When Joe clicked on the Careers at Starling page in January 2018, he found his ideal job description: “It was exactly what I wanted to do, everything matched,” he says.
Joe, 30, joined Starling a week later as our Workplace Technology Manager. This means increasing efficiency and “making sure that our staff have access to the best tech they can in order to get their work done,” he says. Part of this has been the onboarding and offboarding process for staff which he has cut from 2 hours to 10 minutes. (The aim is to make this even quicker than signing up for a Starling personal account aka under 3 minutes.)
When he was 14, Joe did work experience at Ericsson, the telecommunications company that later merged with Sony. “I didn’t like any of the departments I worked in throughout the week, until the last day when I went into the IT department which had bits of computers everywhere,” he says. Taking a computer apart and putting it back together became second nature to him.
At 15, Joe was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that meant he spent the next three years in a wheelchair. Before he became ill, he had been predicted straight As for his exams. “Even getting out of bed felt as tiring as doing a 20 hour shift,” he says. He still managed to get four GCSEs which he studied for at home. Getting better was a gradual process: “It wasn’t just physically exhausting, but mentally exhausting and I had retrain my mind to trust my body as I got better.”
Joe graduated from Guildford College with a distinction for the Higher National Diploma in Computing. He then found himself faced with three choices:
- Doing a degree in Computing (available as a one year course rather than three due to his high marks in the diploma)
- Going to the Music Academy of Contemporary Music (we’ve lost count of how many instruments Joe can play, the last time we checked it was 15)
- Starting work.
Joe went for option 3 and went on to work for Trams, an IT solutions company.
Last year, Joe opened a personal account with Starling and a few months later he became part of the team. At Starling we all get together on a Friday for a demo of the latest updates and projects and Joe’s best Starling moment to date was when demo ran without a single hitch or delay.
His career advice is to “know what you’re good at and play to your strengths.” He would also encourage people to “do something you enjoy. Chances are you’ll be better at something you enjoy than something you don’t.”