A Quick Introduction
My name is Toby Collins, but around the office and with clients, I go by TC.
This is because I share a name with one of our fantastic advisers (Toby Hines) and having two people in the team both called Toby can be confusing for everyone at times. Given the circumstances, adopting TC, one of my dad's childhood nicknames for me (a Top Cat reference), just made sense.
Background – Joining the Industry "Completely Green"
I've worn many hats throughout my career, ranging from bartender and front-of-house service to a general merchandise (GM) assistant. However, the majority of my work life has been divided between IT (3-4 years) and the fast-food industry (nearly a combined 3 and a half years).
I made a deliberate move from the fast-food industry (and previous IT career) to venture into a completely new career in what was originally advertised as an “Administrative Assistant”. My initial thoughts were “I’ve a fairly vast IT knowledge, so MS Word, Excel etc should be a piece of cake!”
It turns out that an administrative role here at Jacksons has a lot more to it than Microsoft office!
Despite my relative inexperience in this field, in just 19 months, I've been successfully navigating what feels like the steepest learning curve of my professional life. This transformative journey has not only allowed me to make small but significant steps though my financial career but has also become a defining moment and opportunity within life, propelling me toward a brighter future.
After completing my 6-month probationary period and securing my dream job, I realised that this opportunity was not only a career milestone but also a lifelong commitment. Reflecting on my journey, I couldn't help but acknowledge the pivotal role my fiancée, Sarah, played in making it all possible. Without her support, I wouldn't have even had the chance to interview with Sharon, as financial constraints had left me without the means to travel from Hayle to Penzance for the initial meeting.
Sarah's encouragement empowered me to approach the train conductor, explain my situation, and, with a touch of politeness, secure a free return ticket for the interview. This small yet crucial act set the stage for the positive turn my professional life was about to take.
During the subsequent follow-up interview, where I was officially introduced to Pete and Chas, I had the opportunity to meet the entire team. Sitting down with each team member individually allowed me to not only introduce myself but also establish a genuine connection with my future colleagues.
It was during this process that I felt an unprecedented sense of belonging in a work environment and to this company. I felt at home.
Among the individuals I met, one person stood out and has since become one of my closest friends – Jacob, affectionately known as my "work husband" by the team. Our instant connection was forged over a shared passion for the table-top wargame, Warhammer 40,000. Now, during our lunch breaks, Jacob and I are often spotted strolling through town, engaged in conversations about work, life, or our shared nerdy interests, including painting our Warhammer and other similar models. This friendship has also given me the confidence to get involved in a local gaming shop and expanded my model interest to Star Wars Legion, something I may not have had the courage to do previously.
The camaraderie and friendship that has developed within the team has truly made my job not just a professional endeavour but a fulfilling and enjoyable part of my life.
What the Future Holds
The landscape at Jacksons is ever-changing as we consistently push boundaries to achieve excellence in our industry. New opportunities frequently emerge within the company, exemplified by Tegen's success as our social media superstar. Despite the potential for diverse roles, my focus remains unwavering on continuous learning and personal advancement.
My goal isn't necessarily a change in role, such as becoming a paraplanner, but rather a commitment to becoming the best version of myself.
As a Client Relationship Manager, I believe that an expanded knowledge base opens doors to various paths in the financial world. With this in mind, the immediate objective is to complete the CII Award in Financial Administration, laying the foundation for continuous growth and development. I really feel that the more I know, the more I can share and be of real help to my team and clients at Jacksons.
I am proud to be a part of and contribute to Jacksons as a member of the fantastic CRM team, and this solidifies my commitment to forging a successful path in the dynamic world of finance.
A note from Jacksons:
When looking for a new member to join our team we look for someone with a spark, someone with a story and someone that is going to share our passion for what we do! Right from the get-go TC was so enthusiastic and excited to work with us and since then he has become an exceedingly valuable member of the team here at Jacksons. We would be lost without him now. His IT background helps us no-end when various things need sorting out in the office. He would win ‘fastest finger first’ on any game show, as demonstrated daily by his speed at picking up calls from the group queue. He’s always keen to help take on any work wherever possible to help out the team (we often have to encourage him not to take on too much!) TC has impeccable customer service skills, he’s eloquent, a complete whizz with any software, an excellent communicator and, equally as important as offering his help to others, he doesn’t hesitate to speak up when he needs guidance from us too. Whatever direction his career here at Jacksons takes him in, he has a bright future ahead.