Zoe steps out of her comfort zone

Zoe Thomas has seized new career opportunities, taking on a managerial role at her firm after completing leadership and IT qualifications with Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd.

After joining Cheltenham patent and trademark attorneys Wynne-Jones IP as a secretary five years ago, 31-year-old Zoe is benefiting from the training and development the firm offers its employees and is now managing the administration team. “Being able to put into practice the skills I’ve learned is fantastic,” she says.

Zoe enrolled on GEL’s Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Certificate, which she completed earlier this year.  She also took a ECDL computer skills course, using the well-equipped and modern IT suite, to get up to speed with Wynne-Jones’s increasingly  paperless environment and upgrades to its IT infrastructure.

Wynne-Jones IP, Cheltenham Zoe Thomas IP Practice Assistant. July14 2015 Picture Simon Pizzey

Thanks to the built-in flexibility of GEL’s courses, she found it easy to fit the training into her busy working week. “The ILM involves just a day out of work once a month, where you go to GEL and have a trainer there working through the course with you,” she says.

“The biggest benefit is that it has made me step out of my comfort zone to discuss professional development opportunities within the firm by using the experience and knowledge I have gained.

“I am now confidently carrying out the position of IP Practice Assistant where part of my role is line-managing the administration team while I develop my broader managerial skills. I’ve got so much out of the ILM level 2, even down to feeling much more confident in doing the job.”

Zoe sees this training as an important part of her career progression. “I’d never before thought of management or team leadership until the ILM – it’s made me choose an alternative career path, with professional and personal goals to meet, which I feel totally supported to achieve by both Wynne-Jones and GEL”.