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My Twenty Year Journey: Nicola Hodkinson

17 Dec 2020

It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago today, I walked through the doors of the Capgemini offices in Sale near Manchester and into a career and work family that turned out to be a perfect fit for my ambitions, for my personal and professional growth and for my life journey.

Nicola Hodkinson

I can recall pulling up to the office in my VW Beetle, walking into the reception and then through the bustling office. My desk was right at the far end of the room and I remember walking past a mix of colourful characters, being introduced to my team and more importantly being shown the kitchen! Sitting down at my desk to assimilate my surroundings, I knew in that moment from the pure energy and friendliness of the people surrounding me, that I had found my ‘work home’. Little did I know that 20 years later those feelings would still be as strong as ever.

As I write this, I am half in disbelief at the amazing career I have been able to carve out for myself. As an only child from a very small/extended family, I was lucky to have had a fantastic childhood and upbringing where my parents were only ever interested in whether I was happy. My Dad used to attend my school parents evening and would ask only one question; ‘Is she happy’. If the answer was ‘Yes’, he would stand up and walk away, as that’s all he needed to know. This consistent simple statement led me to pursue my College and University aspirations where the time and effort I gave was not through family pressure but through my own self-drive to do the best that I could and be recognised for the results I had achieved.  This is very much how I continue to run my life and career now. I consistently demonstrate to myself, my family, friends and colleagues that focus, hard work, taking the time to learn and experience each situation, ‘trusting the process’ and getting results that I feel proud of achieving continues to make me a happy and driven individual.

So, what have I learned in my 20 years at Capgemini? Well, I’ve learned that it’s the people I work with that are the reason why I enjoy my career so much. From that first day in the office, to the vast array of client, projects and services I have had the privilege to work on, to the amazing training/leadership programmes I have been apart off and sponsored, my takeaway is always the people. In the early years of my career, I would sit down for my year end performance review and always be told that I would go far in the company and that we would be working towards the next promotion whether that be imminent or 3/4 years away, because I was worth investing in.  Again this consistent message of worth, appreciation and recognition into the value I was adding (even at a junior grade), never led me to believe anything different and here I am 20 years later, achieving all that I had hoped to achieve with the journey still continuing in front of me.

I could sit here and write down numerous names of those people who have inspired me, influenced me, believed in me and had a huge impact on me over the years, both professionally and personally, but they will know who they are and I sit here smiling as I remember them all. Their faith in me and my faith in them has always stood firm.

Today marks a milestone in my dedication to a company which is more than just a ‘job’ to me, it has been a place where I could continually demonstrate my capability and be consistently recognised for my efforts. I’ve made lifelong friends, embarked on lifechanging learning programme and had the privilege to influence strategy and vision. But more than anything, I’ve been able to give back to our junior community by giving them my time, showing my passion and talking through my experiences, in the hope that some simple consistent messages can also make a difference to them and their future achievements.

You may read this and think ‘It can’t be that perfect all the time!’ and of course there have been bumps in the road, as no path can be perfectly forged. However, I believe in the journey and taking the learn to learn, taking the time to experience and taking the time to work through those ‘bumps’ and trusting the process.

Having worked within Application Management Services in the UK since I joined Capgemini, I will be forever grateful for their continued support to my learning, my growth and my journey and I welcome many more years of making a difference, adding value and giving back.

Nicola Hodkinson

Yes… And 😊

Connect with Nicola on LinkedIn, and Twitter @nichodkinson