Interview with Sharon Tebb, compensation and benefits manager at Withers

Sharon Tebb was just 16 when she began her career as a junior secretary for professional services organisation KPMG, after learning to type on the government’s Youth Training Scheme.

“I marched up to KPMG with my CV and a little folder of two-line letters that I’d typed and got an interview,” she says. “It’s quite embarrassing, really; I think they felt sorry for me.”

Within 18 months, she was promoted to senior secretary and then to the newly-created role of departmental supervisor at the age of 24.

But it was not until she was assigned to work for two of KPMG’s senior partners, who looked after training and development and HR, respectively, that Tebb began to develop an interest in HR and employee benefits. “I was there for years and it was a fantastic employer with brilliant benefits, but one day I decided I didn’t want to be somewhere for too long,” she says.

An impromptu trip to a local recruitment agency resulted in Tebb joining Withers as personal assistant to the director of personnel and administration and then director of training in 1996. “I’ve been here a long time, but every year is different,” she says.