Just over 50 years ago, while heavily pregnant with Chris, his mother fell ill on flight out of Calcutta, India and was given permission by the captain to disembark. Just six minutes after the plane took off, it encountered a severe thunderstorm and crashed into the ground in a ball of flames, killing all 37 passengers and six crew on board. She and Chris were the only survivors.
Reflecting on the twist of fate, Chris says it has helped shape his approach his life, never standing still and realising that he needs to adapt to every opportunity that has come his way. Now the IT consultant turned job coach has set up a new business, called Get Your Next Job Now, to help other people looking for a new career or change of direction by offering practical support, information and inspiration.
It stems from Chris belief – and first-hand experience – that in today’s ever-changing world, very few people can expect to stay in the same job for life.
“Back when I was a student at the University of Glamorgan, we had a lecturer on strategy comment on a famous Harvard professor who said that everyone needs to consider three careers,” explained Chris, “That stuck with me, and the concept is more relevant today than ever.”
“My dad was in steel industry most of his life, and he’d be shocked to see Port Talbot today,” added Chris, “My concern, particularly for young people, is that disruptive technologies such as smart phones, Google and social media will unexpectedly displace our existing networks and not everyone is ready. I want to help people prepare for it so they don’t end up disillusioned and also encourage them to embrace these changes.”
Chris knows what he’s talking about, having changed his own career path a number of times, including 20 years in the IT industry and then writing CVs for a global recruitment firm. When he decided to launch his own business, Chris turned to us on the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance for support. The scheme offers advice and guidance to budding entrepreneurs as they develop their business plan and through the first six months of trading.
Chris, of Swansea, said:
The NEA gave me some financial help and introduced me to my mentor Sheran Grey, of Business Sense Associates, in Lansamlet, Swansea. I had fantastic encouragement, advice and support from her. When you are setting up a new business, it helps when you find people who believe in your potential, where you meet someone who says ‘I know exactly what you’re talking about’ and can inspire you. That’s what Sheran did for me.
“She kept me going when I was setting up my business plan and through her I’ve been able to do all sorts of things, like attend a social media workshop, which was fantastic. Because of the NEA I now have a growing business and a great future.”
Now that his own ship has changed direction again, Chris’s new firm Get Your Next Job Now is helping clients navigate the global marketplace and embrace changes in technology. He is also writing a series of self-help books for people who want to improve their interview and job-seeking skills, and is planning to launch a YouTube channel capturing the insight of industry leaders on the future of their business sector.
He added: “I’m a strong believer that insight comes from relationships, not just knowledge. My role now is to give people a different perspective. You might start in one direction, but life throws up different opportunities and it’s possible to make money if you’re open to those changes.”
For further information, Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a business idea and need support? Find out if you're eligible for New Enterprise Allowance.