This International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate by speaking to women who work at Registers of Scotland who are in roles you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a land registry – from solicitors, to GIS analysts, to customer service professionals our organisation has a wealth of talent, and we want to tell you about it! Meet Isla…
‘I get enormous satisfaction out of delivering a good and fair outcome for customers and colleagues.’
My name is Isla MacLeod and I’m Head of Customer Experience at RoS. It’s a well-balanced job that keeps evolving as we change the way that we provide customer service and support. I lead a large team charged with delivering services that provide excellent customer experience, and tackle any barriers that customers (citizens and professionals) may encounter. Whilst professionally I want us to receive no complaints, these are often the most fascinating problems to unpick. I get enormous satisfaction out of delivering a good and fair outcome for customers and colleagues.
‘The latest addition to my role is identifying our future customers. I’m just starting that fascinating piece of work now.‘
I love change, and whilst there’s been a lot in my career, it’s because developing in one role has allowed me to jump to the next. I suppose my career started in my teens as a golf club waitress – I learnt many vital workplace skills doing this! During my time as a student I had several different jobs; cash collection, selling Christmas hampers, a stint as an Edinburgh tour guide and a bar manager, before graduating with a history and then a heritage degree. My research for my postgrad led to the offer of a manager role at Traquair House and Brewery and then on to the Isle of Arran to help set up visitor services at a new whisky distillery.
Over my protracted student years I did a lot of voluntary work for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) – everything from abseiling down gorges to remove non-native trees, building mountain footpaths in hail storms and researching historic architects. That volunteering helped me to get a paid job with them as a museum manager. My zest for events and education got me my next post with the NTS as a Public Relations Officer and then on to government communications with Historic Environment Scotland. I moved to RoS to work in communications, latterly heading up the team before moving across to reacquaint myself more directly with the customer service – a thread that’s run throughout my career.
‘There will always be times where you don’t perform as well as you can or had hoped you would.’
One of the real highlights of my career was when I got the post as property manager with the NTS. I was the youngest ever appointed by quite some margin although this was quite some time ago! One of the more recent highlights at Registers of Scotland was my involvement in our 400th anniversary project, celebrating four centuries of the General Register of Sasines (the world’s oldest national land register). Delivering a lecture to some of my old history professors at the Royal Society of Antiquities certainly felt like an achievement!
I attended a RoS leadership course and as part of her welcome talk Janet Egdell, our Operations Director and Accountable Officer, said something that has really stuck with me and I wish that I had realised sooner in my career: ‘Do not let your job define you’. There will always be times where you don’t perform as well as you can or had hoped you would, but true career resilience is about putting things in perspective.