If you’re looking to find out a little more about what life is like working for Thrive, our ‘Meet the Team’ series is a must-read! Over the last couple of months, we’ve chatted to several members of our partnership team from Marketing, Operations and strategic partners right up to the founders, all with the aim of providing a snapshot into what becoming a part of the Thrive team is like.
This month, we interview Lee Parker, our Managing Director and Founder, to find out more about how he developed Thrive as well as his obsession with politics
What was your background before joining Thrive?
If I was writing my CV, it would say Recruitment and HR – Starting out helping people find work, essentially after graduating from Worcester in Business & Economics I walked into an agency looking for work and they asked if I'd consider a career in Recruitment. I started as a trainee. This time of my life where I found my first and second true love. The former is the current Mrs Parker, the latter being Microsoft Excel! I was there roughly four years before joining a specialist recruitment firm then creating my own consultancy in 2011 of which I closed to develop THRIVE...
How long have you worked with the company?
Since Moses was a boy as the saying goes! Thrive is a relatively new concept, having been a company director for other companies I founded they were really the founding blocks of Thrive. So from day 1, I remember discussing the idea with my family and literally starting over again redefining the recruitment revolution and offering a new concept to Entrepreneurs and startups across the UK.
How has your career progressed during your time at Thrive?
I never thought about progression at the time; it’s never been calculated or about hitting goals. I’ve just got on with work, trying to do a good job along the way and I’ve ended up here. I wouldn't say progression on my career is the right question, but what have WE achieved since introducing Thrive as a concept? Community cohesion and projects, partnering with Government funded business groups in an advisory and mentoring capacity. Seeing new cohorts of entrepreneurs coming through is what gives me a buzz! At the same time re educating the industry on how to find and develop talent within their business aside from the norm is a huge step forward for us here at Thrive.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
All of it! Despite the cool, calm exterior it’s bloody hard work! It’s a balancing act across all aspects of the business, we don’t always get it right, and it takes a lot of effort to get somewhere near.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
I get to work with some great people – colleagues, contractors, suppliers and clients, and let’s face it, working in multiple industries is interesting. But above all that it’s the ethos that remains unchanged since my very day as a Company Director - team spirit, professionalism, making work fun, giving a good account of yourself and who you represent – the best of the best. I see it day-in-day-out in what we do - both on site with clients and in the Thrive partners. I probably take it for granted, but when I step back from time to time, and I’m reminded of what we’re about, it puts a smile on my face.
If your partners could describe you in three words, what would they be?
On a spectrum. 50% of me would love to know, the other 50% of me doesn’t want to. It would be an interesting exercise; most people won’t need to use all three.
Have you undertaken any training since Thrive was founded?
Yes: primarily management and leadership although I have to say I’ve passed on many opportunities due to time constraints; having a life, young family and travelling with work doesn’t leave much spare time for study. Fortunately, I’m still learning through doing what I do.
What was the most exciting event or project that you have been part of while working at Thrive?
There’s more than one. I’ve got loads of projects that span from the actual project itself to the effort put in weeks or months out making sure we cover our end. It’s about the bond you make with colleagues and clients who you’ve lived through the 24-hr days with. But we’re working on something very interesting which we’re not allowed to talk about, but when it happens, we could write a dissertation on it - I’ll have to re-answer this question when that one’s over.
Do you enjoy any hobbies outside of work?
Haha, this reminds me of the end of a CV where people used to list stuff like swimming, reading, going to the cinema, socialising with friends etc. Anyway, aside from catching up with family I have a Politics addiction. I think it’s healthy, others call it obsessive.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Continuing doing what I love, helping Entrepreneurs.