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Career in IT at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors

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In our latest staff blog, Dale Cowling in our IT team talks about joining Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors and how his career and job responsibilities have developed over the nine years at our firm.

He has demonstrated how our Values (#ClientCentred, #ContinuousImprovement, #Citizenship, #CommunityFocus) and our commitment to our #ServicePledge are embraced by us in our day to day roles and activity.

Thank you to Dale for sharing his story.

Meet Dale
Let’s start with a bit of an introduction. Hi, my name is Dale, I am 29 years old and I work for Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors (CW) in the IT Department. I started here about 8 months after finishing University. As of writing this I have been employed at Crombie Wilkinson for just over nine years and my current job title is IT Systems Support and Development.

My role covers several different areas of IT and it is my hope that in this blog I can tell you about my experiences here at CW, what my role was like when I first started, and how it has evolved into what I do today.

What was it like when I first started?
When I started at CW my position was a relatively junior role with not a lot of responsibilities. Initially it was things like keeping systems updated, new user creation and troubleshooting everyday staff issues when they were logged. I think that Tom, my manager at the time who is still my manager today, did this intentionally. He was easing me into things and starting off slow so then he could begin to build me up. I was inexperienced and not very sure of myself, so I am incredibly grateful for this.

The rest of the staff regardless of level were extremely welcoming and thankfully understanding of my initial limitations. #Citizenship

What have you learnt during your time here?
Over the years I have had learnt a lot, and Crombie Wilkinson has been instrumental in that.

When I first started, I was shy and unsure of myself. My technical knowledge was good but there is a vast difference between being taught something and the practical application of that knowledge day-to-day.

While technical knowledge it extremely useful, it is the other aspects of working that I have come to appreciate most. Dealing with multiple projects/requests at once has really pushed my task management to be better. Handling complex requests that have forced me to look at more of the bigger picture have really improved how I approach each new project/issue and granted me a greater understanding of how the different departments operate. My interpersonal skills when speaking with staff have come a long way.

During my time here I have also self-studied several different areas including VBA programming and Access Databases. There was a need for these over the years and they have become incredibly helpful for things such as report automation.

This information benefits both IT and our staff and is a vital part of #ContinuousImprovement

Most importantly, during my time here I have learned to be me. I am more confident in who I am and what I can do now than I ever was before.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis now?
My role now consists of many different responsibilities. We have daily checks that are completed to make sure the system is running as it should, backups are working and that there is nothing that will cause us any issues. #ClientCentred

I answer calls from staff if they have a query/issues. Helpdesk requests are made by staff and I pick those up. Larger project work sees me creating new ways of working or fixing issues that are not a simple resolution.

I oversee these projects through every phase including:

  • gathering requirements
  • working with the requester to develop a workable option or sometimes multiple
  • choosing then adapting the best one
  • creating it in draft to demo what it can and cannot do
  • finalising it
  • creating a full guide either as a PDF instructions document or by recording a training video
  • deployment

What are the best parts of your job?
The absolute best part of my job is that I get to do something I enjoy. I wake up each day and look forward to work. As I have not held another job I can’t attest to how it compares but I would say that I got pretty damn lucky.

Of course there are many different things that help make my job so great. I think I think if I had to choose just a few they would be:

  • The staff: As I have mentioned were great when I first started and are still great today. Working in IT at a company of this size you do get to know absolutely everyone and they get to know you. There isn’t a single member staff that I would find it difficult to strike up a conversation with while helping resolve their issue.  #Citizenship
  • The opportunities I have here: I have had a chance to touch on areas I never expected. For example the VBA programming mentioned above. I didn’t know that I would love programming so much.  #ContinuousImprovement
  • My Team: I could not ask for a better team. We are all on the same page so we can help each other out. We support each other in every way we can and thankfully we all share the same type of humour.

Did you plan to stay with CW for as long as you have and why do you think you have?
Working in the IT sector you have many different career paths. I would say its normal to move from company to company as your career progresses, especially in the early years. With each move you get to know different systems, different people, a challenge yourself in new ways that you might not have been able to elsewhere.

As for myself this was on the cards however I have found that I don’t have a reason to move on. I enjoy what I do, I am not held back where I am currently and to this day I still have things to learn/develop from the firm both personally and professionally I enjoy learning and couldn’t think of anywhere better to do it than at Crombie Wilkinson. #ContinuousImprovement  #ServicePledge