Danielle Burton

I joined the Railway as a member of the Social Media Team.

I had just completed my Masters Degree in History from the University of London and was at a loss of what to do or where to go next. Graduate unemployment was at an all-time high and I was feeling extremely despondent with the lack of opportunities out there. I applied for an internship with a celebrity boxer as a Social Media Manager and was very lucky to be successful. I was exposed to fantastic experiences in a fast paced, highly pressurised role where every single day was different and I loved it. However, the hours were long, the job offered no long-term security and I felt I was increasingly isolated from my family and friends due to always being on-call. When my contract came up for renewal, I decided it was time for a change but had no clue where to even start, and I definitely hadn’t even considered a railway career. It was only when I saw an advert for a social media advisor based at Three Bridges that this became a reality, and I was pleased to be offered an agency position. I loved the environment in Control; it offered me the fast-paced, ever-changing dynamic that I craved but with all the stability and progression opportunities that the Railway offers. I quickly realised that my future was here; I was surrounded by ambitious, hard working individuals who had really thrived and suddenly new doors were opened for me.

Since then, I have had roles as a Station Control Manager, a Senior Station Control Manager and now in my current role as a Training and Development Manager. I have been supported by my peers and my managers, and believe it shows that the Railway isn’t as fixed as it may be perceived to be. If you work hard and push yourself, you can achieve whatever you set your heart on, and I am so passionate about exposing our business to the millions of young people who would never even consider the Railway as a career path. This led me to co-chair our newly established Women’s Network Group. There are so many opportunities for progression and self-development and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled into such a dynamic and exciting industry. My railway career has changed my life; I have a job I love, surrounded everyday by colleagues I count as friends, and have just bought my first house, simply because I started a career in the railway. I am fortunate to have met so many amazing fantastic people from all over the network, and especially lucky to have been involved in the Women’s Network Group. It has brought women from all over the country together to support each other, empower each other and contribute to the changing dynamic of our industry. This really is a time for a new ‘Rail Way’ and it’s an exciting time for anyone in our business.

In my current role, I have led the delivery of a Continuous Improvement and Culture Change Programme; Emerald. This has been both my biggest challenge and greatest opportunity in my career to date. I have worked to make lasting change at every stage of the employee lifecycle, and to create a more inclusive and forward-thinking working environment. I most recently was awarded my chartered membership of the CIPD, which was the next step in my career. I am looking forward to using this in my future and expanding my horizons.