One of the privileges of being involved with Ministry2Business is getting to meet a lot of people doing terrific work in different sectors and workplaces.
One of the challenges I’m aware of is it’s very easy to feel isolated when it comes to living out our Christian faith at work.
So, quite simply I hope these Spotlight interviews inspire and encourage us to see we’re not alone and we’re part of the bigger story that God is telling.
Introducing: Suzanne Kelly Implementation Manager at Handelsbanken
Suzanne currently works on the AML Programme for Handelsbanken at their head office in Manchester. As an Implementation Manager her priority is to ensure businesses are ready for the changes being delivered by the programme. She has been a long term supporter of Ministry2Businessand is part of Life Church Manchester.
1. Tell us a little bit about your business story – how and why did you get into project management?
Since 2006, I have been working as a contract project manager with large companies in the financial services sector in North West. I went into the line of work when my company relocated from Manchester to Liverpool. There was an opportunity to take voluntary redundancy after working for over 20 years as an Accountant, a Direct Marketing Manager and as a Marketing lead in an integration programme with Littlewoods Shopdirect.
2. What have been some of the significant encouragements in your work over the last year?
I thought my first contract was always going to be the most difficult one to get and in some ways it was (it took 3 months) however, the reality was too good to be true I could only believe it was a God given opportunity. My first contract was at a contact centre in Widnes where I had worked in my Shopdirect days which had been part of a pre-merger sale to Littlewoods. Surprisingly, the contract did not come through my contacts but happened in such a random way it triggered my journey of faith with regard to God’s provision for my work. This experience confirmed to me our work matters to God as He takes care to place us where we can flourish.
I’ve seen God’s careful provision again over this last year where I have been under contract at Handelsbanken in Manchester. Specifically I’m working with the Financial Crime Prevention team and this contract will continue for a further 6 months. During my time at Handelsbanken I have been able to bring my change management experience to the AML Programme to help support our UK branches to implement new systems and controls for financial crime prevention.
3. Your Christian faith is an integral part of your life – how does it impact and shape your work – where have you seen God at work in your work?
My Christian faith is a key part of who I am and how I go about all aspects of my life. God has been at work placing me locally in Manchester and allowing me to grow into roles enabling me to build on skills gained in previous roles. He has provided contracts at the right time and also contract gaps at the right time. There were times when I was between contracts which meant I could support friends and family during periods of illness. Working in Manchester also meant I can be involved serving as part of the Ministry2Business team equipping me to fulfill my potential at work as well as understanding God’s plan for my work. I have discovered that God is interested in our whole life and not just where we spend our Sundays. He wants us to flourish and grow in all we do and when we bring him into our daily work lives then we bring in opportunities for Him to work in us and through us whilst we go about our work.
In particular, I found the LICC ‘Transforming Work’ course run by M2B in 2017 a valuable discipleship resource growing Christians to be a positive gospel influence in business. This helped me understand that our workplace offers opportunities to develop relationships with people so that they may meet Jesus. It was a great encouragement to join with other Christians working in Manchester and learn from each other about what it means to be a blessing to other people especially as we go about our work. The amazing reality is we go into every working day secure in His love and empowered with His Spirit.
4. Finally, if you were stranded on a desert island and could have one luxury what would it be?
It would have to be music. I cannot imagine my life without the joy of listening to, and singing along with music tracks. However, I realise that on a desert island I wouldn’t have any electricity, so I would have to learn to play the guitar again (I had music lessons as a child) and that means I could make my own music. My luxury would have to be a guitar. (Note to self: start relearning guitar as you never know when you might be are stranded without power!)