Blog by Bryan Horrocks, Head of Resourcing, BookingGo

Let’s head to the Brewery (a venue known for its prestigious events). I don’t know about you, but I’m kitted out #redcarpetstyle and ready for the UK National Contact Centre Awards gala dinner. This is a BIG deal to me personally and professionally, to my company and, based on the buzz in the room, to the hundreds of other guests and potential winners this evening.


I’ve said it before, when your name is called out as the “winner”, time seriously stops and then it dawns on you: I have to get up out of this seat, make it to the stage, not trip over, collect the award, smile, give a wave to colleagues who thankfully were in attendance with me THEN gracefully leave the stage, order a bottle or two of Prosecco and sit back down.

No one was more amazed than I that I managed to just about do ALL of the above. But the adrenalin, emotion and gratitude that runs over you like a wave on your way to the stage kind of cocoons you and it’s not really until you’re back at your table, it dawns on you – I actually won!

That moment for me then ushered in two phases of life.

The first: letting my CEO and Directors know, which then spun into its own congrats machine back home at our company. I was in awe of how many people knew. The pats on the back, handshakes and pride that seemed to take on a life of its own. How Dame Judi Dench puts up with it, I’ll never know. I genuinely felt that I had achieved a pinnacle in my career. That I had been recognised by the ultimate body and the reward of the award was the kudos that emanated from that wonderful night from peers and colleagues.

That’s big stuff.

An intense series of moments that you smile, roll with and arguably work a lifetime for.

The second phase was 180 in the opposite direction. It was just me and my thoughts. Not as scary a place as one might think! The aftermath of winning my award gave me the most relevant and best time to pause, take a breath and admire the view. I’m telling you honestly, it’s the first time in my career of over 20 years that’s happened. I was always so busy “going somewhere”, that I hadn’t stopped to smell the roses and reflect on what I’d done. Whether that’s the ambition or impatience of youth, you decide, but my “moment” opened a gateway of reflection and it did me the world of good. I took stock of where I was, took great pride in where I’d been and took the time to work my way through the current inspiration and decide on what was next.

So, let’s summarise:

  1. Acknowledgement of my professional achievement to date, which was a very big deal.
  2. Opportunity for me to contemplate and construct the way ahead. #REALLYbigdeal !

Is it me or are those things priceless?

I think so.

With a win, comes a certain amount of notoriety and people will ask you questions or hunt you out for advice (which I’ve really enjoyed) and one thing I’m asked is: why do you think you won? Why YOU? To this, I say: I was given an outlandish, gift of a resourcing challenge when I took up this role in 2009 (which is WHY I took the job) and I went about creating the solution.

I’m a problem solver who works well under pressure, refuses to be anything but creative and when someone tells me it will BE a problem or impossible, you might as well tell me it won’t happen. You have my word, I will then MAKE it happen. Am I resilient? Yes. Am I a pragmatist? Born that way. Am I #unapologetic in my focus? See previous answer.

Being a winner, I believe is about knowing your strengths and what you bring to the table. You don’t present a solution, you ARE the solution because when your requisition changes from Hebrew speaking customer advisors to Portuguese speakers, from Brazil, not Portugal who need to sell over outbound calls, YOU are the driver of the solution mobile in that moment. No one else. You must be single minded in your commitment to your business and the further down this path that I walked, I wasn’t working for my CEO, I was working for me. It mattered to me that we smashed the targets and responded well to the bumps in the road, never mind anyone else.

Resilience, focus and ownership.

Let me be clear having said that, I was not “alone” – I couldn’t have been more blessed with my team and their dedication during this time and when they say, “it takes a village”, they ain’t tellin’ no lie!

Words of wisdom to any UKCCA winner?

I would say, you got this far without ME (!) so just let all the great stuff, the inspiration and innovation continue to come from YOU and own the recognition of the award – because it means something, it’s a precious, career defining moment.

They don’t come along as often as we’d like.

All I can do is talk from my own experience and tell you: my win got my voice a seat at more tables, in and out of my company. I worked on an extensive number of projects, that weren’t always recruitment related, but that I know I added value to. I hosted an open day where I talked about the process, my role and how it all came to be and had the great fortune to connect with people across multiple industries who I’m still in touch with to this day.

People matter. I continue to offer myself as a “can I just run this by you” mentor figure, which I love. This consequently got me writing articles for LinkedIn on many different subjects giving me a different kind of voice on a brand-new level and platform.

Casting my mind back and then bouncing it forward again, to today, the kudos of being a winner has had a lasting effect on me. I had that moment and I hold it close, but it gave me the impetus to celebrate the story so far, as well as be encouraged, propelled even, to build further and to open myself up to brand new adventures that were a spin off from that very night. Not that I realised at the time.

I continue to be an ambassador for the CCMA – you won’t stop me! I believe whole heartedly in their work, in their presence because I know they make a difference, they come from a place of great and the community is certainly one of the most warm and extraordinary I’ve been a part of. Every year I’m floored by the calibre I see from the nominees and winners at the awards –  anyone looking for brilliance, visionaries and encouragement, look no further.

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that!?

About the author

Bryan Horrocks is Head of Resourcing at BookingGo and a former UK National Contact Centre Award winner.

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