0.00.00 Hi, I’m Richard L. I’m the Sales Manager for Ropetech International Limited. Ropetech is a rope access engineering company so basically we do all manner of work at height. Now sometimes it’s inspections, sometimes it’s painting work, the list is endless. There’s a lot of offshore work in the oil and gas industry. There’s work on bridges, on buildings, anywhere where there’s work to be done at height basically.
0.00.30 At university I did sports physiology / physical education. So a logical career progression from there would have been to go into teaching or to go into some sort of sports coaching or sports research. I didn’t want to do any of those things at the time and in fact I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was persuaded by my father that I should go where the money was and so I left university and after
0.01.00 a lot of letter writing I got myself a place as a graduate trainee with the corporate banking division of Gyro Bank. Almost the first day that I set foot on the bank I realised that it was not for me. I struggled through it. I stuck with the two year training course and, you know, in retrospect it was a very good development opportunity and I learnt a lot from those two years.
0.01.30 I took a career change about four years ago and moved from a business career in corporate sales which I’d been doing for about ten years previously and I decided that I needed a change in my life. A good old friend of mine that used to be a regular climbing partner, he had been working in roped access for ten / twelve years even. He had plenty of money. He’d just moved his family to the Pyrenees Mountains and he was just so pleased with his life and happy with his lot. He was getting out. He had 10,000 foot mountains just out of his backdoor.
0.02.00 He was going flying every day. I thought wow, why aren’t doing that? I just felt I needed to do something that was a bit more exciting, a bit more out there, you know, and also working with people that I have an affinity with. I think that’s very important in life, you have to be where you feel you belong. My father was a lecturer in a university in Liverpool and my mother was an English teacher. When I was a kid I was very heavily influenced by my father.
0.02.30 I was, in hindsight, very ill advised by him on the matter of sort of career choice. His attitude was that one doesn’t need to enjoy the work that one does, what you should be doing is focusing on earning the money and fulfilling your sort of obligations in life really. But in my experience, as long as you’re doing something that is not ultimately compatible with you, you’re always going to be trying to push water uphill basically, you know.
0.03.00 Although when I was a child I never had sort of clear ideas about how I wanted to earn money in life. I certainly had clear ideas about where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing and it wasn’t sitting in a desk with grey suited middle aged rather dare I say, rather dull and unambitious people in an office. So you know, and that really have sort of stayed with me throughout all of my business career. Well these days I have two young boys and so they’re sort of needs and interests tend to preoccupy me.
0.03.30 I love nothing more than just being in the outdoors, in the mountains, wondering around, taking my boy, my oldest boy, my youngest one’s still a baby, but taking the elder one who’s also very into his natural history and animals, we just go looking for bugs and wondering along streams and just being in the outdoors and chatting, being with people that I like being with. I do occasionally get out rock climbing but it is quite occasionally these days and I don’t pursue it with anything like the fervour that I used to.