James is a seasoned Connectivity Programme Manager, distinguished for his expertise in Business and infrastructure delivery, backed by nearly 15 years of adept experience. Beyond his professional prowess, James is a keen cyclist and avid golfer. He always brings good energy to the FarrPoint office and is an easy recruit for “one-drink” at the pub.
Stepping into the spotlight for the next Meet a FarrPoint interview is Senior Consultant (this will open in a new window)James Carsley.
1. If you wrote a book about your career so far, what would you title it and why?
I would call it “The accidental telecoms project manager/consultant”, as my career direction was, by and large, an accident or good fortune, depending on how you look at it.
I think many people will tell you their career journeys are mostly down to luck and opportunity, along with some good judgement! I got good grades and was encouraged to obtain a university degree. After graduating with a 2:1 in General Management, I briefly joined the Royal Navy. I soon found it wasn’t the right decision for me and left. I applied for a few different jobs and ended up taking a role in general management at BT. I randomly chose to work at their Edinburgh location as I went to university in Scotland and liked it. From then on, I worked my way up through generic management roles, gaining knowledge and managing large technical teams. I very much believe that if you enjoy something, keep doing it, so I did.
James doing a rural broadband/FTTP survey on the West Coast in a previous role.
2. If you were an ice cream flavour, what would you be?
I’ve got a cracking answer for this one; well, it makes me laugh anyway. I think I would be coffee and salted caramel flavour. The combination of caffeine and sugar, I think, is reflective of my personality. I am energetic and more talkative than most. Probably not for everyone, as the flavours could be a bit much, but I think it sums me up.
3. Tell us about a unique talent or skill you possess that your co-workers might not know about.
Absolutely nothing – next question. (The interviewer Anna admits defeat)
4. Which three famous people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?
We have spoken about this briefly at a team social, and I’m sticking to what I said then. Firstly, I would go with (this will open in a new window)Barack Obama. Even before he became president, I had already read all his books. I find him inspiring and would love to talk with him.
Secondly, I would go from (this will open in a new window)Prince William. Although we didn’t mix the same circles, we were at the University of St Andrews at the same time. I would be interested in trading stories about our time at uni and hear what he had to say about his time there. He is also an Aston Villa fan, so we could chat about that.
The third person would be (this will open in a new window)John Mcginn. I am a big Aston Villa fan, and he is my favourite footballer. I also just think he seems like a genuinely nice guy, and would make any social situation more fun, and I think he would be down for dinner with Barack and William too.
5. What has been the most memorable adventure or trip you've been on?
It would probably be a three-week holiday along the West Coast of the USA, visiting places like LA, San Diego, and Vegas on the way. I was 25 years old and went with my now wife. Not to sound too soppy, but it was our first big trip together, so it was pretty special. I didn’t do any travelling after uni, so was great to do a trip like that again. We camped in Black Bear country and basically lived out the car. We were just young, free and enjoying exploring a new place. So, yeah, if I could repeat a trip, it would definitely be that. We also had a fantastic honeymoon in South Africa, which is a close second.
James on his USA road trip with his wife
6. What does a typical weekend look like for James?
Every Saturday morning, without fail, I go to the gym, a good excuse to get away from the kids. Then the afternoon is usually spent doing some kids' activity, swimming or something outdoors. We also like to do lots of animal activities, visit the zoo or go to a safari park. Jan (FarrPoint colleague) always takes the mick, saying I am always at the zoo. I usually come back to work on a Monday more tired than I finished on the Friday.
Sundays are similar; we might head to a museum. I also try to sneak in as much sport as possible. So, weekends are spent attempting to be a good dad and fitting that around watching sports. I will watch any sport, football, rugby, cricket, American football, anything, I love it.
James going swimming with his kids
7. How would you explain connectivity to a caveman?
Hmm… that is a hard one. Maybe similar to how I explained it to my six-year-old the other week. He asked me, “Daddy, what do you do for work?” I tried to explain as best I could, but after seeing his puzzled face looking back at me, I settled with, “You know how you like to watch TV? Well Daddy makes the TV work.” He ran through to the other room delighted, shouting “Yay, tv”. Maybe it doesn’t directly translate to a caveman, but something along those lines.
8. What’s the very first job you had and what did you learn from the experience?
In my first two jobs as a barman and a building labourer, I learned the grit required for demanding work and gained a first-hand understanding of the challenges these jobs present. These experiences instilled in me the importance of hard work and resilience but also made me realise I wanted a job that would provide me with financial stability and something that wasn’t quite so relentless. Overall, I would say these early experiences helped shape my strong work ethic, prepared me for the realities of the working world, and helped me learn how to hold a conversation with pretty much anyone.
9. If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room, what would you choose and why?
I wouldn't call myself a music enthusiast, but if I had to pick a tune, I would pick one that takes me back to my childhood: The Who “Baba O’Riley’Now, I don't want to be too twee, but this song is like a time machine for me. It takes me back to the days of my youth, visiting my grandparents on their farm, ‘being out in the fields’ as the classic line goes, exploring, and riding tractors—a much simpler, carefree time.
James [far left] on his family's farm as a child
10. If you weren’t in this line of work, what career would you want to pursue?
If I were to venture into a different career, I'd have gone down along the lines of a builder or joiner. I built my kids a treehouse and a tractor bed. The whole process of piecing things together and figuring it out as I go is something I enjoy. I think it would be a great opportunity to challenge yourself mentally and physically. It would also be a good opportunity to work for yourself.
11. Who would you like to nominate for the next “Meet a FarrPointer”?
(this will open in a new window)Richard.
We are always interested in speaking with good people who would like to pursue a career at FarrPoint, visit our careers page or drop us an email with your CV to [email protected].
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