Meet Linda Cooper the unsung Hero in our Utility People Office. Linda is the glue in our office that keeps everything together. She also has a wealth of experience we could all learn from. Linda is also the definition of ‘age is just a number’ 21 years young at heart, Hey Linda!
Who are you?
I’m Linda Cooper, 62 year’s old, married with 2 children and one 4 year old grandson. Next year I will be celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary. Omg think I’m officially ancient!
What do you do:
I’m PA to the MD, Angela Peart. I manage Angela’s diary and also give secretarial support to three other senior managers in the business. I also lend myself to general admin support to the rest of the team so I guess you could say I’m the ‘Office Minder’!
I was brought up in the RAF which meant moving home every 2 years. I was an only child, so I had to be tough when starting new schools, being the newbie, which invariably meant being the one to be picked on but it was good grounding in life learning to stand up for yourself and not be intimidated by the thought of meeting new people and socialising.
After leaving main school, I attended a 2 Year FT Business Studies course at college in Watford, which included qualifying in shorthand (handy when nobody else can read your notes so no problem leaving them lying around!)
My career starting off as a Junior Secretary at Flymo progressing over the years to Senior PA at HSBC working in Canary Wharf.
What does your average day look like:
Managing MD’s diary ensuring she is where she should be and on track! It’s certainly a constant juggling act trying to fit in meetings with the many people Angela wants to see and co-ordinating where!
Monitor the internal diary to ensure we have sufficient office cover.
Process the job applications received on the website, sending responses and updating our database with new CVs and notes.
General administration which can come in any form from typing up new documents to ordering stationery or being the social secretary!
What led you to the utilities industry
Following redundancy I started as a temp administrator at Utility People. That was 5 years ago, so never quite got away!
What are the values that drive you:
I’m a great believer in ‘respect’, being respectful gains respect. Treat people as you would wish to be treated yourself.
What do you do when you’re not working
Holidaying, reading, walking the dog, caravanning, spending time with grandson.
What/Who inspires you
I would have struggled with this question up until very recently. It would have to be my Boss Angela. She wrote a chapter in a book which has been published in the last few weeks, entitled ‘When She Rises”, the title explains it all. She has my total admiration for overcoming personal adversity and battling cancer along the way to end up where she is now, the boss of a leading recruitment agency in the Utility industry and alongside being the founder of WUN. This book is made up of stories from other remarkable, inspirational women which truly is worth reading. It is very humbling.
What is one lesson you have learnt in your career
There’s always a solution to a problem so don’t panic!
What advice would you give to other women in the industry
Be yourself, act confidently (even if you don’t feel it inside) and try not to be intimidated by senior titles. Remember we are all just human beings at the end of the day.
In your experience what can businesses do to attract and retail female talent?
Be flexible in working patterns and open minded to proposals