Letter to My Younger Self: Kirsty Morris

Kirsty Morris took on her first Barclays role as a teenager with a temporary job at a Barclaycard call centre. Now, more than 20 years later, the Head of Customer Experience and Market Development tells her younger self what she’ll learn about leadership and navigating her career.

Writing to you now feels odd because I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. But believe me when I say, so many incredible things lie ahead for you.

Don’t worry about deciding not to go to university or not being as ‘educated’ as others around you – your experiences will give you something unique to offer.

You decide not to go to university to avoid racking up debt and asking too much of your parents – and choose to join Barclays as a temp. Some of your decisions might seem inconsequential at the time, but you’ll be grateful that you made them. You’ll quickly realise where hard work can take you – even when it sometimes feels like it won’t pay off.

Kirsty Morris as a young adult with her parents.

Kirsty says her experiences have given her “something unique to offer”.

The relationships and friendships that you build will guide you through all sorts of work and personal challenges. You will meet incredible people who will inspire you every day, and you’ll have the chance to work with many brilliant leaders who will help shape you into to a pretty decent leader yourself. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you know it all, because you never will. Be patient, stay humble and work hard. Respect everyone around you and what they bring to the table.

Your wonderful husband Adrian will defy the norm by putting you and your career first. By caring for your three incredible children full-time, he will enable you to progress your career beyond anything you can possibly imagine now.

You’ll somehow manage to work for a bank and still attend sports day, the nativity play, school pick-ups, football games and theatre school (your kids will be a busy and energetic lot!) because Barclays will support you – and you’ll always be grateful for that.

Kirsty Morris at age 19.

Kirsty advises her younger self to “be patient, stay humble and work hard.”

When you take maternity leave – not once, but three times! – don’t panic about the time away from work. Cherish it. You’ll find that a few more years spent building your career is a small price to pay for the beauty of being a mother.

And remember, most of all, that what you do paves the way for not only your own daughters, but for other women who will take a similar journey in the future. At times, it won’t be easy. But remain true to yourself, and always think about what you will one day leave behind.

In everything you do, try to leave things better than you found them.


Need to know

Kirsty Morris is the Head of Customer Experience and Market Development. She joined Barclays as a teenager more than 20 years ago, on a temporary contract at a call centre, before starting her permanent career with the bank in sales support for a large corporate client. She later became the first female sales director of Barclays Payment Solutions – one of three leadership positions she has now held at the bank. More recently, she has become involved in Win and Barclays Working Families employee resource groups, to help support colleagues who combine work with caring responsibilities.