Jayne Cottam, who developed her career in the travel and scrap metal industries, reveals some of the key areas of her career journey and some of the most important takeaways from her time in each sector.
Now at Assura, which builds and develops a growing portfolio of buildings for medical practitioners, reveals which of the most important experiences helped shape the skill set that has enabled her to take the top finance role at the FTSE-250 firm.
What’s most revealing about her progress is how she was able to take each success and springboard up the career ladder, despite a very modest start in life.
With few qualifications, Cottam began by taking an HND and then a degree in business administration at Bolton Institute of Higher Education. Those were followed by a series of roles in the plc and private company arena.
At Assura she now runs the finance function, supporting the firm’s expansion strategy that has resulted in it owning 560 properties with an average value of £4m, giving the group a market value of nearly £2bn.
“I’ve dropped team member into the operational parts of the business, so they can actually see the development of the strategy and be part of it,” she says. “That’s for their development but its value add to the business, because we get more vision in terms of what is going on.”
On her management style, Cottam says she is “very collaborative… I enjoy team working and like to empower my team, I don’t like a blame culture.”
On work/life balance, she says: “We have to support flexible working, I am a big believer in that and was very fortunate to have someone who supported me in my career.”