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Celebrating Dads at Connex this Father’s Day

By Sean Fielding

Published 19 June 2022

Sunday 19th June 2022 marks Father’s Day across much of the globe. We recognise that the technology industry has to date been largely male dominated, which means there are countless fathers pushing technological boundaries to improve the way forward for not only the benefit of the larger global population, but for the future of their children and grandchildren alike.

We sat down with four of our hard working fathers at Connex to talk about their experiences in the tech industry and how they’ve managed their work-life balance. We spoke with Stephen Adams and Paul Harris, Enterprise Sales Managers, Wesley Pickthorne, Head of 1st Line Support, and Paul Williams, Senior Product Developer.

Q: How did you begin your career in the tech industry?

Paul Harris: “I have always been interested in technology, I spent 10 years in mobile phone retail. One day I helped a customer with a problem, and he liked my professionalism and wanted me to head up his sales division. And that was the stepping stone into Connex.”

Stephen Adams: “By accident. I was about to complete a 5-year apprenticeship in a career that I hated but as my mum would say “if you start something you need to finish it”. I saw an advert in the local newspaper for a company that I knew nothing about. I called them the following day and the internal recruiter, who I went to school with, secured me an interview shortly after on an open day. I closed them off on the day and they offered me a role in retail sales.

“I progressed very quickly within that organisation and ended up running one of the largest stores in the UK. When I noticed some colleagues with nice suits and expensive cars, I asked, what do these guys do? Someone said they sell B2B / Corporate. I was about 23 years old at the time and thought I fancy some of that. It took me 6 months of networking internally to get the opportunity, but the rest is history.”

Q: Did becoming a father change your priorities? Has it made you think differently about your career?

Stephen Adams: “I am a proud father of three. Yes, in my experience I became more responsible and took fewer risks – I was not much of a risk-taker anyway. Obviously, my priorities did change, and a lot of my career decisions centred around my family. I would do silly work hours to make sure I was home every evening. For example; 16 hour driving rather than staying in a hotel.”

 

Stephen Adams with his three children

Paul Williams: Becoming a Father changed my priorities to spend more time with my family and to try to switch off at the end of each day (which is still difficult depending on what I’m currently working on). At the very least, I set aside Saturday and Sunday to do something fun with my children, whereas previously I would work every day.”

Paul Harris: “Absolutely. You want your child to look up to you and see attributes like positivity and work ethic. I have always strived to do my best and lead by example.

Q: How do you feel about juggling work/life balance as a father?

Stephen Adams: “It is a challenge but the more experience you gain the easier it is to juggle. I have worked from home for about 20 years. In the early days of my career, I would stop work at 4.30 pm, sit, have dinner together and bathe the kids etc. then go back to work at 8 pm to finish off. The work does not go away, you just need to manage it appropriately.”

Wesley Pickthorne: “I feel that you have to work extremely hard at both. I find that my time to be a father is on weekends.”

 

Wesley Pickthorne and his children

Q: What would you like to tell your young self? and what will you tell your child about building a career?

Wesley Pickthorne:Buy Bitcoin. I have told my children to pursue what makes them happy.

Stephen Adams: “I was very fortunate that my mum had a very strong work ethic and that was instilled in me from an early age. Hard work will always win. Do something you love. If you are going to do something, then make sure it is the best you can do. Never let anyone walk over you, give everyone respect and do not expect everyone to have the same standards as you.

“Another thing I have told my children and any other children that will listen, is that always get a job in a bar at some stage in your career. It is great fun, you meet loads of different people all with different stories and, the best part of it, is that you are at the party and being paid for it.”

Paul Williams: “I would tell my younger self to save for the future – compound interest is your friend. I have told my children that they should not be afraid to ask questions, and always ask someone who knows the answers – don’t try and go it alone.”

Q: Has working in the tech industry changed your outlook on being a parent?

Paul Harris: “I appreciate having energy at the end of the day as my father worked in a factory, mostly night shifts. So, the fact that I can spend evenings with my daughter makes me appreciate my time.”

Stephen Adams: “No, but the tech industry allows you to meet and learn from a lot of interesting people and has given me a lot of great life experiences.”

At Connex we like to appreciate, promote, and support all parents in our business. We believe in creating a healthy work-life balance, encouraging our children to pursue the careers that interest them most, and paving the way forward for our next generation.

Thank you, Fathers, for all your hard work!


To learn more about how Connex is helping employees to succeed, visit: connexone.co.ke, get in touch with our team at hello@connexone.co.ke or request a free demo of our platform here.

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