Kate Lockett, Learning and Capability Lead at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), tells us about her flexible working arrangement and how she manages a busy family schedule with her role to achieve a work-life balance.
What is your current role and flexible working arrangement?
I work at the MCA as Learning and Capability Lead, which involves managing the learning and development provision for the organisation. I make sure that all our people have access to the right development opportunities at the right time. I work three days a week and can be flexible about where and which days I work.
How have you made this work for both yourself and your work?
The MCA is embracing Smarter Working which gives everyone control over where and how they work. Technology has made this possible; when I’m working from home or another MCA location, I can be virtually present at meetings or events. This means that I never miss out on important family occasions or work events. This has had a huge – positive – impact on me.
What inspires you about your role?
The opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives on a personal and professional level. Helping people to develop and move towards their goals is incredibly fulfilling.
Tells us about your career journey
I started as a graduate Personnel Manager working for Tesco. After successfully completing the two-year graduate programme, I was appointed to the role of Personnel Manager. This involved all aspects of HR including responsibility for training. I discovered my passion for learning and development during this time.
I decided to specialise in this area of HR and looked for a job that not only satisfied this passion, but had a more regular and sociable working pattern. I joined the MCA as a Management and Development Trainer in 2007. Since then, I’ve worked in a variety of roles within this specialism until I secured promotion in 2016 to my current position.
Tell us about any obstacles you experienced on the way and how you overcame these challenges
My biggest challenge was moving from a full-time to part-time working pattern following my maternity leave. I was concerned that I’d be unable to make a positive impact if I wasn’t in the office the same amount of time as my colleagues. The support I received from my line manager and wider agency was extensive. I quickly adjusted to my new role and found that I could bring equal benefit to the team’s goals and objectives whilst working part-time, as I had as a full-time employee.
The best thing about working at the MCA?
The flexibility and variety of the role. There are so many interesting and challenging areas to work in. I’m never bored and working part-time has never hindered my promotion prospects or stopped me from being tasked with interesting projects. I wouldn’t stay 11 years with an employer who didn’t support people whatever their personal circumstances.