Lois Gill didn’t have a career “plan” and graduated in the midst of a recession – but she’s now head of regulation and compliance at Everflow Water.
Where do you call home?
Tell us about your role?
I’m head of regulation and compliance at Everflow Water.
How did you get to where you are today?
I had many interests growing up but the whole idea of choosing a career didn’t interest me. I remember at 16 being forced to look through the school careers library and every job profile just sounded really boring! So I took my dad’s advice: just do what you’re good at and what you enjoy (often the same thing!) and see where you end up.
After studying history at university, I still had no idea what I was going to do. It wasn’t easy finding work with no experience in a recession (2008). But the jobs I had to settle for at first helped me to get my first “proper” graduate job, at the age of 25, in the water industry.
I have now worked in planning and strategy roles for 10 years, working my way “up the ladder” through four different roles in three different companies and I have (mostly) loved it!
It sounds cheesy, but I get a real kick out of using what I’m good at to help make a difference. Everybody needs water services (we deal with poo too!) and it’s surprising just how much planning is needed to make sure we’ll always have the water services we need.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
At first, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I lacked confidence and struggled with some health issues and as if that wasn’t enough, there was a global crisis affecting the jobs market when I left university.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
There wasn’t a single moment, but getting my first graduate job, achieving my first promotion and moments I learnt my work had secured millions of pounds of investments in future services.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
You don’t have to have a plan. Great if you do, but it’s also OK just to take each step one at a time based on what you love and what you’re good at. Just keep moving forward and don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I never thought I’d work in water – probably the most boring sounding thing to my 16-year-old self – but I love it!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take it one step at a time and be prepared to adapt. Set goals if you want to, but the most important thing is to keep moving forward and enjoy the journey.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
Progress not perfection.
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