Interview with Sara Clark

Commercial Guard at South West Trains

What does your role consist of and what is a typical day?

I am a commercial guard, so my main priority is always the safety of the train and the passengers travelling with me. A typical day would involve excellent customer service for our diverse range of passengers. But, there is no such thing as a typical day on the railway, which is all part of its charm. Every day is unique even when working the same shift for a few days in a row.

How do you balance home and work life and what advice would you give to other women?

Balancing home and work can become difficult at times as I work shifts. I have a lot of hobbies and activities that I enjoy away from work and ensure that these take priority when I am off duty. Shift work has given me a thorough understanding of the importance of making time for me!

In your career, what is the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Learning to adapt in such a fast paced environment: the railway can change in a split second. The ability to adapt your behaviour, make effective decisions promptly and take control is essential. This was a little daunting to begin with, especially given the volume of people I deal with. However with some experience this has become second nature to me now.

In your opinion, what is the recipe for success?

A large scoop of pride in what you do! Embrace each new challenge, enjoy your journey and aim as high as you desire.

What advice would you give to young women working in rail?

My advice to other young women in the rail industry would be to aim high and never feel that you are unable to achieve or progress. The industry is highly diverse and the roles cater to all skill sets and abilities. There really is no end to the learning opportunities and progression available.

 

Interviewed August 2016