Matt Sandy – Discovery Agent
Starting a new job only three weeks before a global pandemic forced the UK into lockdown must have been an interesting start to say the least! Here we speak to Matt, one of our latest 2020 recruits. Matt joined our ever-growing Discovery Team at Gungho, and we find out what it’s like to change career during COVID-19.
Tell us about what you did before you joined Gungho?
Before joining Gungho, I worked at a Golf Club for seven years. I’m a golfer through and through so it was great because it complemented my sporting career. After seven years it was time for a change. I wanted to find something that was more of a challenge and I wanted to learn something completely new. I didn’t want any old job; I was very focussed on finding something with career potential and it took me a year of searching to find the right thing. It was worth the wait!
Did you feel at a disadvantage because you didn’t have industry experience?
I didn’t know anything about the industry and so it was a bit daunting at the start. I had to take on a lot of new information. Luckily, the training was excellent, and I had lots of time to observe other people before I was let loose on the phone. Having no industry experience should not put you off! It’s more important to have excellent communication skills as the foundation.
One of the benefits of having worked at a Golf Club was that I was used to talking to lots of different customers from all walks of life. I feel confident talking on the phone and enjoy building rapport – which is a big part of securing appointments. Also, being new to this type of work means that I’m bringing lots of enthusiasm and motivation which you can’t underestimate in terms of strengths.
Joining a new company during lockdown must have been tough, what impact did it have?
I had about three weeks in the office before we all had to work from home. The people really are brilliant, and everyone was so accommodating so that made the transition a lot easier. I wasn’t made to feel bad for asking the same questions over and over and within a few weeks it all started to fit into place. Being around a team is what I’m used to. The culture at Gungho is similar to a sports team where you’re working towards a shared goal. I was really glad that the team are so friendly and there are no office politics, it’s just not that kind of place.
We all kept in contact regularly during lockdown and the management made the best use of the technology at our disposal to ensure that we were all supported. I don’t know any different, but I have been told that it’s not as straightforward to get appointments as it was before COVID-19. It’s a bit of a longer game and we’re having to work smarter and share information across the team. There are a lot more voicemails being left, and we are having to use different methods to get through to people. It’s all about perseverance and given how challenging some industries are finding it to continue to operate, it’s not been that bad for us.
What are you looking forward to the most in your career at Gungho?
I am already delighted and really glad I made the move. I have taken on a lot of information and learnt a huge amount already. I know there is much more to learn so I’m excited about the prospect of becoming even more skilled.
It’s clear there is room for progression and Gungho tend to promote from within, so I see it as a long-term career, not a gap-filler role which seemed to be all I was finding during my job search. The company is expanding so I hope to be on the road to a team leader position in the near future. As much as I loved working at the Golf Club, this role is more fulfilling. The three-day weekend also means that I can spend more time on the golf course!