We catch up with Rebecca Davies, Food Manager at IKEA Belfast
Rebecca was born in London and moved to Northern Ireland at a young age. She attended Bloomfield Grammar School in East Belfast and after her ‘A’ Levels went to Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus to complete a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
What made you decide to pursue your current career?
My first part-time job was aged 17 with the Co-operative Group. I worked there until I was 21 and it was my first experience of working in retail. When I graduated, I decided to pursue a career in retail so I applied to work in IKEA Belfast as a Customer Service Team leader. IKEA is a great company to work for with great opportunities for career development. I was also keen to work for a global company as it presents so many development opportunities including the chance to travel.
I worked within the Customer Services Department at IKEA for 3 ½ years and was keen to pursue a new challenge and so applied for the role of Commercial Restaurant Manager before I was appointed to the Food Manager position.
How long have you been in your current position?
I was appointed last year and the time has flown in! It has been busy and challenging but a great experience.
What specific skills do you need?
My previous management experience has been invaluable, particularly my experience within the food sector as well as managing a large team. It is important to be able to provide clear direction and also have experience of creating and implementing action plans, setting budgets and meeting and following up on goals experience of successful commercial, retail management or the role of multi-unit food service manager with proven leadership abilities
What are your average working hours and what sort of work is involved?
Due to the nature of working in retail, my working week tends to vary. However, one thing does change and that is how quickly the working day goes in. That can only be a good thing, I think!
What is most important to you in a job?
The team around you is vital. How you lead, learn and develop your team and yourself to deliver on potential. Also, never forget that in retail the customer is why we are here.
How do you think the industry has changed since you first started working in it?
IKEA has experienced much growth over recent years and it is how we continuously develop and grow with the business to make the most of the potential. I truly believe IKEA has amazing opportunities for those who have the drive to develop in their career.
Who has inspired you most in your career?
My previous manager Mary Collins has been the most influential in my career within IKEA, she has really challenged me over the years and given me the knowledge, confidence and room to develop. She has always supported and guided me throughout my career and what makes the difference is this relationship has never faltered even though we are in different functions we still have a good working relationship. Mary is someone I have always been able to rely on and I feel it has been a real privilege to have had such an outstanding manager at such an important stage of my career.