Humans of dxw: Liam who started his career at dxw after university

I’m enthusiastic about helping others and a lot of the work I do is around supporting my team and the delivery functions of dxw

I’ve worked at dxw for 2 years and have filled 2 different roles. I’m part of the commercial operations team and we help support the rest of dxw.

I started dxw as a “People and Business Operations Administrator”, which still holds the record for the longest job title possible. I started this role when I got back from travelling after university. Before dxw, I worked in National Trust cafes, finance departments at bathroom distributors, and at one point, I was a seed analyst. High flying stuff.

Learning to say no

My first role at dxw was a hands-on, busy role which included supporting HR, recruitment, and facilities at dxw, which pretty much sums up my career so far. This role taught me so much about time management and prioritising work. I think the most important skill I learned was learning to say, “No, I can’t do that right now.”

After about a year of doing this role, I moved into a commercial and finance support role, Commercial Executive. Again, in this role, I’m thinking about different things, but they’re much more aligned and within the same context. This was a deliberate change as I wanted something more focused and specialist. I wanted to learn from my team and dxw gave me the opportunity to do that.

I’m enthusiastic about helping others and a lot of the work I do is around supporting my team and the delivery functions of dxw. I really enjoy these aspects of the role and also enjoy learning about the way the business works, working with pretty much everyone in the company, and getting so much support and guidance from my colleagues. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.

Starting a career after university

It wasn’t always easy to understand how the company works and everyone’s role. Going from university and short term work to starting a career came with a lot of surprises and I didn’t always go about things in the right way. This was a new world to me and I had so much to learn. From agile to alphas and betas, it’s a lot for anyone to get their head around.

I would regularly try to read up about things, but in all honesty the only way I did learn was through actually doing the job. Looking back over the past 2 years, I’ve become a more refined, confident person. When I joined, I was really nervous, which is something I’ll try not to be when starting a new job again, because now I know it really doesn’t help.

I was keen to please and put a lot of pressure on myself. A lot of this I can put down to inexperience and immaturity and I’m glad I work somewhere that allowed me to learn this myself. The support I received, particularly from my line manager, Gurps, and Farrah, who did the role before me, settled me down and kept me on the right track.

Progressing from being a doer to a thinker

My advice to anyone going into their first “career” role would be to relax and enjoy it, as there’s really no need to stress. Be positive, be friendly, work hard, and always ask questions. The kind of thing literally everyone tells you to do, but some things you just need to learn for yourself.

Over the next few years, I’d like to specialise more in what I do. Currently, I’m a doer, and learning lots, but I want to be a thinker and I’m starting to try and develop to do this. I want to help make decisions and build new processes to help improve the way the commercial and delivery team works together and help dxw do even more to help build better public services.