Daisy and Ismael joined GrantTree a year ago and they have really settled into their roles in delivering sterling client service and flexing their business muscles to help to determine the strategy of the company. It’s been great to see them spread their wings here, so we asked them to jot down their highlights!
On Tuesday, Ish and I high-fived (more than usual) in celebration at a year spent working at GrantTree.
In that time I’ve learnt a lot. If you’ve seen the R&D Tax Credits manual you’ll know what I mean. But aside from the obvious, there’s been some other personal realisations and developments that I can attribute to working here.
Over the last year the client manager team has changed a fair bit. Four people moved from the team into new roles which gave me space to step up and do my best to fill the shoes of experienced client managers. I’ve been trusted with big clients, complex claims and difficult situations and have learnt from them all. Five new client managers joining us helped me develop a whole new skill set around interviewing candidates – assessing their skills and working preferences to work out if they’ll flourish in the unusual GT environment. I also got involved with training in various aspects of GT work life and the client manager role, like feedback giving and my favourite task – producing amended tax computations for our clients (I know that sounds weird but it’s really sooo satisfying!).
GT Fundamentals are presentations given over lunch on a Thursday about important stuff for a successful open culture. Much theory-explaining and example-giving. I’ve found learning about Non-Violent Communication (NVC) really interesting. Obviously it’s helpful for issues at work, but just as much for outside of work too. Understanding your needs, being empathetic to those of others and communicating about them in an effective way is harder than it sounds and I appreciate the opportunity to practice it at work as well as at home.
As part of our latest pay review (in which we were all involved in designing, giving feedback, assessing and deciding) we were asked to look for roles outside of GT that we would realistically want and could get if we left tomorrow. I struggled. I enjoy my job here, not only the claim preparation and client management, but the culture and the variety of all the other things I get involved in, like recruitment, pay, the office management task force and partying. It’s a lot harder to search for companies with the kind of flexibility and attitude to work that GT has than a particular job title. I ended up listing a few roles including one at an innovations agency which I think is telling. The purpose we, as a whole company, nailed down last year in carefully thought out words – ‘We exist to enable people and businesses to fulfil their potential’ – has clearly struck a chord.
Preparing R&D Tax Credit claims for companies, many of them small and to which the money we get back is really important for growth or even survival, has sparked in me a genuine enthusiasm for helping innovation happen and gives me satisfaction at work (embodied in the ding of the ‘claim filed!’ bell.) This, the trust and freedom given to me to make decisions, work from home, take extended unpaid holiday, personal development from Fundamentals and encouragement to take on courses (like the accounting one I’m doing at the moment) make me think working here is pretty peachy.
My year at GrantTree.
I told myself the next job I want is secure and I want to be truly happy. So said – so done! This year has been inspirational and a great learning curve. From the time I came for my interview when everyone was so friendly (as if they had known me for ages), through to where I am a year down the line, it has been a great year. GrantTree is an awesome company, which allows you bring your creative juices to life. If you feel like you want to create another avenue for the business that will benefit both yourself and the company, you have the ability to do so – which you do not get in most companies! Even though the year has flashed by, working in an environment where there is a heavy focus on self-management has allowed me to grow both within my role professionally and on a personal level.
Initially, it was a steep learning curve, getting to grips with the intricacies of R&D Tax Credits. A year later, I am in full stride and have the option to get involved with different parts of the company. This year has been an amazing journey and I am looking forward to see what the second year of GrantTree will hold…