Thanks to Toolstation’s “Take the Lead” apprenticeship programme, Will May has reached his goal of becoming a Store Manager at our Fakenham branch. With a tight knit and supportive team at his side, Will takes pride in building connections with customers, and working collaboratively to deliver the best possible experience.

We sat down with Will to get the details of his Toolstation journey, and to ask how he feels he’s been supported along the way.

How did you get to where you are now?
I knew right from the outset that I wanted to be a Store Manager, and I was impressed to find there was such a clearly established path to that goal. When I first joined, it was in a Supervisor role, which was a good level to be at while I completed Toolstation’s “Take the Lead” apprenticeship programme. I had previous management experience, but it was a great opportunity to get a feel for how the business worked. I learned a lot on that course, and felt very supported, so I was ready to step into the Store Manager position as soon as it became available.

What does your role involve day-to-day?
Everything from dealing with issues from colleagues and customers, to building relationships with customers and reps, to making sure the environment is safe and workable. It covers all aspects of management, including making plans to hit targets and training staff to improve output and help them progress in their roles. It’s important to hold team meetings so we can all stay up to date on performance and changes, as well as making time for regular one-on-one reviews so we can figure out and facilitate each individual’s personal goals.

How has Toolstation supported your development?
I did the “Take the Lead” apprenticeship to prepare me for branch management, but there are so many other opportunities to build your knowledge and skills. Whether through apprenticeships, qualifications, courses, secondments and more. Also, the people I work with are all really great and supportive, especially my team in Fakenham.

How has that team dynamic helped you in your role?
It feels important because have great relationships with each other and with the customers too. To give you an example - recently we happened to be short staffed while dealing with a challenging project with MLT, but the team really pulled together to make it work. Our individual strengths harmonised to create a cohesive unit, and colleagues consistently demonstrated their care by offering assistance and encouragement. The synergy highlighted our collective power, and definitely left a lasting impression of resilience and mutual support upon the team. It’s amazing to have that positive atmosphere as a group, even in high pressure situations.

What have you enjoyed most about your role so far?
I really enjoy building relationships with our customers, and I’m grateful that as a manager, I still get opportunities to be people-facing and I’m not just shut away in a back office all day. I’d have to say that helping staff progress has been a highlight for me too. Toolstation is a growing company with so many great opportunities to further your career. The variety of courses is very impressive and it feels rewarding to find the right path for someone in my team to start moving down.

Start your journey today
If you want to work with a team that supports you to grow, and gives you chances to develop and progress in your career, we might have something for you. Browse our jobs and apply today.