I didn’t realise it at the time, but my part-time job selling trainers at JJB Sports was to be my introduction into sales management. I was responsible for their little shoe department and ran incentives for our staff, so I guess that put me in a good position for what my future had in store for me.
I left JJB Sports to go to university and studied sports journalism, which was good fun. It’s made me a stickler for grammar and inquisitive about interesting people and their stories. I always knew that I wanted to live and work in London when I left university. Journalism is a very competitive career where the more mobile you are the better, which I wasn’t interested in being at the time. So, I had to rethink my plan.
I came across a job advert at Client Server which was local and in sales so I thought why not give it a go. I remember my interview went on for hours - it was like I was interviewing for a hedge fund but without the salary! I liked the fact that there was only 15 people at the time so it had a nice start-up environment and there was room to progress. Apart from my short stint in retail this was my first real job.
I can’t say I’m a tech person in the slightest. I’m not a gamer, I don’t have the latest phones but technology has always fascinated me. I never knew that I would enjoy the art of conversation so much, but speaking to technologists on a daily basis really sparks my interest because of what I can learn. I really enjoy understanding the complexity of the work they do, like the fact that a C++ developer can build an entire game, on a disc, that never stops, pauses or breaks. I like to think of myself as an intelligent guy but I still can’t comprehend how the code I’ve seen on a screen equates to FIFA, or Grand Theft Auto! I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be interested in the work that technologists do.
My plan was to never settle at being a recruiter and as I’ve progressed I count myself lucky to still really be able to make a difference. I get to implement new processes to ensure that our clients are comfortable with the service that we provide, and although the buzz of making a placement is a distant memory, what I do really enjoy is seeing the business achieve our goals and helping people around me progress.
I guess that’s why I’ve stayed for ten years. Client Server has allowed me to keep on growing and develop as a person, maybe into leadership a little too early, but even so always pushing me to do more and given me the support I needed. I also really believe in the service we provide, otherwise I would have left by now. Put simply, I’m yet to come across a company that places the same level of importance in doing this job properly as we do, and it’s not something we ever want to compromise on.
However, work aside I have to say that my greatest achievement is as a Dad. I really like the fact that you can see a bit of yourself in your children, and how much you’ve influenced their life thus far. Of course that’s a big responsibility, but it helps me realise that no matter how terrible or frustrating life can be, when I see my kids they put a smile on my face and I can forget about everything else.
And now I’m lucky enough to have one of each, my daughter is three in January and we’ve just had a little boy to complete the family, so I’m more than occupied outside of work! However, I appreciate that a lot of people aren’t in that position and don’t have that focus when not working, so as a business we are working hard to ensure that the mental wellbeing of our staff isn’t overlooked. And I hope that our effort to shine a light on everyone’s mental health during lockdown will facilitate a more honest and open environment to work within, as I certainly know that what goes on outside of our offices can be just as important as what’s happening at work.
As 2021 approaches and normality is on the horizon, I’m proud of how we have adapted so far and confident we’ll see the fruits of our labour early next year!