Before applying to a company, it’s really important to get a sense of their culture and values from a current employee. That’s why we’ve caught up with Rory from technology solutions company, Softcat, who will give you his insights after over two and a half years with them.
What’s your role at Softcat?
I’m one of the Public Sector Account Managers at Softcat. I’m on the Local Government team which means I’m in charge of looking after Councils in the Midlands area. This October, I will have been at Softcat for 3 years.
What about Softcat appealed to you?
I remember seeing the offices for the first time and being blown away as there was a space hopper race going on in one of the offices. You could just sense that these employees, while very hard workers, were also given the time and resources to let off steam. It was very healthy to see. Plus, the money was good too.
How did you start working for Softcat?
The first time I applied, I actually fell at the final hurdle. I didn’t convince them enough that I had the right sales life experience. They don’t necessarily hire off of experience, but I feel that I didn’t convince them enough. I went away and worked in recruitment for a bit but always had the more corporate sales route on my radar, and so I eventually tried again after messaging their internal recruiter. The rest is history.
Briefly describe a day in the life at Softcat
Not every day is the same due to the customer base, which is why I love this job. That being said, I usually commute to get into the office between 8am and 9am, then often grab a work breakfast (one of the many perks provided by them). I get to my desk for 9am to start planning my day; we are encouraged to have weekly goals and plan our days with that in mind. I usually get on with cold accounts (cold calling and approaching new business), utilising market research so I can tailor my approach to clients with some golden nuggets of information.
My meal break is sometimes a team lunch, sometimes taking customers out for lunch, or sometimes being taken out for lunch by a partner.
The rest of the day is more of the same. Talking to clients, trying to gain new ones, and keeping on top of admin. It’s a fast paced and sometimes really busy job, so it’s important to constantly be on top of the organisation. I usually get out of work between 5pm and 6pm.
What’s the work culture like at Softcat?
I know this phrase is said a lot, but Softcat genuinely cares for its workforce. It can be a stressful and busy job, so we are really taken care of, and not just financially. We have a lot of events ranging from trips, to parties, to our “Softcat Kick Off”. It really makes it easy for us to gel as a team in and out of the office.
Another important aspect of their culture is approachability. Everyone is approachable - even the Senior Management Team. You’re never afraid to ask for help.
What advice do you have for current students and graduates that want to follow in your footsteps?
Really understand what motivates you. Sales and Account Management is one of those jobs you need to want to succeed at. Same goes for the company - if you like the company, you’re going to want to work hard for them, so do your research.
In my experience, Softcat values character over experience - I got this job after explaining how my bartending experience at uni equated to sales. You have to know how to sell yourself as the whole nature of the job is to sell!
Finally smile and be enthusiastic. It’s a great, supportive team who works hard but has a lot of fun too. Know yourself and what you want. Research. Be enthusiastic.
Thanks to Rory for his time. If you’d like to find out more about Softcat and the roles they’re hiring for, take a look here.