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From Receptionist to Service Manager – Tracy Phelan

What were your ambitions when you were at school?

I wanted to be a PA or an athlete (it was all the rage to be a secretary when we were at school in the late 70’s/80’s). I always excelled at athletics but was not fortunate enough to follow that route.

What was your first Job?

I was a Bought Ledger Clerk at a Builders Merchants in Norwich.  I believe I was given this job because of my grade A Maths ‘A’ level result. Though I was good with numbers I didn’t enjoy the role as much as I had thought and decided not to continue a career in the field of accounts.

How long have you worked for John Grose and what are the roles you have had since joining the company?

I began working for John Grose in February 2007, initially as a Temporary Receptionist for the vehicle sales team at our Diss dealership, my position was made permanent that September. I quickly became involved with the Service side of the business and worked half of the week for Sales and half for Service.  I really enjoyed the busyness and variety of tasks working for the Service Department and later transferred there full time to work alongside the Service Manager as a Service Advisor.  In early 2009 I was approached by the management team about a role at the Ransomes Europark dealership in Ipswich as a Service Reception Supervisor.  I made the move to Ipswich, rising to the challenge and learning the workings of a much larger, multi-franchise service department. Then, in December 2009 with more experience under my belt, I furthered my career by taking the position of Service Manager of my own department at our Kia and Ford dealership in Lowestoft – which is where I remain today. In total I have almost completed eight years with the company.

Tell us about your current job role within John Grose

My position as Service Manager can often be challenging; managing the team and ensuring the work is done effectively and efficiently as well as managing expectations and relationships with customers and employees alike.  However I receive great satisfaction when issues are resolved and take great pleasure in ensuring my employees are happy in their work.  I am a strong believer in team work and leading by example.  I believe in good communication and being open and honest at all times.  I like to address any issues as they come along and move forward.  I often think of the challenges I faced when I first joined the team at Lowestoft and then of how the department is now.  That gives me great job satisfaction and I only want the department to get better. I have learnt a lot during the past eight years.

I think John Grose is a good company to work for – all staff are treated fairly and rewarded accordingly.  I have always received great support from my superiors, especially over the past few years during my development to the position I am in today - I feel a lot stronger in my role now than when I first started.  This is due not only to my gaining more experience, but also knowing that guidance and advice from my superiors is always available should I need it.  My progression from a Temporary Receptionist in Diss to Service Manager at Lowestoft shows that the opportunities are there at John Grose for those employees with the determination to succeed.

Which single piece of advice would you tell your younger self?

Don't let others dampen your passion!  Passion is what will drive you to live your life to the fullest and enjoy what you do.

What do you do when you’re not working at John Grose?

I like going to the gym and I really enjoy running – I qualified as a fitness instructor some years ago, but now I work full time I just work out for myself.  I love spending time with my family – I am very close to my husband and four children. We eat out together, train together and holiday together - it’s great.  I do also like a large glass of chilled dry white wine!

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