Career Progression

Overcoming mind barriers

Kully Manku started at Enterprise three years ago. She distinguished herself, becoming the first person in U8 to be on the ‘best person programme’ for sales and customer service. After a year in rental, she transitioned to business management where she started as an accounting coordinator and was quickly promoted to area accountant. Within a year and a half, she was promoted to senior accountant. Kalifa Hickinson reports.

Then a vacancy was advertised for an accounting supervisor in Cheshire.

As a Sikh, Kully said that a female only leaves home when she gets married. So considering this opportunity was significant. Kully needed a big support system at Enterprise and at home.

Support from her financial controller, Cameron Bentley, was essential. “He was fantastic. He pushed me to my limits and made me work hard. He always showed me the bigger picture, and so it was easier for me to go home and talk to my parents,” Kully recalls.

Cameron offered to meet Kully’s parents to talk them through her options and explain why the move was important for her career. “It was like wow, somebody really cares about my progression here.’”

When it was time to talk to her parents, she was prepared. What she didn’t expect was how supportive they would be. “My parents said go for it because of the support I was getting from the entire U8 team including department heads,” she says. “They all pushed me to go for it.” And she did.

My parents said go for it because of the support I was getting from the entire team.

Armed with the support of her U8 team and her family, Kully not only got the job, but realised something significant in the process. “It was only my own self belief that was holding me back,” she says. “We put these barriers up ourselves. We need to have that belief and trust in ourselves to break the barriers. The support is there. We just need to embrace it, really.”

Despite the challenge of managing cultural expectations, Kully says her parents have been amazing. Her new financial controller, Shannon Betterman, has met her parents to explain more about Enterprise and why the move is so important for Kully’s career.

“It’s not just that Enterprise has embraced me, but they’ve embraced my family, my culture and everything,” Kully says. “People may think that a relocation is just the same job in a different place. Yes it is, but the job is definitely not the same. There are different challenges that I would not have got if I stayed at U8.

” Having positive role models was also important. Kully has been very inspired by her former financial controller, Cameron, as well as by colleague Raji Garawal, another successful Asian woman. “We are both Sikh so a lot of our cultures and demands from the community are very similar. Raji is the operations manager so I’ve seen her in action, closing deals. For me to be able to see that gives me that inspiration that I can do this.”

by Kalifa Hickinson

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