‘My career in contact management’

‘My career in contact management’

Dominika – How having a second language can be a benefit in becoming a call handler.

Name: Jennifer Lamboll

Job: Contact Management Supervisor

Service length: 30 years with TVP – 18 years in Contact Management

You’ve had a long career with TVP and the Contact Management department – what makes you stay?

Confidence – knowing that I’m good at my job. At a TVP Women’s conference, I was once told ‘if you’re good at what you do there’s nothing wrong with staying where you are’ and that stuck with me. Within my career I’ve had my children and they’ve been my priority – although I will give 100% at work. Contact Management has given me the ability to work part-time which fits in with my family, I know I have the support from the department to be flexible if needed.

It is that reassurance that if I did have any issues at home I would be in the right department to support me through that.

How do you deal with challenging calls?

Dealing with challenging calls is part of the job; this could people in distressing situations but can include people swearing or being aggressive. That won’t suit everyone. If you’ve taken a call that’s tough and need five minutes’ that’s my cue, as a Supervisor to say ‘okay what do you need?’.

What has been the most rewarding part of the job?

Knowing I’ve come away doing my best. It’s also knowing that I’ve been that support to someone; either a member of the public in need or a colleague who has taken a tough call and needs some reassurance and empathy.

Earlier in your career you were a Special Constable too?

Yes, I was a Special for 23 years from 1992 – as a Special I did the same job as regular officers but also used to help with recruitment events, I loved being out promoting to police. I often used to go out on patrol with an Asian Police Officer which often caught attention – we made a great team.

What are the key skills you see coming through in new recruits?

Communication is key – we do have young people join us and what I’m inspired by is how they communicate – its fantastic to hear, a lot of what we do is about being able to communicate with people.

Common sense is important – 90% of our job relies on common sense and then there is the bit of the law that comes in which dictates which direction we have to go in with that enquiry.

Teamwork – being able to work as part of a team is really important. We all support each other.

What’s the best advice you have for new recruits?

Contact Management is one of the best departments in the organisation to work in before you decide if you want to explore other areas.

You need to have integrity, commitment to the job and know that it is continuous learning. However mundane you think the calls get (and some can be) you might have the 5th petty theft in a row but that might be the first call that that person has ever made to the police & that impression will last with them. It’s about doing the job for the right reasons.

As a Black woman how do you feel diversity is represented in TVP?

Bit by bit things are changing – previously I have been the only black person in the room but now I look around and see 5 or 6 people from other ethnic backgrounds, so I do feel we are becoming more diverse and representative.

Difference is important, if people have understanding of a different language or culture that can be useful and used in the job.