00:02 My name is Guy P and I’m an HR manager and I work for East Belfast Mission.
00:07 One of the things about HR is that you get to be involved in everything in the organisation. I would select staff, we’re involved in interviews, we’re involved in induction stuff, we’re involved in, in any sort of staff issues that are going on throughout the working life of an employee, even to the point where they maybe leave your organisation.
00:27 I grew up in a mixed marriage, uh my mum’s Protestant, my dad’s Catholic so I think very thankfully now, looking back on it, at the time I didn’t appreciate it. There was always a debate in our house about faith and about theology and about the bible and this, this was just a, a daily conversation. I think one of the pivotal moments of my own development was in growing up and realising actually I needed to find out for myself what is it I believe.
00:55 My dad works for the Department of the Environment, basically he sweeps roads, he digs ditches, he lays flagstones, he is brilliant with his hands and he practically built our house and knowing that I didn’t have the same physical strength as him really drove me towards books. My mum was a housewife for, for years. Before that I think she was a saleswoman selling a magazine. So she can talk the talk.
01:22 In school I came away with uh four Cs, three Ds and an F in my GCSEs. Uh all I was really interested in I think was playing the guitar and I quite thought I would like to do sound engineering or cameraman and I’d even gone to the BBC, my mum had took me down one day to Belfast, knocked at the door of the BBC and said, here’s me son, he’d quite like to do something to do with cameraman or sound engineers, is there somebody we could talk to and we’d even gone, you know, and did that and I went to a careers adviser whose nickname was Spike and I remember him, he had a beard and he had a fleece on and he loved canoeing. He threw a look at my results, shook his head and said, mm well maybe electronic engineer might be the sort of general field that you might want to go and I sort of thought, well is that the same thing and he went, well yeah, kind of is.
02:11 Working as an engineer down south for an American company that manufactured hard disk drives for computers. Did that for a few years. Decided that there was parts of the job that I absolutely loved, the problem-solving element, elements. The bits of the job that I found frustrating were the personalities and so I supplemented that with volunteering and I would volunteer for the YMCA and I’d volunteer for my local church and a few other places like that. All of this led me back to the same questions that I’d been going on, since I was young, who is god, why are we here, where does this sense of right and wrong come from, so that, that was what led me back to uh the sort of spiritual role model in my life, my pastor at the time. I talked to him about it and he eventually suggested, well have you ever thought about, you know, studying theology? It might not maybe answer some of your questions but it’ll at least help you to find the right questions to ask.
03:13 I finished bible college and I had a degree in theology. I at that time had a masters and a degree in electric and electronic engineering and couldn’t get a job anywhere. Which was a bit scary for me actually cos I thought I’ve all these qualifications, I feel like I’ve got all these skills and I couldn’t get a job anywhere. I think I was maybe about six months before I finally got a job and I took the first job I could get and that was a job working for the Inland Revenue, tax credit office.
03:38 Being honest with yourself is sometimes one of the most difficult; things possible because you want to please your mum and dad or because you want to please your friends or your peers or because perceive that this type of career has higher status and higher rewards and higher gains. The advice that I would give is to try and identify what your gut instinct is and have courage.