01 March 2024

Finding the Right Path: Abbie's Journey from Emergency Calls to HR at SMS Environmental

Everyone's career journey is unique, and Abbie's story is no exception. Starting with a degree in Sociology & Criminology, Abbie initially found herself working in the Ambulance Service, responding to emergency calls on 999. However, she soon realised that the distressing nature of the role was not aligned with her long-term career goals. Abbie still wanted to help people but in a different way. This led her to join SMS Environmental as an HR Administrator, a role where she felt her degree learnings could be put to good use.

Starting at SMS Environmental

Abbie joined SMS in January 2022 as an HR Administrator. At the time, the role primarily revolved around HR administration and recruitment. It was Abbie's first job in HR, and she found herself learning a lot and picking up new skills. The HR department underwent some changes, providing Abbie with the opportunity to expand her knowledge in both HR administration and recruitment. However, despite her growth and development, Abbie decided to leave SMS in March 2023 due to limited room for progression at the time.

Exploring New Opportunities

After leaving SMS, Abbie took up an HR Advisor role at a start-up company that manufactured drones. Unfortunately, her time there was short-lived as she was soon made redundant. During her commute to the new job, Abbie experienced a pang of sadness when she drove behind an SMS van, realising that she missed the friendly environment and her former colleagues. It was then that she reached out to David and Mike, who made it clear that the door was always open for her return.

Looking back on her first day at the start-up company, Abbie said:

It was so weird, I actually drove behind an SMS van on the way to it. I felt really sad leaving friends behind

The Return to SMS

SMS had provided Abbie with great support during her previous tenure and even assisted her in obtaining a CIPD level 5 qualification. The company had also invested time and energy into her career development. With the knowledge that she would be happy at SMS, Abbie decided to return in June 2023 as an HR Advisor, managing various tasks such as payroll, employee relations, grievances, disciplinary matters, and providing guidance to stakeholders.

Personal Growth and Progression

Since returning to SMS, Abbie has witnessed significant changes within the company. With Mike Crook leading the Senior Leadership team, there has been a shift towards a data-driven approach and a focus on growth. Abbie has already experienced career progression in her new role, partnering with the business and managing a new HR Administrator, Nell, who joined in January 2024. She is proud of her achievements and the trust that her colleagues place in her.

Speaking of the future of SMS Environmental, Abbie said:

I think SMS should keep going with being data-driven. It will make a massive difference, and will take us further.

Abbie's Recommendations and Future Aspirations

Abbie speaks highly of SMS Environmental and would recommend it as a workplace to others. She appreciates the positive work environment, the supportive colleagues, and the opportunities for growth and development. Abbie hopes to pursue further qualifications, such as a Masters or a Level 7 CIPD. She believes that SMS is the kind of company that would support her in achieving her goals. Abbie has her sights set on becoming a Business Partner in the future, and with SMS's commitment to employee growth, she is confident in her ability to achieve this aspiration.

Abbie's career journey exemplifies the importance of finding a role that aligns with one's long-term aspirations. Her transition from emergency calls to HR at SMS Environmental has brought her fulfilment and personal growth. Abbie's story serves as a testament to the supportive nature of SMS and its dedication to the growth and development of its employees. As she looks ahead to the future, Abbie is excited about her prospects at SMS and the possibilities that lie ahead in her career.)

SMS has given me a lot… They supported me in gaining a CIPD level 5 and have offered me progression opportunities since returning. I’ve also started partnering with the business, and managing someone which I’m super happy about & proud of.

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