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“If you work hard, you will go places and people will invest in you” – Liam’s story

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Hi, I’m Liam! I’ve worked at AO for 9 years and I work as a Driver Account Manager in our Crewe warehouse 👋

Being a DAM means I support excellent communication and performance standards within our delivery teams, driving a first class service for our customers, as well as promoting top notch driver morale.

Where it all began

Before AO, I was working with my friend’s parents as a labourer, and I really enjoyed it, but wanted to try something new that would give me a bit more discipline and could change my attitude and mindset. I wasn’t too sure what it was that I wanted to do, but when my partner told me they’d seen a job at AO in the Client Support team, I wasn’t convinced it was for me. The Client Support team are our call centre in Crewe, who help to book orders, etc etc. I’d never worked on the phone before, so naturally it worried me but I knew it’d be a good starting block for a career with AO, and would really push me out of my comfort zone – I needed to take this gamble and 9 years on, it was the best gable I could’ve taken!!

Reaching for the stars

I was quite shy when I first started and really kept myself to myself, however I was sat next to a girl called Georgie (who actually ended up being a great friend!), who was the complete opposite and started to bring me out of my shell. I’d already come a long way in the first year, but still wasn’t as confident as I am now. I remember being approached by a few of the managers at the time, who clearly saw something in me and wanted to enrol me onto the STAR programme. The STAR programme is designed to provide opportunities to learn more about the business and give you all the tools and skills to develop your career. The Learning and Development team run workshops, 121 coaching and match people up with a senior leader to mentor them along their journey. At first it wasn’t something that interested me, but after being approached by multiple people multiple times, again I took a gamble. It was a terrifying process at the time, I had to interview with really senior managers, but I got in!! It took me a few weeks to settle in once I’d started, but I learnt so much, had some brilliant mentors and made friends for life. It gave me so much confidence that I even moved to another department mid way through the programme…

What’s next?

I started as an Installations Coordinator after about a year or so after staring, and got to work on some amazing projects! The biggest was our housebuilders project, where we worked with housing sites and after only six months, we secured the contracts to supply appliances for over 12,000 new building plots. I worked with my manager Tom, who was amazing and taught me so much in the 5 years I worked with him, which I’ll always be so grateful for. I wanted to keep driving forward so then decided to try a role as a Depot Supervisor, which meant I’d be making sure the outbase ran smoothly, be point of contact for all the drivers in that depot and make sue customers got their orders on time. I did this for about a year, until I moved until my current role. I started working with Julie, who’s my current manager, and again made me realise how lucky I was to learn from and work with amazing managers who were really invested in me and my career. Me 9 years ago would have never imagined I’d get opportunities like I got and be so supported by so many people.

The future looks bright for me

I’m excited to see what other opportunities come my way, I’m currently waiting to start a CPC apprenticeship, which will open doors to be able to work more in road haulage, transport operations and goods vehicle operating. This will add so much more value to my career and give me even more opportunities. AO has completely changed my mindset, through the people I’ve worked with and the things I’ve done and I’m so thankful for this. I’ve been backed and invested in 100% by everyone I’ve been lucky enough to work with, and it’s really true that it’s the people that make AO. We are one AO and all work together to make it such a great business. My biggest piece of advice to anyone would be that if you work hard, you WILL go places and people will invest in you!

Liam Hughes

Driver Account Manager