For Sarah Sa’u, Royal Wolf’s Branch Manager at Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island, sitting still isn’t an option.
By her own admission, “I don’t ever want to be in a position where I know everything. I always want to be learning something new and challenging myself.”
With a background in sales, sports and recreation and corrections, Royal Wolf wasn’t necessarily the next step on her career path that Sarah imagined, but one she couldn’t now imagine having turned out any other way.
“I had always seen containers around, and when I saw the Royal Wolf job advertised I thought, “Why not?” It was something different. I had no knowledge of containers – I didn’t know there were different containers, I thought a container was a container – but I really wanted to give it a go,” says Sarah.
Sarah first joined Royal Wolf three years ago as a Customer Support Officer, working across all online enquiries for New Zealand and Australia.
“That position gave me the chance to learn all about the products and system – I was hooked from then. It taught me what Royal Wolf can do for customers and how we can help,” says Sarah.
“I then moved into a Sales Executive role, and that was awesome. After a year, the Whangarei Branch Manager role became available and I jumped at the opportunity.”
What does a typical day look like for Sarah? There’s simply no such thing.
“You can never plan your day in this role – they’re never the same,” she says.
A day could be anything from managing customer projects, speaking with customers who need containers urgently, ordering stock and ensuring sufficient stock levels at the branch, managing workflow, ensuring all enquiries are responded to and liaising with stakeholders.
“I used to have notebooks and I was churning through them like crazy. Now, I have Post-it notes everywhere. I write everything down and colour code all the enquiries depending on the priority level. Green is for go!” says Sarah with a laugh.
When Sarah reflects on her journey to date, she can’t go past securing her current role.
“My biggest achievement would be coming into this Branch Manager role,” she says. “I haven’t been in a management position previously and thought I needed to be highly qualified, but I learnt the ropes when I entered the business to lay the foundation for everything I know today.
“I think you’re always going to face challenges in your role, regardless of whether you’re a male or female. In this industry, it’s no different. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with customers, helping them and solving their problems.”
To any woman looking into the Royal Wolf business and questioning if it’s right for them, Sarah is all for taking the leap and not looking back.
“If you’re thinking about the industry or have any interest in it, definitely give it a go,” recommends Sarah. “At the end of the day, it’s a customer-based industry. Everyone works to provide a high-level of service, finding a solution to meet and exceed our customers’ needs – that’s what we do.”