By Fran Merli, Senior Digital Delivery Consultant
I set myself a New Year's Resolution: to give back to the community that has given so much to me.
When I started my career in recruitment more than 10 years ago, I was ultimately looking for a role at a firm that specialised in technology and digital. It’s always been a passion of mine, so when I was presented with the opportunity to join RedRock Consulting in November 2012, it was one I couldn’t turn down.
I spent my first two years here as a Resource Consultant, before leaving for pastures new in August 2014 – only to find out that it’s true, the grass isn’t always greener. I came back to RedRock in 2016 and have now spent a total of five years in these offices, working my way up the ladder to assume the role of Senior Digital Delivery Consultant within our major accounts team. Bristol has given me the opportunity to build my career, and now I want to give back.
I’m fortunate to be employed by a company that has charity work very high on its agenda. I love being involved with the work RedRock does with The Grand Appeal, but I’ve also started thinking about ways that I could do more to support others in the local community. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the sportiest, so runs and Tough Mudders were never my cup of tea, and donating my time was always something that appealed more to me.
With this in mind, I’ve become a befriender for a charity that works with dementia sufferers. Mental health has become a much bigger topic of discussion these days, which is great, but as it tends to affect older people, dementia is rarely part of that conversation. Bristol is a community that, as a whole, is getting younger – millennials are being attracted by the city’s status as a top-10 European tech hub and the wealth of digital jobs with good salaries on offer, and we’ve witnessed that first hand at RedRock. That’s a huge boost for employment and opportunity in the city and hopefully for those in the community that could benefit from additional support too.
Britain is in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, something that can be especially difficult for people affected by dementia.. Becoming a befriender has its challenges – we are volunteers, not trained or licensed carers, so there is a lot we can’t do – but by stopping in for a cup of tea on the way home from work or accompanying someone to the cinema at the weekend, it’s possible to make a real difference to someone’s day.
My career in recruitment has been centred on building and maintaining new relationships by being personable and friendly, and volunteering as a befriender requires many of the same traits. The industry has a reputation for being overly focused on financial reward, but what I’ve experienced is a caring community, and this is my way of paying it forward.
Fran Merli is a Senior Digital Delivery Consultant. She has worked with us for a total of nearly five years and was one of our top billers of 2018.