The value of the journey

Continuously under construction

24 January 2020 | Mense
Mariselle Stofberg

“So many times I focused on what I wanted to become, neglecting the process required to get there. As I matured, I realised the value of the journey.”

Growing up in the streets of Khomasdal, Rhodda Lambert was thrilled with making mud pies and leaf salads to ensure that all her cousins and friends had something to eat when they came to ‘her’ playground.

“Soon mud pies turned into activity books, then into assignments as I completed my bachelor’s degree in marketing at the then Polytechnic of Namibia,” Lambert says.

Lambert also completed a business certificate course and topped it off by learning German as an extra language.

“In my final year, I decided to be a part-time student and start the journey towards my desired career of being a marketing manager. Application upon application was my routine. I then got the offer to be a teacher, and I thought it would be an interesting, and convenient, twist to my life.”

Lambert loved working with children and being part of their ‘polishing’ process. A year went by and she became comfortable in her position, which made her forget her dream.

“As time flew I became discontent with where I was at, not because I didn’t enjoy or appreciate the occupation, but because I had to defer from convenience and move towards vision. Convenience harvests stagnation, and no one wants to be at a standstill.”

Lambert started at Pick n Pay (PnP) in 2017 as part of company’s talent-attraction programme where people fresh out of university receive on-the-job training.

“It was an awesome experience because I got to explore the majority of the O&L group. I had job rotation and I got a vast exposure to the whole O&L group,” she says.

Coming straight out of school into this corporate environment where one has to be involved in meetings and making decisions about things that one only reads about in books was quite a shock for Lambert at first, but she has never shied away from a challenge.

“I am grateful for all the opportunities in my life which came much earlier than expected. I had to overcome the fear of failure. In my first two years, this was especially hard because mistakes get made all the time. You can learn things on paper, but the execution in the real world is different. I can truly say I overcame it. I’m in a space where taking initiative is the in thing now. You have to explore new opportunities.”

Today Lambert is the customer-service officer at PnP.

“I facilitate customer-service training for all of our 22 stores. I developed the programme and train them, as well as managing our customer feedback on all platforms. I’m also involved in the execution of campaigns and competitions in our stores,” Lambert says.

“If you have happy customers, you have a happy business, happy employees, happy families and, most of all, a happy economy. If all businesses could strive towards having happy customers, the picture of Namibia’s economy would drastically improve.”

Lambert believes that what attracts people to one another is experience.

“It’s the glue holding an economy together. Serving someone is personal. If we can redirect the concept of customer service to focus more on customer experience, I think it would improve the way business is done in our nation. If you understand the expectations of customers, and know what type of experience they want, you would know how to serve them.”

Apart from thriving in her workplace, Lambert is currently learning to play the guitar.

“I love the outdoors and I’m fascinated by strange creatures. I want to be a part of helping those around me and to help them achieve their purpose. Dreams make us who we are and I love encouraging people and seeing them move forward in life,” Lambert says.

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