Let’s be totally honest for a moment; Very few of us grow up thinking “I would really, really love to sell fire safety equipment when I’m a grown up”. For me, I wanted to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and be a full time musician and you know what, I came pretty close.
The problem with that profession, for many, is that there comes a point where you need to do things like eat, have clothes and keep a roof over your head. Being a full time musician doesn’t always afford you these things unless you get that big break.
So what do you do if you’re a struggling musician in Brighton? You get a job in sales, that’s what you do. At the beginning of my career, I had little more than an eagerness to learn, a little charm and some guts. This has led me to peddle all manner of products over the last 10 years until one day I found myself preparing for an interview for a company that made some kind of fire door thing? Honestly, I didn’t know what Fireco did, but I saw this on their website and I thought I might fit in:
Now this video is a few years old, and much has changed at Fireco since then, but, that is our Chairman and company founder Neil Purssey in the wig and yes, I also thought that the wig was a permanent fixture until it was unceremoniously removed from his head. I think it’s a brave move for the person who set up and grew the company to show that they’re going to be the first person to have a pop at themselves and it was one of the reasons I wanted to work here.
We’re a bit different at Fireco, you see. Like any business, we want to be credible and we want to be trustworthy and professional, BUT, we also know that you can’t spend 40+ hours every week with the same people without being yourself and having fun. It’s a delicate balancing act, hanging out with your mates whilst still hitting your targets and continuing to grow the business, but it’s what we do. It’s one of the reasons we have such a low staff turnover.
I’ve never worked for a company before whose board of directors were so involved with the day to day stuff and whose doors were literally always open. No matter what happens to me professionally or personally, I know that Fireco have my back. They even let my beard get completely David Bellamy and leave it to my own judgement as to when it needs taming.
The point is, I’ve never had to bend or bow to anyone at Fireco. I’ve always been allowed to tackle my end of the business in my own way as long is it yields results and I’ve never been made to feel like my opinion doesn’t count. That to me is the mark of a company that really sees the value in all of its workforce. It’s about getting the best out of what you’ve got and allowing people’s individuality to be an asset, not a detractor.
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