"My managers have been instrumental in my career development" - Tamara's Story
Kent Area Manager Tamara Okei-Achamba shares the nine-year story of her career progression, and how support from her managers got her to where she is today.
Back in 2011, Tamara worked as a Senior Support Worker, kickstarting her love for the care industry. However, she soon decided to improve on her skills and knowledge of the industry by going to university. She had the drive and passion to earn a degree to provide the best possible care to those in need. After those hard years of study, the opportunities became apparent. Tamara was offered progression and development within her role, which continued throughout the next nine years.
"Once I had completed my degree, I applied for a Deputy Manager role. After this, I became a dual Registered Manager of two residential services and gained my level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management. I was then approached by my manager and Regional Director, with regards to a new opportunity to troubleshoot services in another area. This was an exciting experience and I enjoyed every bit of it. In 2015, I joined the Lifeways team via TUPE transfer. Lifeways is a large organisation with multiple support functions, and the company supports initiatives to improve quality of care and working experiences."
Now in 2020, Tamara is an Area Manager for Kent, a role where she oversees approximately 4,500 commissioned hours per week and supports 46 vulnerable adults with a team made of 153 Support Workers. She leads five experienced Project and Service Managers, one Senior Service Manager, an Office Manager and a Business Support Assistant.
The nature of the role is fast-paced and anyone aspiring to become an Area Manager will require resilience, a supportive and dedicated team around them, and strong organisational traits.
"My average day consists of ensuring the smooth delivery of services, to which a high standard of care is delivered, irrespective of any issues which may arise - as they naturally do. It’s vital that I keep a fluid line of communication with all support functions and external stakeholders, to ensure we capture recent challenges, progress, and development strategies in line with our KPIs. This role is all about doing the right thing at the right time!"
Tamara gives a lot of the credit for her career development to her Line Manager and Regional Director for the South and Area Manager for South London, who has been:
"instrumental in my career development, mentoring and coaching me".
Tamara has also offered her advice on the importance of taking development opportunities within Lifeways:
"Always take on opportunities which come your way for your personal development as much as career progression - Lifeways has a lot to offer. Supervisions are a good forum to put the feelers out for additional training, courses or opportunities. I am always looking for people to develop who have the right attitude and determination, it's great to see people flourish"