People Talent General Retail

Ben's career story

We caught up with one of our Area Managers, Ben, to find out more about his career story and how he's got to where he is today.


How long have you worked for William Hill?

12 years.


Tell us about your background?

I started at William Hill after leaving college and not really knowing what I wanted to do. My mum was a Shop Manager at William Hill and had done a number of secondments as a District Operations Manager, so I knew a little bit about betting.


I took the job as it offered varied shifts and paid for me to run a car, but I never planned for it to be a career. I started in my first Deputy Manager position in a shop in Bury, Manchester. It was an hour’s drive but I always saw it as an opportunity to develop. I learnt a lot by pushing myself out of my comfort zone.


From here I went on to be a Shop Manager in Middleton in a shop called Old Cock. This was where my career really took off.


My next move was a transfer into a development shop in City Centre Manchester. The shop had been open for a year but had mixed results, so I saw it as an opportunity to really make a difference in a shop that well and truly had the spotlight on it. I developed my management skills and had some great successes in Spinningfields.


I then moved on to be a Grade 1 Manager in a shop in Longsight where I worked for a number of years. It was a challenging shop that never failed to throw up the unexpected. I then successfully applied for a place on the Taking the Lead course.


I’m a strong believer in giving it my all and seizing any opportunity that I get. I was on the course for a year, working in a team with some great people.


It was such an important part of my career as it gave me the opportunity to move on to be a District Operations Manager (this is an old role within Retail).


I started my role as a District Operations Manager (DOM) back in January 2016 in Stockport. It was an unbelievable experience.


I did the role for a year before moving on to be an Area Manager over in Sheffield, working with Paul as my RM. And that is where I am currently, working with a fantastic team of Business Performance Managers.


What have been the pivotal moments in your career?


My two stand out moments were having the opportunity to work with Paul O'Brien as he taught me so much. I’m forever indebted to Paul for the amount of time and the number of opportunities that he presented to me.

The second turning point was the chance to learn and meet new people on the Taking the Lead course. I learnt so much more about myself and met people that have helped my career later on down the line.


What’s helped you to get to where you are today?


I love to learn and seize every opportunity that is presented to me. I’m naturally ambitious and want to improve and do better.


What’s been the hardest thing/most challenging obstacle you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?


One of the toughest things I’ve faced is taking a new role in a new area where I don’t really know anyone or even the geography. It’s important to keep your network of people close and to be open about your challenges. The commuting has been a challenge but I’ve managed to find things to do to make the most of my time and balance my working calendar with working local when possible (such as admin days).


What inspires/drives you about your current role in William Hill?


I’m inspired by the desire to make things better. I always want to improve and want to be a part of making people’s lives better. Quite often it is the small things that impact people the most and it is the passion to improve things that drives me forward.


Why is WH a great place to work?


It is the people at William Hill that make it such a great place to work. It has its challenges at times but there are always amazing people around you ready to pick you up and help you along. I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing people throughout my career that have always been willing to help and pass on their knowledge. People are more than just colleagues at William Hill, they are family.