365 Salad days and counting

Tom's first year at Salad has been and gone - and what a year it’s been.

The last year has been a bit of a blur for me. It’s been full of thrills, challenges and good times with new friends. It’s also been a year of big changes personally; moving house, turning 30 and starting a new job at Salad! It’s been quite a journey to get to this point I can tell you.

To give you a little bit of background on me, I’ve been building websites since I was a teenager and it’s something I’ve always loved doing but it’s not what I’ve always been employed to do. For whatever reason I never took the idea of being a professional web developer seriously until I reached my mid twenties, and by that time I had acquired a C.V. that was decent but also on a different career path and perhaps a little uninspiring.

So the challenge for me was to make myself an attractive proposition to the numerous agencies within the burgeoning digital scene in the south. I can build websites, good start, I’ve had digital animations published, even better, but I lacked qualifications and experience so it still meant a leap of faith was required. I realised I needed to invest in myself if I was going to make my dream a reality, so I started to look at my studying options and found the perfect evening course at the Arts University Bournemouth that, thankfully, fit in with my life schedule.

Over the course of those ten weeks my eyes were opened even wider to this exciting world of programming possibilities and going there definitely inspired me to spend more of my free time coding. Slowly but surely I got better, gaining a deeper understanding of the core languages and how to use them – and once I felt comfortable with my offering, I started applying for web developer jobs.

After I met Adam Morland at Salad for an interview I had a really good feeling. The company ethos, the people and the role all seemed like a perfect fit, I just had to hope I was what they were looking for. I was delighted when Salad ended the post-interview void of uncertainty by getting in touch and offering me the job, and from then on I haven’t looked back.

I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Salad. It’s been a pleasure working here so far and life here has been very different from anything I’ve experienced before; I’m now part of a big family that looks after each other and pushes each other to produce top quality work whether in brand, campaign, design or digital. I might be a little biased but through encouragement from my colleagues and their approach to work they have helped me to develop this loyalty and bias. Looking now from within the company, I see that the leadership team as individuals, through their strength of vision and recruitment focussed on company values, they have a track record of helping people from non-agency and non-typical career backgrounds become a success. The next year at Salad is full of promise and I’m really excited to see what the future holds.

We’ve all got a different idea of what we want from our careers. For me, studying was the first step towards my goal and it made what was initially a daunting task seem far more achievable. Of course beyond this, you need employers that are willing to give you a chance too. Through investing time and energy into my development, I was effectively telling companies that I am worth the risk, but you do need a company to be flexible and listen, and I have to thank Salad for my opportunity.

So if your aspirations seem out of reach, my advice is to do one thing that takes you a step closer and, if you keep doing that, then one day you’re going to wake up having fulfilled that dream.

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