Jobs & careers

Career journeys

Everyone who works at Watford Community Housing has a story to tell. To find out more about what it’s like to work with us, read about the career journeys of some of our members of staff.

Amy Willcox-Smith

When did you join? All the way back in 2007!

What job title did you start with? Community Empowerment Officer

What’s your current job title? Assistant Director of Customers and Communities

Your story: When I joined Watford Community Housing 12 years ago, I didn’t expect to go on such a journey! Throughout my time here I’ve had seven different roles, each time gradually adding new areas of expertise and new services to my remit. It’s really helped me grow in confidence, knowledge and helped me to feel empowered.

In the beginning, I worked with local residents, the Gateway Membership Team and staff to ensure our ‘friendlier communities’ promises were met. I worked with tenant groups on our Neighbourhood Plans and helped to develop and fund the projects residents needed. I’ve spent a lot of time working out in the neighbourhoods and at evenings and weekends – I’ve ended up getting to know a lot of our tenants!

Nowadays, my role covers a lot more. I manage around 70 staff across nine different teams and I’m responsible for ensuring we deliver on our strategies and visions in Housing Management, Communities and Customer Services. As well as meeting our goals for the services we provide for residents, it’s my job to help my teams feel empowered to do their day-to-day jobs in the best way they can and make improvements along the way.

What makes you stay with us? Every day I see our staff do great things. We make a huge difference to vulnerable families and give them a quality home and a solid foundation upon which to build. I love the organisation, the people are fantastic and our Operations team work very closely together.

I have been challenged to grow as an individual and this has made me want to stay and see projects through to completion. Also, I’ve seen the impact that our organisation has had in the past 11 years – and I know things have only just begun. 

Joel Fisher

When did you join? 2010

What job title did you start with? Resource Planner

What’s your current job title? Transactional Processing Assistant

Your story: I started as a Resource Planner, which involves managing the timeslots of our repairs and the operatives who carry out the repairs. After a while, I felt like I wanted to see more of the business, so I was placed in a secondment into a role that looked into customer feedback. During my secondment, every time I worked with numbers, invoices and completed other finance tasks I found I really enjoyed it.

When the secondment finished, I realised that I was feeling like I’d done all I could as a Resource Planner, and I had ambitions for more. I applied for the role of Transactional Processing Assistant, which would mean a place in the Finance team.

The job also came with the chance to gain accounting qualifications, so I was thrilled when, after a rigorous interview process, I was successful! When I joined my new team, everyone was so friendly. They made the transition easy, and helped me realise I’d made the right choice. Currently, I’ve completed two of my Association of Accounting Technicians exams, so I’m building on my career all the time.

What makes you stay with us? My colleagues here are so great – it was their faith in me and their commitment to my personal development that’s got me to where I am today. Everyone from the CEO to my team members is committed to getting the best of out of me, and offering help and support along the way. 

Karis Lomas

When did you join? 2017

What job title did you start with? Customer Care Apprentice

What’s your current job title? Housing Officer

Your story: I started as an apprentice, which meant as well as working I was completing assignments to help me gain a Level 3 qualification in Housing Practice. As someone who was new to the world of work, I was given projects to work on so that I could start learning what my job would involve. I learnt about customer satisfaction, and collected data through surveys and phone calls. I remember learning a lot in the early days, especially about our services and how to communicate with customers.

I’m most of the way through my apprenticeship now, and I’m lucky enough to have become a full-time Customer Relations Officer in the meantime. Now, I really know the ropes – I have taken control of the process of collecting customer satisfaction data, I work closely with external contractors to ensure they’re providing the right service for residents and I help record and follow up on any compliments and complaints we receive.

What makes you stay with us? Everyone at Watford Community Housing is friendly, welcoming and helpful. I especially see this in my current team – I really get on with them all, and I know I have the support I need from my managers and team members.

Also, I really enjoy what I do! I understand my role well and know my objectives for my work, which makes it easy to complete my everyday job – this job satisfaction is what makes me stay. 

Pete Brotherston

When did you join? 2015

What job title did you start with? Plasterer

What’s your current job title? Clerk of Works

Your story: In 2015 I joined the Operations team as a plasterer, and after two promotions and a move to the Development team I've completed my HNC Level 4 in Building Construction Management!

When I was promoted to Team Leader for Void Properties, Watford Community Housing offered me the opportunity to pursue a relevant academic qualification, which they would pay for.

I studied for two years at BTec Level 3 and two additional years to gain my HNC Level 4, achieving a distinction in both of my courses. During this time, I was promoted again to my current development role of Clerk of Works, where I'm making use of my new qualifications to improve the quality and speed of our development projects.

What makes you stay with us? I am very grateful to the organisation for giving me this opportunity to improve my skills and knowledge. I'm happy I can now give back by ensuring compliance and quality is followed on my projects, avoiding costly delays and helping to keep within the construction programme.