Women In Print: When you least expect it, opportunities really do present themselves

posted by Precision | 3rd Sep 2015

wip-la-mainPhoto: Lauren Garrison – General Manager

Where my working career started couldn’t be further away from where I am now! Itching to finish my ‘highers’ (that’s what us Scots call A levels) but with no real drive to follow one particular career path, I decided to take a year out and become a holiday rep. I remember arriving in Cyprus at 0530 in the morning, one day before my 19th Birthday and thinking ‘what am I doing?!’ I had no idea where I was going, who I had to meet or what tomorrow would bring…….. It was exciting!

Without intending it, my gap year had turned into 7 years and I was now 26. Without doubt it had been a fantastic experience, but it was time to return to the UK and grow up a bit I suppose. Again, I was faced with the same dilemma I had at 18, what am I going to do with myself??

Instead of returning to the Highlands in Scotland where opportunities were few and far between, I decided to spend some time with my family in Cambridge. Within two weeks, I’d signed up with an agency and was temping doing admin with RR Donnelley’s in Huntingdon and so began my journey in the print industry.

Within a couple of months I’d moved on from the basic filing/data entry to supporting both the Litho and Digital operation and taking on my own accounts. Within 3 years the opportunity of Digital Ops Manager presented itself, although some would argue I didn’t have enough experience to take on such a responsibility, I’d built a good foundation of knowledge and I had a good team around me, so nervously I grasped it with both hands. I continued with that role for a further 3 years and was really enjoying the diversity of the role and the responsibility that came with it – I’d finally found something I enjoyed and good at (I think!)

It was in 2011 that RR Donnelley decided to make some significant operational changes, the casualties of those changes were to be the Digital Operation. The difficult decision was made that the Digital Operation would close down in Huntingdon, with some print/accounts being transferred to one of their other facilities and the remaining accounts outsourced to a third party, that third party being Precision Printing.

Sitting on the project team that was tasked with handling the transition, I had the opportunity to meet Gary Peeling and the team from Precision Printing. A few weeks before Christmas 2011 I got a call from Gary which I was honestly not expecting but was delighted to get!! I was being offered a position of Client Services Director to oversee the implementation and running of the RRD accounts for Precision Printing and of course I said YES! It’s true what they say…. when you least expect it, opportunities really do present themselves.

It’s now 2015 and I’ve just taken on the role of General Manager which is a fantastic opportunity and I count myself as extremely fortunate and look forward to what the future holds.