in the workplace.

The next step in any internal progression is for us to be clear about the role and how it fits within the organisation.  Regularly exploring the team structure in relation to the work being delivered can identify opportunities and remove duplications in job roles.  This examination also helps to identify what can (or should) be delegated and who to.

Regular team and one-to-one meetings can also help identify who is ready for development but there is nothing to beat being asked, by a member of the team, for an opportunity to grow.

It may not always be the right time, but knowing that I’ve got people working in the business who are looking for an opportunity with us is better than finding out they had ambition, after they’ve left! 

So, if you want to get on, show some responsibility, show you can perform and make your boss(es) aware of your desire.

It may not always be the right time for the company, but you will have your day; you just need to be ready to seize it!

If you want to find out more about gdb, please visit or call 01293 440088 and (I believe) any one of the team will be delighted to hear from you.

Image caption:

From left to right - Shelby, Bryony, Sally 

Back to News & Advice