When Comfort Tshisikule was growing up under the nurturing eye of her grandmother, an early rule was established: only Cremora was used in their tea at home. “It taught me something about loyalty,” Comfort says. “I didn’t even know about Nestlé or brand loyalty, but I knew about sticking with something.”
Comfort joined the two-year Nestlé graduate trainee programme after completing her Honours in Industrial Psychology. She then worked as an HR Generalist for three years at the Nestlé Babelegi factory, after which she was transferred to Head Office as HR Generalist for Technical and Production.
Five and a half years after starting at Nestlé, Comfort was appointed as the Education and Training Specialist. “My time as a generalist was incredibly valuable because it exposed me to almost every HR area; and it helped me understand the big picture of the business,” she says.
Comfort acknowledges the role her line manager played in her career path by recognising her passion for developing people. “We are encouraged to take charge of our own careers but you can be sure that you will receive advice and the tools you need to get where you want to go,” she says. “Nurturing talent is extremely inspiring. I love seeing people grow into their full potential.”
Comfort explains that Nestlé is really like one large family.
“We are given the space to manage our time so that we can accommodate our personal needs, as long as we reach our goals. I travel a lot to the different factories, but my line manager and I are able to sit down and plan my trips so that I can still have a balanced personal life.”
After seven years, Comfort says, she can look back and see how her colleagues and leaders have grown personally and professionally. “It is wonderful seeing that our leaders are true to their own development in the way they share their experience and learnings freely.”
She shares one of the best pieces of advice given to her by a leader when she first started at Nestlé. “A director pointed out that it is up to us to make our work what we want it to be,” she explains. “At Nestlé, you have the freedom to create a happy place so that you can love what you do.”
“It is important to remember, however, to bring your A-game. Ask questions. Interact. Add a good dose of humility, respect and resilience and you will be on your way to a great career at Nestlé.”