5 things you probably didn’t know about our Liability Claims Academy

posted by on 12 Sep 2017

Our Liability Claims Academy in Bolton provides exciting learning frameworks that are designed to give every single employee the best possible learning and development opportunities. But what’s it really like to work there? We got together a bunch of people from the Academy to tell us what they think makes it so great.

1. The culture is fantastic

Rebecca holding a sign that says 'Cutlture'

“Out of everywhere that I’ve worked, AXA’s culture has got to be the best. I think it’s very important that you can go up to anyone, ask them a question and they’ll take the time to help you with it. I’ve worked at some places where you feel like you can only go to your immediate manager and not above, whereas here you can ask anyone anything. The culture is great and really supportive.” Rebecca Cuming

2. We’re a mixed bunch

Team Leader Deborah holding a sign that reads 'Unique'

“It’s a very diverse team and there are people from all kinds of different backgrounds with all different personalities. We’ve got some people that really want to shout and celebrate success for themselves and for their colleagues; some that are a lot more studious; and some that want to naturally lead. We have a massive mixed bag of people and they’re all bringing something really unique.” Deborah Talbot, Team Leader (Liability Claims)

3. You’ll grow as a person

Jamil holding a sign that reads 'Development'

“When I first started here, I knew I wanted to start a career but I didn’t know in what field. I look back at some of the referrals I did when I first started and I think “wow, my knowledge has come a long way”. I’ve noticed a big improvement in myself but it’s all thanks to the support from everyone else.” Jamil Najak

4. We’ll listen to your opinions and take on your ideas

Amy holding a sign that says 'Exciting'

“One of the other Academy members and I came up with an idea for the unit to run, called “Let’s Talk”. I had to go in and pitch that to the team leaders in the senior management meeting. They loved it and it’s now live! We had a launch day on Monday which was really exciting.” Rebecca Cuming

5. You’ll learn something new every day

Richard holding a sign that reads 'Supportive'

“Working in liability claims, you never know what you're going to get. Every single file is completely different to the last which keeps you on your toes, but there’s always something there to support you if you need it. When I’m given something new to do, I feel comfortable asking as many questions I need to to make sure I fully understand. You’re never just chucked in and left to get on with it – there’s always someone on hand should you need them” Richard Breheny

Academy Mentor, Kayleigh holding a sign with 'Interested?' written on it

If the team have sparked your interest in joining our Liability Claims Academy, make sure you’re signed up to receive AXA job alerts for Claims roles in the North West region. Applications open once a year, so don’t miss your chance to apply!

categories: Liability Claims Academy 

How to make your CV stand out from the crowd

posted by on 29 Aug 2017

Andrea joined us as IT Resourcing Consultant three-and-a-half years ago. Since then, she’s sorted through hundreds of CVs and certainly knows what makes a candidate stand out from the crowd. We caught up with her to find out her top tips for making your application shine and how to avoid it ending up in the recycling bin. Over to you, Andrea…

Keep your LinkedIn profile updated

It’s important to stay active and to connect with people and companies on professional sites. LinkedIn helps you build your network as well as knowledge about other big brands and companies that may be able to land you that big CEO job one day. Unfortunately, not everybody can be Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proactive and driven. The best candidates I encounter are all highly self-motivated.

Volunteer your time

AXA is a massive ambassador for Children in Need, Alzheimer Research UK and actively supports multiple charities. Doing charity work speaks volumes about your character and the values you hold dear. Just because you didn’t get paid for standing outside all day wearing the RSPCA Saint Bernard mascot costume doesn’t mean you won’t reap rewards for this charitable act long-term. So don’t be shy to list these selfless deeds and briefly explain the nature of the work you did. 

Highlight your transferable skills

As the name suggests, a transferable skill is something that can be taken with you and applied to multiple other roles in multiple different industries. These are core skills that prospective employers value such as:

  • People skills – your ability to communicate effectively or motivate and lead a team or successfully coach or train people.
  • Technical Skills – it’s vital to have a knowledge of standard software apps such as Microsoft Office … everybody uses Word, Excel and PowerPoint nowadays.
  • Data Skills can relate to record keeping, statistical analyses or research skills. If you’re leaving school, college or university and have limited work experience, make sure you highlight the transferable skills that you acquired during studies or part time jobs.

Make it look ‘wow’

We live in a world where appearance is everything – and that goes for your CV, too. Take some time to prettify it. Leave plenty of white space around the text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye. Get creative! Use graphic images to introduce subheadings and don’t be afraid to inject some personality into it. I would much rather read how you changed the world than how you forced yourself to conform to a standard CV template.

Tailor it

Take the time to adapt and mould your CV for each role that you apply for. PLEASE don’t follow the one-size-fits-all approach! Research the company, their vision, their values, their mission statement and use the job advert to figure out exactly which skills are worth highlighting and which are best kept for an after-hours social. While it can be tempting to exaggerate your skills, most recruiters will quickly figure it out if you’re over-embellishing your background and experience, so keep it real.

Personal Statement

This is your opportunity to really sell yourself to the potential employer. It should be short and punchy highlighting your key skills, experience and career goals. Tailor your statement to match the job application so that your skills and experience are an obvious match for the job.

You’ve heard what you need to do to make your application stand out. Now’s the time to get your CV sorted so it’s ready to send off when you find the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

categories: Careers advice 

Explore the routes into Financial Services

posted by on 16 Aug 2017

Considering a career in financial services? There are plenty of ways for those leaving school, college or university to get started in the industry, but which works best for you? Whether you want to take some time out after school, head straight to university or jump into one of our apprenticeship programmes – there are many ways to take your next career step. So, which will you choose?

Apprenticeships

Undertaking an apprenticeship is an excellent way to gain qualifications whilst working. Here at AXA, Apprenticeships are for anyone, at any stage of their career. So whether you’ve come straight from school, university or are looking for a career change later in life, our door is always open for talented, creative people. Undertaking an Apprenticeship will enable you to gain qualifications that are sought after in the finance industry, whilst earning money and learning on the job. It’s also a great way to get your foot in the door at AXA; impress us during your apprenticeship and you could develop a great career with us. Click here to find out more about our apprenticeship opportunities.

Go to University

Going to University opens up a whole host of routes into the financial services industry. After completing your undergraduate degree, you could further your education by undertaking a Master’s degree which will further your knowledge and make you even more sought after by future employers. After your Master’s, you could then decide to continue your education and become a Financial Services academic – a varied job which will include teaching, liaising with industry and conducting research into key topics. Or, if you decide you’ve had enough of studying and want to dive straight into the workplace once you finish your undergraduate degree, you can get stuck into your career, develop yourself further within our frequently run graduate programmes at AXA. Here, you’ll develop your working knowledge, improve your skills and have the chance to really make an impact on the future of our business.

Start working right away

If you’ve had enough of studying and want to jump straight in to your first job instead, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to start you career path at AXA. Joining us in an entry level role and working your way up over time is a completely legitimate way to climb the career ladder – and there’ll always be the opportunity for you to join one of our apprenticeship programs later on if you decide to.

Take a gap year

Maybe the thought of heading straight back into education or kick-starting your career is hard to swallow right now. That’s understandable – you’ve worked hard and deserve a break. Why not take some time out to go and explore the world? You’ll gain a whole host of life experience that will prove invaluable later in life and you can always go to University or start an apprenticeship after your gap year. If you choose this route, make the most of your time when you’re away by gaining some valuable work experience abroad – it’ll help you build your confidence and give you something interesting to talk about in interviews when you return.

Whether you choose to join us straight from school, University, or after taking some time out; at AXA, we offer a variety of ways for those looking to step into the financial services sector. Head over here to find out more about our opportunities.

categories: Careers advice 

AXA Academy: Open, honest, sociable and supportive

posted by on 7 Aug 2017

We caught up with some of our latest Liability Claims Academy recruits to find out what they think about the culture here.

So, tell us, what’s the office environment like?

Jamil: It’s a professional environment, but at the same time there is a culture that AXA is really proud of, which is all to do with our values. Everyone is engaged with one another, you have groups of individuals but at the same time, you can approach anyone in the office no matter what level they’re at so even if they’re senior leaders you can still talk to them. Feedback is valued here whether it’s positive or constructive, it’s all taken in a really good way. Whatever feedback I’ve given so far, I can see it’s been acted upon in the greatest of ways.

Amy: It’s almost as though there’s too many people to chat to, actually I struggled to work out who my mentor was because there were that many people eager to help you! It’s lots of fun too and friendly, so it’s really nice and refreshing.

Rebecca: It’s quite relaxed and fun in the office. It’s obviously a formal setting, but people are quite light-hearted with things, everybody likes to get involved with everything. You can be open, honest and speak to anyone in the office, even someone right at the top! So it’s really good and I’m really enjoying the openness.

Great! And what kind of support have you had through the training?

Rick: The training has been good. It’s been split up so I’ve learned while doing rather than looking at presentations. 50% is presentations but then on the flip side, 50% of it is actually doing the work itself. And we've got mentors who we can ask questions whenever we want and they have reduced caseloads so they're basically just there for our questions, which is useful. You don't ever feel like you're interrupting anyone’s work by asking a question. 

So, if you had to sum up the best thing about working in the Academy, what would that be?

Rebecca: It’s got to be the culture. Out of everywhere that I’ve worked, AXA’s culture has got to be the best. I think it’s very important that you can go into work and go up to anyone and ask them any question and like they’ll answer you straight away or they’ll take the time to help you with it. I’ve worked at some places where you feel like you can only go to your immediate manager and not above. Whereas here you can ask anyone anything. So the culture is a massive positive for me.

Amy: The culture here is about being the best you can be for yourself but also being your best for the other people. It’s a real team environment, everything you face, you do it together so you get everyone’s rewards together as well. Any recognition someone else gets is recognition for the Academy as well, it’s great.

Jamil: The relationships and companionship is the best thing! You come to work and there’s always someone you can talk to, always someone you can turn to. I always say to the other guys if there’s something on your mind, just pull me aside and we can have a heart-to-heart about it. There are other individuals that are the same and it makes a big difference knowing that you’ve got that second family. It makes me emotional when I think about it because to go from joining the company and not knowing a single one of them to then being in a position a few months later where you can talk to them openly about anything, whatever is going on, at work or outside of work, it makes a difference. It makes me smile when I get out of bed in the morning.

Thanks for your words of wisdom, team. If Amy, Jamil, Rebecca and Rick have inspired you, sign up for our job alerts to be the first to know when applications for our Bolton Liability Claims Academy open again later this year.  

categories: AXA people  Claims  Liability Claims Academy  Life at AXA 

3 top tips for working parents, by a working parent

posted by on 1 Aug 2017

Having been a working parent for over 27 years, you would have thought I’d be an expert at juggling working life and parenthood by now. But the truth is, there is truly no right way of managing both at the same time. That said, here are a few tips I’ve learnt over the years to help me manage my time better and make the most of both…

Drop the guilt

Don’t feel guilty for working hard, it doesn’t help anyone. And after all, we’re just trying to provide the best for our families, which sometimes means working hard both at home and at work. In the same breath, don’t feel guilty for downing tools and turning off your work phone, chances are that you have worked more than expected and achieved a lot during your working day. You shouldn’t feel guilty about making time for yourself and for your family – I'm only in the position I'm in due to the relationship I have with my wife.

Plan ahead

Everything can be achieved but you cannot achieve everything at once… Choose the moments in your family life that you must attend and make time for those events. If I plan ahead and get important family moments in the calendar, then more often than not, I can attend those events. We have recently created a Family shared calendar (Google) which has allowed both my partner and I to add in those important dates, and therefore help me plan better. At work, the quality of your work will always be more important than the quantity of your work. Work smart with others to complete those tasks, your sanity is worth more than trying to please everyone. It’s better to achieve 80% on time rather than 100% late for you as a parent and within AXA. Create boundaries that separate your working life and home life. Everyone, including your employer, will benefit from this.

Emails and agile working

As a training manager, I challenge co-workers to set up a rule on their Outlook to automatically move any emails they have been copied into to a separate Cc: folder. These emails, I argue, are for your information and not for your direct action and can be read later. This is a brave move and may not suit everyone – I can only say that it’s worked for me and allows me to concentrate on which tasks must be completed rather than spending all my time sifting through those that might require action. AXA empowers us to work where, when and how we choose. Obviously, this depends on individual job roles, infrastructure (IT) locations and personal circumstances, and will not suit everyone, however, asking for flexible working and planning your time will allow better results at work and better home life.

I feel that I have never really achieved the perfect goal of work life balance. But learning from your experiences and doing your best is always going to be the answer in the end.

Martin Furminger, proud parent and Global Training Manager at AXA

categories: AXA people  Careers advice  Employee story  Working Parents