Gillian Robson, independent business owner, is from Winlaton Mill in Tyne and Wear and has been a qualified Arise agent for the past five years.
- Which clients do you service and what is your independent business called?
I currently work on the Warranty Client account via my Independent Business, Start Right Virtual Solutions Ltd.
- What was your former career, if any, prior to becoming an Arise agent?
I used to work as a Receptionist/Admin Assistant.
- How did you end up in a position where you needed to search for new employment? E.g. redundancy, family issues or commitments, illness. Please expand as much as you feel comfortable.
I was taken ill with high blood pressure and had, according to my nurse, suffered two minor heart attacks of which I had no idea. It’s when something like that happens to you that you take a step back and re-evaluate both your personal and work lives. For me, it was making the decision that working from home would be the best option for both my health and financial needs.
- Why did working from home appeal to you / suit you?
I had 2 young children to take care of and had also been through a divorce. Alongside my poor health, Arise was the answer to all my prayers – I could chose the hours I wanted to do so if I didn’t feel like working or wasn’t well enough at that time, I didn’t need to work. I could be flexible in which hours of the day I chose to be operational.
- Why did you decide to partner with Arise by becoming an independent business owner rather than work through someone else’s business?
When I started working with Arise I didn’t decide right away; I looked at what was available within the Independent Business network and realised that I could do this and do it well. I wanted to assist people to experience the choice & freedom that I had experienced, offering support to any one of the other Client Support Professionals (CSP) – should they wish to branch out then I would be there to assist them. I just believe knowledge is of no use unless you are happy to share it with others.
- Do you miss the interaction with other people that a traditional office setting would provide?
Oh no not at all, I never have. Working from home you can still have a coffee and a chat during a break; it’s just in the comfort of your own home using the phone. You’re speaking to people you really do like and are not just using office protocol and being polite. I don’t recall in previous jobs on a warm sunny day being able to finish work, take a coffee and go and sit in the garden with people who have become a big part of my everyday life.
- What appealed to you most about Arise over other work at home providers?
It all came down to word of mouth; I have a great friend who lives in the USA and when I asked him if he had heard of Arise, he advised me that if they were looking to move into the UK as a business, then I really should think about getting on board. That was all I needed really – a recommendation from someone you trust is the best advert for any business.
- How has working for Arise impacted on your life?
In one word, great! My health is much better and I love the work I do but the best part of it all is the people I work with – from the CSP’s right up to the CRM’s and above I have fantastic support from them all.
- If you hadn’t signed up to become an Arise agent, what do you think you would be doing now?
To be completely honest, my health being what it was, I would say I probably wouldn’t be here telling you my story about Arise.
- With Arise EMEA seeking over 700 new agents in 2014 alone, what would you say to anyone else considering work from home opportunities but unsure about what to expect?
Arise has a fantastic support network and there is only good things to be gained and new things to be learned. The only silly question is usually the one you don’t ask! I would advise anyone who is looking to jump on board to do so because Arise UK is going places and they are here to stay. Get on board, join us and enjoy the ride along the way.