Carlsberg’s Helen Rimmer has 17 years of experience in wholesale – she says that asking for feedback from trusted colleagues can progress your career to the next level
How long have you worked in your current job?
I’ve been in this role eight months, but with Carlsberg for four years and I transitioned into this role as a result of the Tesco-Booker merger.
Previously, I was looking after several symbol convenience accounts.
It’s my job to keep Carlsberg’s business moving forward
What are your day to day responsibilities
I work with a virtual team which includes a digital and trade marketing person, finance department and activation team and I have contact with the customer too.
Overall, it’s my job to keep Carlsberg’s business moving forward.
We’ve got a big year coming up as we are repositioning our standard lager so at the moment we are making sure we have the best in-store activation in 3,500 Premier stores.
How long have you worked in wholesale?
Around 17 years, from starting out in pubs through to working for Gaymers Cider in wholesale and then Magners and now with Carlsberg.
There were points when I felt I wasn’t being supported by managers
What’s been the toughest moment in your career?
There’s no exact moment but there have been tough times.
There were points when I felt I wasn’t being supported by managers and I didn’t get promoted and I lacked confidence in asking for what I wanted.
I wanted feedback from people I trusted about what I needed to do to get to the next level.
How did you over come it (assuming that you did!)
I started asking questions about why I wasn’t getting those roles. I wanted feedback from people I trusted about what I needed to do to get to the next level. I became persistent at working towards what I wanted.
How about the most rewarding / greatest achievement?
The most rewarding thing is that I’ve come through the ranks with my integrity. I’ve got to where I’ve got based on my ability and by being myself.
What do you love most about your job?
I love managing teams and working with great people. I’m competitive with myself but I like to see everyone winning.
Lay out your deal and then be quiet… don’t be rushed
Where would you like to be in five years?
I’d like to be heading up a larger team, and to spend more time coaching. I’d also like to get more involved in the strategic side of things.
How do you like your eggs: boiled, scrambled, poached or fried?
I’m intolerant, so preferably not at all! Perhaps I’d go for a sausage sandwich.
You can make bad decisions in deals because of time pressure
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Lay out your deal and then be quiet. When I was first learning my role I laid out my deal and then filled the silences. Also, don’t be rushed. You can make bad decisions in deals because of time pressure, so take the time you need.
What’s the best book or film you’ve ever read?
I’m not a big reader but I love a good rom-com like The Holiday, or a silly film like Elf.
If you could change one thing about your job what would it be?
I’d like not be on the road so much. Working the hours I do impacts your personal life so a better work-life balance would be good.
Is there anyone you really look up to – who is it and why?
It’s my parents as they’ve been married 45 years and have supported each other’s careers and taught me I can do anything if I’m willing to put the time in. Nothing comes for free.
Women can bring a different dimension and point of view
Why is it important to you to support Women in Wholesale’s objectives?
I love my career, but it is traditionally viewed as a male profession, so I think it’s important to see women in these roles. Women can bring a different dimension and point of view. It’s about sharing knowledge and making women more confident to come into these roles.
Helen Rimmer is a Speed Mentor at the WiW Speed Mentoring Event on April 25th in London – her topic is ‘Resilience’. Register for free here.