We recently sat down with Rob Byrom, our Regional Hospitality Manager, who shared his story of how he started working for Hallmark and has been able to work his way up with hard work and dedication and also the brilliant opportunities and support of the team at Hallmark. Hallmark are passionate about developing talent and want our team to be the best in their chosen field. Read Robs story here.
1. Can you share your journey of how you got started in the care sector and what motivated you to pursue an apprenticeship in adult care?
To be honest I fell into the care sector my accident! When I left school I worked as a labourer for my Dad’s construction company, we refurbished 3 hotel rooms and I got friendly with the hotel team during my time there. They offered me a job so I thought why not! After 18 months of working in every department within the hotel I decided to apply for an apprenticeship. Part of this was they found you a work placement, this is where I found Hallmark Care Homes.
2. Balancing work and personal life is crucial. How do you manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance while studying and working in the care sector?
It can be challenging at times, but its important to prioritise. There is always a reason not to do something, but you need to create time. How long do you spend in front of the tv in the evening? What if you got up an hour or two earlier than usual?
Getting up early is the key to me finding time for me, weather that is studying or exercising, you never regret getting up for something purposeful!
3. Hallmark is known for its commitment to team development. How has the company supported you in your apprenticeship journey, and what specific resources or opportunities have they provided to aid your professional growth?
I think I am one of many great examples of what you can achieve at Hallmark. Hallmark gives you the opportunity, its up to you weather you take that opportunity or not.
I started off a Business and Administration Apprentice back in 2012. After 12 months I got the opportunity to become a Trainee Hospitality Services Manager, I then joined the commissioning team and supporting opening up 3 of our care homes, Maycroft Manor, Lakeview and Anya Court.
After this I got promoted to Hospitality Services Manager at Bucklesham Grange. After 18 months at Bucklesham and 4.5 years at Hallmark I got approached by another company which was a lot closer to home. I kept in contact with Hallmark and after just under 2 years I came back as Regional Hospitality Support Manager. During this time I have jumped at every opportunity that has been available. I have been part of the Care Accelerator programme, the Circl programme, had a mentor and have become a mentor, and I finished my Level 5 NVQ in leadership last year. A few years after returning to Hallmark I got promoted to Group Hospitality Services Manger and am still in this role at present where I support all our homes across England and Wales, plus our sister company Santhem Residences.
This has come from opportunities Hallmark have allowed me plus hard work and dedication.
4. Can you share any memorable experiences or achievements during your apprenticeship that have positively impacted your perspective on the care sector?
Having hands on experience of working my way up the ranks allows me to appreciate the hard work, love and dedication our teams from all departments put in for residents to enjoy and live life to the full.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship in the care sector, especially with regards to finding the right balance between education, work, and personal life?
My first question would be why not? What’s stopping you?
Hospitality especially is known for its unsociable hours; you work most weekend and most evening. However, in care this is not the case. The kitchen team and host team finish by around 19:30 and do on average every other weekend. This allows you to plan ahead with friends and family and enjoy your life outside as well as inside work.
6. What goals or aspirations do you have for your career development, with the support of Hallmark or otherwise?
I have never really had a career plan, my attitude is to work hard, do my best and go above and beyond, most importantly when nobody is looking. Stay positive, if you have a problem, then instead of moaning about it, go and deal with it. Look at everything you do from the other persons perspective and opportunities will show themselves. If a door closes, either knock on that door again or go to the next door. When you see an opportunity, go get it!
There is no elevator to the top, you have to take the stairs.