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In this edition, Bhavisha Tailor tells us all about her Career Switch from working with brokers to becoming a professional problem-solver in one of AXA’s biggest transformation projects.
What is your job role at AXA, and how long have you been here?
I’m a Subject Matter Expert in our Blueprint transformation programme and I’ve been at AXA for over 16 years.
What do you do in your role?
I provide expertise on key decisions required on the programme. I'm currently leading on pricing optimisation and supporting the team building our policy administration system. I take ownership of problems and see them through to their conclusion, as well as supporting stakeholders to ensure what we do is understood by the business. I work with a wide range of networks such as the programme team, business leads, IT architecture and more. My involvement is really varied, so no day is ever the same!
Tell us your career background up to the point of your career switch.
It’s the age-old saying — I fell into insurance! I worked in a few roles at AXA, including Commercial Underwriting and Claims Relationship Management. In my early 30s, I became unwell and was diagnosed with a number of autoimmune conditions. It became difficult to keep up with the travel and the fast-paced nature of broker-facing roles, and I had to come to terms with the harsh reality that I wasn’t able to continue working effectively in my current job anymore. In December 2019, I saw a vacancy in the Change Team which was closer to where I lived, so it was much more manageable for me. I applied for the role and got the job.
What was the process for switching your career?
I enquired about the Change Team because I already knew a couple of members of the team. I looked through the role profile to make sure I had the right skills and to understand where the gaps were (because no one ever ticks every box!). When I applied, I knew that my technical knowledge of Change was limited, so I made sure to show that I had the right behaviours and a passion for learning. I got a role as a Scrum Master which gave me insight into large-scale transformation. During this time, I learned a lot of agile basics and even completed a certification. My current role as Subject Matter Expert came about due to my knowledge of the business and network.
Did you feel supported by your colleagues and managers?
It was hard to navigate a change of career and health battles, but I’ve felt supported by my colleagues and managers throughout the process, and I’ve been given the autonomy to do what’s right for me. I can bring my whole self to work knowing I work with colleagues who understand me and encourage me to be open about how I’m feeling. My manager is my biggest cheerleader — she has really helped me with my confidence.
What is the value of a company offering career flexibility?
It’s one of the best things about working at AXA — you’re allowed to be curious and nosy about all areas of the business! You’re always encouraged to focus on your learning and development — it’s built into our ethos. There’s so much support available, from mentorships, coaching, LinkedIn Learning and a lot more.
Now that you're in your role, what most excites you about the future?
I'm excited about being part of the transformation journey as we continue to evolve alongside our strategy. I'm also a huge advocate for inclusion and belonging and the strides we're making in this business so that everyone can thrive.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking about switching roles?
If there’s an area or a role you’re curious about, ask about it! Venturing a little out of your depth might be exactly what you need as an opportunity for growth!