Written by Trainee Funeral Director, Steven Long:
Have you ever been interested in a career in the funeral industry? I know it’s not for everyone, but it can be really rewarding – and I wanted to share my story with you today ahead of the Good Funeral Awards tomorrow…For more than twenty years, I was a Financial Advisor, committed to helping people invest their savings and provision for their retirement and the end of their lives. After two-decades in the finance industry, in 2017, I decided I needed a career change. A new challenge was calling and I felt I had much more to give. While I was contemplating my next move, I saw an Operative job advertised with Coles Funeral Directors. Intrigued by the opportunity to join a local award-winning business, I attended the interview in June 2017 and was delighted to accept the job, keen to learn more about the funeral industry, a brand new field of study for me. I quickly understood that the importance of listening to people, attention to detail, and carefully respecting their wishes were all as vital in this industry as they were in the world of financial advising. Within a few short months I was offered a fantastic opportunity to train as Funeral Director and I haven’t looked back.
My thorough training programme started on 1stOctober 2017 and is due to complete on 30thSeptember 2018. This has included rigorous, weekly training sessions in how to:
- Support bereaved families from the moment they get in touch, through the arrangement process and beyond.
- Take care of the deceased according to their religious/specific requirements.
- Arrange a funeral that perfectly reflects the life of the deceased and their family’s wishes.
- Make funeral arrangements, drive hearses and respectfully lead funeral processions.
- Conduct a funeral with military-precision and ensure everything goes smoothly on the day.
- Provide after-care to families following the funeral to ensure their needs have been met.
Training ‘The Coles Way’ means meeting impeccably high standards, needing a thorough understanding of the industry, and committing to continuous improvement – and I am pleased to say I have had good reports in all areas for taking on the tasks and challenges I have been presented with.
I have particularly enjoyed building relationships with the families we serve – going the extra mile to reassure them that their loved one will be looked after as if they were one of my own family. To have been nominated by the families I serve is such a privilege for Trainee Funeral Director of the Year – and reward in itself for all the hard work I’ve put in over the last year.
Whilst I am looking forward to completing my Training later this year, I know I still have a lot to learn and will continue to apply myself to studying the industry and the Coles business. I am so proud to be part of this passionate team that deliver a ‘second-to-none’ service whilst always focussing on new ideas which are driving the industry, particularly here in Wales, to another level.
I am also very grateful to Coles for the quality of training I have received to further my career in the funeral industry which has led to this opportunity and me being considered for Trainee Funeral Director of the Year. I genuinely love my job and am here to stay, with aspirations for the future to continue to progress within the company as it grows from strength to strength.
If you’re thinking of a career in the funeral industry and you’d like to ask me any questions about my training and experiences – I’d be only too happy to have a chat so please don’t hesitate to drop me a line…