Meet Stanley - he bounced back from redundancy and is thriving at the FSCS
Age-friendly Employer: FSCS
Current role: Default Specialist - Deposits Lead
Age at time of interview: 60
Time at FSCS: 3 years, 8 months
With a career that spans fast food, the Department of Employment and BUPA, Stanley brings a wealth of experience to his role at the FSCS. Always up for learning new skills, Stanley defies ageist stereotypes at every turn. He loves being part of the FSCS family and appreciates its exceptional commitment to diversity.
I’m part of the Default Team. We work in the background to make sure that people’s money is protected if something goes wrong with their bank or building society.
From Malaysia to Essex, and fast food to BUPA
Having grown up in Malaysia, I came to the UK to take my A levels and then studied Economics at the University of Essex, Colchester.
My first jobs were in the fast food restaurant trade, where I became a manager however it was very labour intensive. It’s easy to get trapped in that world, but I took a risk and made a career change, moving into the civil service to work for the Department of Employment.
Having been there for three years, I found a job at BUPA, where I stayed for almost 22 years. It was such an interesting place to work, and I gained all kinds of leadership and management skills there.
Eventually, I was faced with compulsory redundancy. At the time, it felt like a disaster and it was difficult to be positive at first. I started applying for jobs but kept hearing nothing back. But my response rate increased as soon as I removed my age from my CV!
Scrap the ‘date of birth’ box
If organisations really want to reap the benefits of older workers’ experience, they shouldn’t ask you your age at all. They should look at the skill sets they need, match them against what applicants can offer, and employ people for what they can bring, not how old they are. They have to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that someone can’t do something because of their age. How do they know? You have to give people a chance to prove themselves, rather than rely on out-dated stereotypical attitudes.
Older workers bring tons of experience and skills that companies would have to buy in or train to achieve otherwise. Knowledge is not acquired in a day; it takes time. So I think it’s foolish not to tap into the resource that older workers represent.
A fresh attitude to diversity at the FSCS
The FSCS was very different in that sense. I was initially attracted to the organisation because I felt they were helping people, which was similar to BUPA. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that BUPA and the FSCS have many of the same values.
More than that, though, it was the way they treated people. The FSCS doesn’t discriminate and it’s very open to diversity, whether that’s age, gender or race. The organisation encourages and promotes people of all kinds and it’s incredible from that point of view.
Flexible working at the FSCS means that I’ll be able to work from home one day a week, which will make a huge difference. It means that the FSCS will get more of me because I can start work sooner, rather than spending four hours a day travelling.
I’ll also be taking one day off a week to do what I want, which gives me a real chance to achieve work/life balance.
As far as my career path is concerned, given the flexible working and one day off a week, I can continue working with the FSCS for a lot longer than I might have otherwise. So instead of seeking retirement, I can prolong my career with the FSCS. This means I can continue to enjoy the company of my colleagues and also hopefully give something back to them. I particularly hope to be able to help new employees to settle in and join the FSCS family.
What's Great About The FSCS?
There’s a real family atmosphere
When people ask me what it’s like working for the FSCS, I always say, “It’s like a family.” There are only 200 members of staff, which is a good number, and it’s very welcoming to newcomers. There’s a good mix of people who are young and people who are old, and everything in between, and the organisation looks after you.
Age is no barrier
The FSCS doesn’t discriminate in any sense and it’s especially not worried about age. You know that you can go for a job and no one will say you’re too old. It’s all about what you bring and whether you can do the job, and that’s brilliant. The FSCS never stops you from progressing if you want to.
Flexible working makes all the difference
The ability to work flexibly at the FSCS is fantastic news for me because I spend two hours travelling each way. That’s a four-hour journey every day. So flexible working is tremendous and enables me to have a better work/life balance. The FSCS is quite progressive in that manner, and long may that continue!
“If anyone says to me what’s the FSCS like to work for, I will always say to them, ‘it’s a family’”
Default Specialist - Deposit Lead, FSCS
Stanley's career journey
Stanley's advice to others
Don’t stereotype yourself
The opportunities are out there for older people, but you won’t see them if you box yourself into a stereotype and believe you’re too old to do something new. It’s nonsense. You can if you want to. You just have to give yourself a chance, ignore the preconceptions and seize opportunities. It’s up to you to develop a different attitude and break out of the stereotype. If you don’t try different things, life is boring!
Be prepared for the interview process
When you’re applying for a role, it’s really important to be mindful of the process and find out as much as you can about what it will involve. Use books and websites to practise the assessment questions and get your brain in gear. Make sure your literacy and numerical skills are honed, and brush up on your interviewing skills too. Practise by getting a friend to ask you questions about your experience and why you’re right for the role.
Research your potential employer
It’s vital to thoroughly research a company before you go to an interview. This is a basic requirement. If you’re not interested enough in the company to do some homework, why are you applying for the job? Before my FSCS interview, I read everything on their website to understand what they do, where they fit into the financial world and where their funding comes from.
Badminton, walking, reading, and writing a children’s book if he was to take a sabbatical
Just some of Stanley’s interests and side hustles
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