Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 26

too. If you don't have a degree and
would prefer to go down a practical
experience route, an apprenticeship is
extremely worthwhile.
Apprenticeships are
oversubscribed. What is
your advice to someone
who is at the application stage?
Focus more on your soft
skills. This is something
I feel passionate about - I
did a huge campaign for McDonald's
on how important these skills are in
gaining employment.
Soft skills are all about your attitude,
your work ethic, communication
and decision-making skills, and
your ability to be a team player. All
these will help you to be successful
within an apprenticeship.
You need to present them on your
CV - list your communication skills
and give examples of how you're a
team player and when you've used
good decision-making skills.
What's your advice to
someone who has been
made redundant?
The key thing to remember
is the definition of
redundancy - the company
hasn't let you go; the position is no
longer required. If I make a position
redundant, that person could still be
exceptionally good at that job, it's just
that the function is no longer required.
Try to remember it isn't a reflection of
you or your skills.
What qualities do you
think are essential for
a successful career?
It's critical you know what
good looks like in your
function and role. Ask
yourself how you can make a
difference. Where are you exceeding
expectations and how well do you
communicate that to your employer?
I have an individual who reports
to me every six months. He asks me
directly what is expected of him in his
role and takes copious notes. He asks
me how I'll measure his achievements
and then he comes back six months

later and demonstrates how he has
exceeded my expectations. He sends a
summary positioning himself for a pay
rise and he's the one person who I've
always given one to because he's made
it difficult for me to say no. He's very
eloquent about what he has achieved.
Are unpaid internships
and work experience
worth doing to get into
your dream profession?
Absolutely. I'm a huge fan of
internships. When people think
of a job, they have a perception
of what it involves and an internship
enables you to see the reality. In fact,
many people change their mind because
the job isn't what they thought it would
be, which is a great thing for the
employee and employer. An internship
gives you the opportunity to know what
you want to do and what you don't.
Which industries do
you consider to be the
most futureproof?
Anything in the digital media
and technology fields, which is
where we're moving to as an
economy. It isn't coincidental that the
world's most valuable company is Apple,
a technology company.
Ford, which is more than 100 years
old, produces 250,000 cars a year.
Tesla produces 10% of that number, but
it's more valuable than Ford because
the technological advancements
made by Tesla are beyond fault.
That's where the world is going.
If you're an employee, you want to be
at the growth end of an industry, not
the retracting end. To be successful
you've got to develop a skill set that's
going to be in demand tomorrow and
you have to be technology competent.

JAMES'S CAREER

What have been the biggest
challenges you've faced
during your career?
Business is ever evolving, and to
keep pace you need to keep
reinventing. If you don't, you'll
be left behind. Business doesn't look the
same as when I started. If I did what I did

2 6 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S

20 J&C JC17 Interview jw4.indd 26

20/11/2017 17:13



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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/jcspring2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/JobsandCareersAutumn2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/Careers/Careers_with_Hayley_Taylor_2011
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