In April, Kate Conrad clocked up 13 years at Davidson, making her the longest standing employee, aside from Bruce and Rob! Kate’s position, working hours and work location have varied over the years but she has always been an integral part of the growth and development of our workplace performance and consulting company.
Here is Kate’s Davidson story.
After working as a Functions Supervisor at the Gabba for six months post overseas working holiday, I realised I’d outgrown late nights and weekend work, so I contacted Peter Murphy (former Davidson Partner) who was known to me in a previous role and told him he needed to find me a job as a PA. I was surprised when he told me he’d already spoken to my old boss and it was decided I was going to work for Davidson.
My first assignment was working as a contractor for what was then the Business Support (now Corporate) team. I did a short term assignment with an insurance company on reception. I then met with a couple of Davidson Team Managers and it was decided my first internal contract role was putting hard copy candidate files into the new database. I was glad to see the back of those filing cabinets! I quickly had to learn what a candidate, client, and contractor was, having not worked in recruitment before. I then took on a full-time role as a Recruitment Coordinator in the Accounting Division. My thirst to learn more led me to the role of Recruitment Consultant. Only a few months into my new role the Client Services Director approached me to join the team and work with the consultants and clients to ensure we were delivering the best possible service we could. I resisted for a few months but the thought of organising functions again drew me to the Client Services team.
The years went by including a GFC. My role was never static which is what I’ve always loved about it. It now included compliance duties due to staff movement which was perfect because it was time for kids! I realised I didn’t want to work full-time post kids (mainly because we don’t live close to any family) and these new skills meant I still had a role within the company!
When my firstborn was two my husband was offered a role in Darwin. I propositioned the company to let me work from home whilst being mindful that wasn’t really the done thing back in late 2012 but much to my surprise and delight, Davidson agreed. I worked from home for just over three years in Darwin, even had my second rather spirited child up there! Davidson was fabulous to me during my childbearing days. They let me return to work early and I slowly returned to the workforce working from one, to two, to three days a week. I’m forever grateful for being supported in my return to work after kids as it was much less stressful. I’ve been part-time for 8 years now and I love it. Hard work, loyalty, and dedication are respected and rewarded at Davidson and I can attest to that! How lucky am I with my work-life balance!
In early 2015 we returned to Queensland only to be located at the Southern end of the Gold Coast for my husband’s next work project. With two young kids (this year being the first year they are both at school) and being ‘default’ parent, I propositioned Davidson to come into the office once a week and work school hours three days from home. It works brilliantly. I make a point of ‘doing my rounds’ in the office every week to introduce myself to new starters and make sure everyone knows who I am so that they are comfortable asking me questions. Because of this, I’m convinced I’m front of mind for the various projects that come my way. I’ll admit it, it’s much better than being permanently based in another state never laying eyes on your colleagues. Those days were hard and I’m much happier now I’m ‘part’ of the business.
What are my most memorable moments over the past 13 years? Wow, what a question! There are so many, like social events; the milestone celebrations; watching Davidson grow from 40ish staff to nearly 200; seeing Davidson grow from a small Brisbane based company to one that is established in three Eastern capital cities; the colleagues I’ve been privileged to work alongside over the years that have helped Davidson to be what it is today; the dynamic nature of the business; the fact that I’m a valued, trusted employee that has been supported from day one; dealing with so many fabulous clients and candidates over the years; improving on our RCSA Service Delivery Standard Compliance Audit score year after year; educating consultants on Modern Awards, WHS and Privacy; holding the flag as the longest standing staff member after Bruce and Rob; being enabled to learn new skills; respected as a business partner; improving processes….. the list goes on!
I’m extremely lucky to have a job that I enjoy with the flexibility I’m granted. I honestly don’t think anyone else would be as lucky as I am!