Career Stories is an article series about the people who work at Kindred. For this article we sat down with James Wrighton, Organisational Design and Change Specialist, to talk about career development, inclusion and his journey at Kindred.
Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your passion?
I’ve always been a people person. A true extrovert, I get my energy from being around people, so HR was such a natural career choice for me after University. I actually studied Marketing and German at the University of Chester – mainly because I am passionate about languages and other cultures and wanted to stand out in the UK.
Tell us about your career journey with Kindred so far?
I started at Kindred in 2015 as a Learning & Development Advisor, when Kindred was a lot smaller. I came from the banking sector and a huge software firm, so this was a definite change in a way of working for me. Kindred is a smaller, but a much more fast-paced company that gives me a much broader remit than I had before. My day could vary from understanding the learning needs of individuals and teams, designing and delivering training, to designing and procuring learning content with suppliers. As Kindred grew, so did I, and my role grew to be part of a larger Talent Development team. This gave me an opportunity to spend 18 months working in our Stockholm office.
Growth and development opportunities Kindred provided me with, helped me move into my current role of Organisational Design and Change Specialist. I support Kindred in being as operationally efficient as possible and ensure we’re aligned with our strategy and target operating model.
How does Kindred help employees to develop and pursue new interests?
Having previously worked in Talent Development at Kindred, I know in detail how much time and effort Kindred puts into developing its employees. I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by Kindred in taking my Post Graduate Diploma in CIPD (Chartered Institute in Personnel and Development). This expanded my knowledge of HR practices and models, and taught me Organisational Design and Development. It led me to pursue a role in Organisational Design.
What’s the best thing about working at Kindred?
The thing I love most about Kindred is the diversity of people we have working here. We have 59 nationalities, along with people from all walks of life and experiences. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I was worried about the perceived culture of the industry and felt I might not fit in, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Every day I walk into an environment where I feel I can truly be open and be myself. Every single person is accepting of you, no matter who you are. That’s why I am proud that we are a founding member of the All-In Diversity Project – we don’t just talk about diversity, we just embrace it naturally.
What is one moment that you will always remember from your time at Kindred?
I don’t think I could just choose one moment over the last five years! I think what I loved the most, was how welcoming and amazing my colleagues were, whenever I travelled to one of our other offices. I was taken up ‘The Rock’ of Gibraltar to meet the monkey and shown the beautiful city of Valetta in Malta by my colleagues. Our people really do go the extra mile to make you feel welcome when you’re away from home.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting out their career at Kindred?
Push yourself to meet as many of your colleagues as you can and learn about what they do! Everyone is so approachable, so happy to tell you what they do and how they contribute to Kindred’s success. It’s a great way to meet people in other functions, build friendships and understand how you fit into the bigger picture of what Kindred is and how we work. I’m yet to meet someone at Kindred who would turn you down for a coffee and a chat about their role!