Shirley’s current role, National Client Services Manager – managing client liaison and staff assignments across the country – is actually one she built herself, from the ground up. When she first started with Medcall, it was a tiny company comprised of just a few individuals, working in an office above the owner’s garage.
“When I started, I was basically just looking for a little top up job. It was the after-hours coordinator role that I interviewed for, and Carol, the owner at the time, interviewed me and I started on the same day, answering calls and putting staff into placements.”
“From there we moved to Dominion road, where we had our first office, and then I started full time as a consultant. So that was from 2002 until 2005. Then, in 2005, I suggested to Carol that a branch in Tauranga would be a good move, and she agreed. So, I came down, opened the branch, and built it up from nothing to basically the most successful region that there is.”
Before she started with Medcall, Shirley was a branch manager for two banks. She says that while she’s proud of what she’s done and how far she’s come, she could never have foreseen her journey when she first walked into that interview.
“I originally trained as a nurse in the UK, but I never actually worked as a nurse, because I decided to have kids and buy a house instead. I’d always liked the medical profession, obviously, so when I saw that opportunity to just do some hours back in healthcare that’s what sparked me. I thought oh, I love that, it’s a passion of mine, I would like to get back into it, and that’s how it eventuated.”
Since starting with Medcall, Shirley has done a lot to be proud of and had an immense impact on the company as a whole. It’s inspiring to see how she built the company up in the Bay of Plenty on her own two feet, doing the hard but important work of walking around and making connections with the local aged care facilities. When asked the best piece of advice she could give, her answer completely captures her attitude to life and work:
“Never give up. I will try everything until the last minute before I say, “Well, I’m sorry, I cannot do this.” Always try to look for different opportunities, always look outside the box. If you can’t do it one way, look and see if there’s another way you can do it.”