Stuart Robertson – Internal Sales Manager at John Bell Pipeline

April 2014

Name: Stuart Robertson

Age: 40

Job Title: Internal Sales Manager with John Bell Pipeline Equipment Company Ltd

What did you want to be when you were young?

I wanted to be a policeman when I was at school. I was fascinated by the job that they do, the different roles and variety the job brings. It’s a good career. All my school life I wanted to be a policeman.

What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?

After studying Law and Administration at college after leaving school I started looking for employment. All of my friends were working and earning money and I wanted to do the same. I was offered a job as an internal sales assistant at RGB Stainless at 18 years old. I worked there from a small office and warehouse for approximately four years. John Bell Pipeline was one of RGB’s biggest customers and that’s how the connection was made. In 1995 an opportunity came up for an internal salesperson at John Bell Pipeline. The company was growing fast and I decided to take the leap and accepted the job. I’ve been there ever since, for 18 years in July. I started off as an internal salesperson, progressed to internal sales supervisor and now internal sales manager.

How did this career opportunity arise?

I was offered the position as the senior managers within the company saw my enthusiasm to mentor junior members of staff and thought I was capable of management responsibilities. I have been mentoring, training and coaching colleagues for the majority of my time at John Bell Pipeline. As the company has grown and staff numbers increase this opens up further progression routes for the staff, including myself.

Is there anything you would do differently in your career?

No I’m happy with the way my career has gone so far. I thrive off the pressures of working in a sales office and the intensity of the Oil and Gas industry. In an average day I will be dealing with many customers, processing orders as well as coaching the younger staff. I get a buzz from it and still do after 22 years and that’s because I enjoy the job that I do. I wonder what my career would have been like if I had joined the police but I am happy with the career path I have chosen.

Who has been your greatest influence?

Throughout my career the people who have been the greatest influence are my old boss who was Managing Director of John Bell Pipeline and the current Managing Director of John Bell Pipeline. They both brought the company to where it is now and were inspirational in their work ethics. They inspired me to work hard and proved that hard work and dedication will pay off. Due to the hard work and dedication of the staff the company has gone from strength to strength.

What do you want to achieve in the rest of your career?

I will continue the hard work, train others and develop the younger generation coming in and going through the ranks. I feel a lot of pride and responsibility within my position and I’d like to keep progressing further within the company. I have been here from the early days and watched the company grow, so I am looking forward to being part of taking the company forward and developing myself in a management roll.

What’s the best way to motivate others?

I always tell my staff to work hard and play hard. In this industry there is a lot of pressure to deliver and at times can be a stressful environment. If you work hard and take time to enjoy yourself the Oil and Gas industry can be a very rewarding industry to work in. When you are young there is a lot to learn but you have to make sure you enjoy yourself while learning and developing your professional career.

What is your favourite stress buster?

I go for a walk, take 10 minutes out and gather my thoughts and then I can come back to focusing again. A sales job can be stressful, and there can be a number of issues that arise at any one time to deal with. Once you have a break you come back again, focus and pick up where you left off but with a level head and clear focus to proceed.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Making sure the customers are happy. Supplying on time as required and providing a good service. I hate letting customers down. If something goes wrong I take it personally and do my utmost to rectify the situation. I treat the company as it was my own and that is a motivation to me. If it was my company that is how I would want my employees to treat the customers. You have to always give 100% and provide a great service so that customers return. This is why I do my best at all times.

Is there any day in your career that you would like to live again?

Attending my first exhibition in Holland. It was a great eye opener and I gained a lot of experience speaking face to face with customers.  There were times I was left on the stand on my own and this built my confidence. I grew from being one of the younger inexperienced members of the team to someone with confidence, able to speak to customers face to face and deal with any issues or challenges.

What advice would you give to young people starting out in the job market?

Work hard. That’s the only way to be successful. Listen to the advice you are given from other senior members of staff. That is a big part of the learning process and will stand you in good stead.