00:00:03 My name is Paul W. My current job is as the Business Manager for our oil refineries business, with the area of Europe, Middle East and Africa. The main responsibilities of that role are running a team of salesmen that spend the time in the area looking at customers’ requirements, and trying to fulfil those.
00:00:24 Many of the things that have happened to me have happened by default rather than planning, and I guess that’s quite common. Things fall into place at different points during your life. I mean, when I was a kid I wanted to be either a fireman or a dentist or an airline pilot. And obviously none of those happened. I obviously fell into the way of going to University and studying and coming out with a Scientific-based degree, and then really the career ladder on top of that, has been very much chance. Things that have opened up – opportunities have happened, and I’ve taken them.
00:00:57 Lazy – would be a good word to describe me as a student. I found school relatively – relatively easy. That was the reason that laziness was born, I suppose. That I could get through the education pretty – pretty easily, didn’t need to make too much of an effort.
00:01:14 I loved doing Geography when I was a kid. Obviously the school was unable to allow me to do that alongside any Science subjects, so that was – there really wasn’t a great deal of choice. I could have – I did my Science subjects because that was what I could do. But they weren’t happy to countenance me then trying to do a Humanities subject alongside a Science, that just wasn’t the done thing.
00:01;37 I think it’s very difficult to map out at a young age where you think somebody will end up, or what you think somebody will end up doing. I did a careers questionnaire at school, and they told me that I could either be a petrol pump attendant or a deep sea fisherman. Which – these are at the opposite extremes of life, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the education that I’ve had.
00:02:01 Immediately after University I worked for a small engineering company. And then an opportunity came up to move to Holland, and be based in Amsterdam. So I did that and went and lived there for nearly seven years. Changed jobs once in Amsterdam, to work for Shell actually, in Amsterdam. And it was from Shell that I came to Johnson Matthey.
00:02:23 When the opportunity arose to come where I’ve come now that was a – that was very much a turning point, because I did feel that I was very frustrated in the job that I had, and I didn’t have a lot of scope to improve that. I’ve finally got myself to a position where I’m very happy with the job that I’m doing, and really enjoy going to work every day. Which I haven’t necessarily always done in the past.
00:02:45 One of the most sort of heart-wrenching experiences I had was running the London Marathon once. Being overtaken in the last mile or so by, firstly a rhino, secondly a guy with one leg, and thirdly a blind girl, who was running tied to somebody else. Those sorts of people can be very inspirational people when you look at human endeavour and what it can achieve.
00:03:12 I would say I’m quite proud of where I’ve got to, yes. I would see myself developing in the role that I’ve got. I hope on the five to ten year horizon I can make a jump up to a higher level of management within the business that I’m in now.
00:03:28 You should never, never close off any – any possibilities, you know, anything could happen with where you are and where you want to become, or what you could become. I don’t think I’ve ever had a feeling of where I want to go in a career, or where I want to go in life, until comparatively recently. And if I’d closed off everything at the age of 18, there’d have been a whole lot that would not have been possible for me.
Paul W is a Sales Manager for Johnson Matthey in their oil refineries sector. He is very happy in this job and he puts this down to his philosophy of not trying to plan out his career in advance and taking opportunities as they came. “If I’d closed off everything at the age of 18, there’d have been a whole lot that would not have been possible for me.”
More information about Sales accounts and business development managers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Liaises with other senior staff to determine the range of goods or services to be sold, contributes to the development of sales strategies and setting of sales targets;
- Discusses employer’s or client’s requirements, carries out surveys and analyses customers’ reactions to product, packaging, price, etc.;
- Compiles and analyses sales figures, prepares proposals for marketing campaigns and promotional activities and undertakes market research;
- Handles customer accounts;
- Recruits and trains junior sales staff;
- Produces reports and recommendations concerning marketing and sales strategies for senior management;
- Keeps up to date with products and competitors.
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