Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again. John Clare

Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again. John Clare

Article excerpt

Would I love to have been a professional footballer earning a bucket-load of money? Maybe.

But when I look back, I don't see any missed opportunities. Life has dealt me a good hand. I never had a plan - things have simply come along and I've taken them as they've arisen.

I studied applied mathematics at Edinburgh University. When I left there, I joined Mars as a salesman. My parents were furious. They'd supported me through four years of study for me to go off and sell Mars bars. It wasn't easy to understand. But I knew that I didn't want to do anything in academia, or to be a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher. I felt I wanted to go into commerce, even if I didn't know why.

The best advice I ever got was to start out in sales, as working at the sharp end gives you a fundamental understanding of an entire business Mars offered me pounds 50 a year more than anyone else, so that's where I went.

I joined Dixons in 1985. I'd never worked in retail before, so Stanley Kalms had to teach me a lot. …

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