From HR Assistant to Manager in just 6 years: Aldi’s Courtney Winstanley shares her secrets to career success

Courtney WinstanleySince joining Aldi in January 2015 as a HR Assistant, Courtney Winstanley has climbed the career ladder by completing a HR qualification, gaining valuable skills, and honing her strategic thinking.

Courtney’s relentless work ethic has proved fruitful, seeing her progress to HR Manager in a mere six years – no mean feat.

Having initially changed her working hours to accommodate time to attend university lectures for her HR qualification, Courtney soon developed her strategic thinking and was promoted to HR Analyst. In 2020, Courtney was then promoted to HR team leader- looking after a team of four assistants and taking her first foray into people management. By2021, she made the move to HR Manager, taking on even more responsibility and guiding her team with their own goals and ambitions.

So, with her background in HR and her own experiences in mind, what are her tips for people looking to progress in their careers?

  1. The worst thing to do is nothing

“This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. I think it demonstrates that it’s ok that sometimes you might not know the answer immediately, or you might not get it right first time but it’s better than not doing something with a piece of work. This alone has definitely helped me develop my problem-solving skills. It’s all about thinking outside the box and putting yourself out there.”

  1. Be present in the moment

“I spent so much of my younger career days always thinking about the many tasks that I was yet to do, and all this did was take my thoughts away from the present moment. I find now as I’ve matured in my role that being truly focused on the task at hand generates a much stronger output.”

  1. Empower your team

“For leadership roles, it is so important to empower your team. I’m very open about how without my team I couldn’t achieve half of what I do each day – this isn’t a sign of weak leadership, but more acknowledgement that I trust their knowledge, expertise and passion for what they do. In return I find that I have better working relationships and credibility with my team.”

  1. Embrace your differences and celebrate your similarities

“One of the reasons I love working at Aldi so much is working with like-minded people. Everyone is different in their own unique way and brings something different to the team, but ultimately there’s a unity and commitment that we’re all working towards the same goals. I think career success is about not always knowing the answer but being focused on delivering the solution instead and using skills such as networking and strategic thinking to get the job done.”

In the future, Courtney is looking forward to continuing to develop her career and push herself out of her comfort zone.

“I’m very ambitious and always have been, but equally love to become a high performer in any role that I’m in before exploring the next step. In the (almost) 8 years I’ve worked for Aldi I’ve progressed through four levels from Assistant through to Manager and have embraced each role as much as possible. Looking forward specifically, I know my passion lies in HR and recruitment management specifically so any opportunities where I’m able to expand on this would be brilliant.”

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