Getting Started in Design with Gerry Scullion

John Foley 'Creating a business case to be hired'

John Carter
February 14, 2023
34
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John Foley 'Creating a business case to be hired'

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Episode shownotes

In this episode I chat with John Foley, a service designer based in London working with Livework Studio. We chat about what the experience was like leaving University, working as a design researcher - and how John made his own luck. We chat about portfolios and also the interview process for Livework. It’s a good one - lets get into it.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/designjfoley/

https://www.liveworkstudio.com

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Episode Transcript

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[00:00:00] John Foley: Whatever you're doing, and this is outside of your career as well, which is to always have your optimism, always be proactive in everything that you do, and make sure that in all these pursuits that you're going on, keep your compassion for other human beings. Those are the three biggest things. Being optimistic, proactive, and compassionate, and the rest of it figures itself out.

[00:00:36] Gerry Scullion: Hello and welcome to getting started on Design On this is h cd. My name is Jerry Scullion and I'm a designer and educator, and the host of this is H C D based in the wonderful city of Dublin. Now in this episode, I chat with John Foley, a service designer originally from Ireland, but now based in London, working with live work studio, and we chat about what the experience was like leaving university.

[00:00:57] Gerry Scullion: John went to Minuth University in Ireland, [00:01:00] then working as a design researcher and how John made his own look. We chatted about that in great detail. Okay. We chat about the portfolios that John has had or has not had in that case, and also the interview process for live work. It's a good one. Let's jump straight in.

[00:01:16] Gerry Scullion: John, a very warm welcome to getting started in design. How are you doing?

[00:01:21] John Foley: I'm doing well. Looking forward to Christmas, coming up, uh, and going home. I

[00:01:25] Gerry Scullion: know going back you're Irish, which is, which is, uh, fantastic because the last person we had on the, the podcast was also Irish, Kelly Oud. Um, but you are over in the UK at the moment.

[00:01:37] Gerry Scullion: You're working for live work. Um, good friends of the podcast and, um, but maybe tell us a little bit about. Before we jump into your, your career at the moment where you're at and live, work, tell us a little bit where you studied and what you studied and when you

[00:01:52] John Foley: started to study there. Sure. So I'm from a small town called Minut, which is on the escorts of Dublin [00:02:00] in Ireland.

[00:02:00] John Foley: Yeah. Uh, and because I'm quite lazy, I found a degree in design that I was quite interested in, and I figured I'm not gonna commute all the way into Dublin or anywhere else. I'm gonna walk to the university, which is a 15 minute walk. So I decided to study product design and marketing and innovation in Minu University.

[00:02:18] John Foley: Mm-hmm. , I did that for about four years. And I was quite happy with what I was doing there and I found I wanted to get a little bit more into the innovation end as well as doing service design and design research and that kind of stuff. So I decided I'd buy myself a bit of time. I was offered a scholarship and I did a master's in Design innovation at Manu as well for a year.

[00:02:39] John Foley: And I just graduated from that in 2021, which is last year. Okay,

[00:02:43] Gerry Scullion: so at the time recording is 2022, uh, near, near the Thailand or in December here. But um, before, Start talking about the actual degree and you did a master's as well. Let's go back to when you were in school. Okay. Um, how did you find out [00:03:00] about that course that was in Minuth and was there somebody involved or is there someone in your family that, uh, introduced you to design?

[00:03:08] Gerry Scullion: How, what and how and what were those

[00:03:10] John Foley: steps? Right. So I have a weird background. Uh, I suppose everybody says this is, well, uh, when they're, I'm a bit different. . Yeah. I'm different. I'm special. No. Um, for. For myself, I have an eclectic set of interests, so it'll go from everything from art, music, and history all the way to engineering, accounting, and business strategy.

[00:03:30] John Foley: So that, that's been, I think I've been like that since puberty. Uh, so I just became self-aware and I was like, I want to learn everything. Just curious about everything. Um, because I live in the university, I lived in a university town, um, you have all these different apartments that you can actually reach out to, and so.

[00:03:50] John Foley: In Ireland, we have a year gap called transition year, which is between fourth year two, yeah. And fourth year. So I think, I can't remember what age you'd be. [00:04:00] Probably around 16 maybe. 16. Yeah. 15 or 16. And, cause I'm quite young, I couldn't go and do uh, any jobs in companies cuz it'd be a little bit illegal.

[00:04:10] John Foley: Um Right. Would be underage. So in the university I had. Somebody I knew had gotten into an electronic engineering department and I kind of figured I'll give it a go, see if I can get in. And that's actually where I found design. Uh, so they let me go in and play with all the electronics linos and making contains.

[00:04:32] John Foley: Oh yeah. And that escalated all the way up into working with a brain sensor. Um, and I was measuring my own activity. Head and then figuring out how to turn on motors by like focusing and that kind of stuff. So it went really weird. Uh, and I went up and when I was chatting with the person that had let me in , I said like, should I go into engineering?

[00:04:55] John Foley: And he said, John, do you like maths? And I said, Kind of, but not really. [00:05:00] Uh, and his response was, have a look at the design. Uh, and he, right. Yeah. And so he recommended a lecture called Trevor Va. Uh, I know the name. Yeah. Yeah. And so he recommended I reach out to him and I got a little tour place cause I had missed the open days, uh, at the time.

[00:05:21] John Foley: And that's when I heard about design. And I think I. Some movies like, I think it was The Wind Rises or something like that was a little anime movie about architecture or what was it? Engineering and flight and that kinda stuff. I think that's where I got the whole, yeah, this design stuff sounds pretty cool.

[00:05:38] John Foley: I'll give it a look. So you were about

[00:05:40] Gerry Scullion: 16 when you were introduced to maybe what design could be? Yeah.

[00:05:45] John Foley: Cause I hadn't a clue. Like I had family members that went into mainly working. Service industry and that kind of stuff. But, um, . Yeah, I'd be the first, I was the first in my family to even go to university, uh, or even think about it,[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] John Foley: Um, so, so it was kind of engineering or accounting. I was like, yeah, there are the two things that you can do. Go excel at that and bring in the money kinda thing. Yeah.

[00:06:10] Gerry Scullion: It's interesting because, and uh, and again, I'm have to be aware that I've got a big brush here and I'm gonna tear everyone at the same brush as I'm about to say this.

[00:06:18] Gerry Scullion: In my experience of speaking to family members, When they come home and they, the child comes home and. I think I want a two design. Yeah. There's usually one or two things that happen. They're gonna go, yeah, that would be great. I could see how that works. Or the other one is like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You want to do something else like, uh, you know, journalism or accounting or business studies.

[00:06:42] Gerry Scullion: Something that, you know, equates to a much more tangible outcome and easier path to getting a job. That tends to be where a parent's, um, sort of priorities lie. Are, can you remember back that far? Cuz you're, you're probably about mid twenties now at this stage [00:07:00] and we're talking about 10 years ago. I'm getting, you're getting na on you.

[00:07:06] Gerry Scullion: You

[00:07:06] John Foley: wanna have, you got the pension set. Um,

[00:07:12] Gerry Scullion: so can you remember what that conversation was like with your parents?

[00:07:15] John Foley: Um, I think so My parents have always been supportive. Most things so long as it was, it didn't result in me getting injured. Yeah. Um, but I think, yeah, the conversation was all right because they were looking at it going, well, you did engineer and they let you into a university and you were able to go there every Friday for two years.

[00:07:36] John Foley: And they said, they gave you the feedback and said, design could be really cool.

[00:07:41] Gerry Scullion: So you were going into the university for two years doing, playing with the AOS

[00:07:45] John Foley: and stuff. See, this is what I was saying. I have a weird background. It's not , right. Just maybe. So this is the unique bit. Um, so yeah, they, I think they saw my enthusiasm for Yeah.

[00:07:56] John Foley: Everything. Um, and they went well, we could [00:08:00] test out a whole pile of different giz. This chap, and if he can understand it well then somebody starting off in university will have a good chance of understanding how it works. Um, so it was mutually beneficial. Uh, I don't think it was . That's an incredible advantage.

[00:08:18] John Foley: That's in

[00:08:19] Gerry Scullion: Incre. Incredibly generous thing from university to do that. Was that Trevor Vo

[00:08:24] John Foley: that did? No, so this was, um, Ben Malaco, um, who is in the engineering department, um, right. And he had let me in, uh, to, you know, do like the, the transition year come in every Friday for whatever, six months or whatever the timeline was, and I was having.

[00:08:44] John Foley: So much fun. I would be optimistic. Be proactive. Yeah. And I'd be doing all these different things serious and then Exactly. All that stuff. And then I think they just saw that and they went, when I had asked can I stick around for the summer? And then I'd ask, can I stick around a little bit longer? [00:09:00] And then I think I got up for my leaving cert and they went, okay, I can't actually show up every Friday anymore to do stuff.

[00:09:06] John Foley: Uh, I need to pass my exams so I can actually get into university. Yeah. Um, and so they were. John, it was lovely having you. Uh, and that, that's kind of, yeah, there's a, yeah. What I found is there are hundreds and millions of generous people out there. It comes down to yourself being, bringing that energy, bringing the, as I said, the optimism, the ness, and I suppose a degree of compassion as well when you're interacting with people.

[00:09:31] John Foley: Yeah. And then all of a sudden you just get lucky. You get awkward stuff because you are, you've generated that look, I suppose.

[00:09:39] Gerry Scullion: Absolutely. You, you showing that that level of enthusiasm and curiosity really probably mitigated a lot of those kind of fears your parents had as a, as an like, is this the right thing for him to get into Because you were already kind of doing it, you're already Yeah.

[00:09:53] Gerry Scullion: You know? Right. Well, duh, I'm off going into university today. You're like not finished school. So you're a little bit of a [00:10:00] doogie houser in that sense. You're, you're, um, a high achiever from a young age, if you're, is that fair to say?

[00:10:07] John Foley: Probably, uh, yeah. I. High achiever Sounds cute. I didn't even think, I didn't even think of it that way.

[00:10:13] John Foley: I mainly looked at him and went, this is interesting. This is cool. I'm gonna give this a go and they'll have to kick me out. Uh, , that's the only way I'm getting out now. But

[00:10:22] Gerry Scullion: I know when I, when I reflect back to my own 16 year old self, um, I wasn't confident enough to walk into a university cuz they were much older than me.

[00:10:31] Gerry Scullion: Those people were much older.

[00:10:33] John Foley: Same. I, I honestly, after opening up a memory, now, I, I do remember calling the, the university, um, and just being just like shaking, nervous, uh, on the phone and they're just kinda like, hello, can I join the university ? I think I had said, can I do

[00:10:52] Gerry Scullion: university with you

[00:10:54] John Foley: with the voice cracks and all that kind of stuff.

[00:10:57] John Foley: Um, and then they had a, [00:11:00] Yeah, the, the person there was just friendly. They realized that like, this is a child that's calling. Uh, and yeah, they, they had, they, I think they had someone else in before, so they knew who I, roughly what I was asking about. And so, yeah. Yeah. So definitely I wouldn't, am I an achiever?

[00:11:17] John Foley: I don't know. I think I was, I don't think I'm smart enough to, to set that, uh, level of achievement. It

[00:11:22] Gerry Scullion: depends how you frame it. Yeah. You set yourself up and we're gonna talk a little bit that in, in a minute, but you set yourself up for look to occur. Mm-hmm. . Um, and you'd built that bridge at a very young age.

[00:11:33] Gerry Scullion: Um, you learned how to communicate and network to, to. It was, you probably didn't realize it, but it was quite sophisticated in what you were doing, . Um, so talk to us about, you went in, you studied your, um, your degree and then you did a Master's. What was the master's in?

[00:11:53] John Foley: The master's was in design innovation.

[00:11:56] Gerry Scullion: Okay. Um, and what did you cover off in [00:12:00] that? Was it, was it a pretty focused master's or was it quite a broad master's

[00:12:04] John Foley: in that sense? So the great thing about. Design at Minu University is that they want you to pick up skills. I, I think they had said this informally a few times, which is they want you up into the C-suite.

[00:12:18] John Foley: They don't want you kind of, you know, working your way up into a, into a different kind of like, I'll be the junior and then lead and whatever. I'll work up. They're very much, you need from the design perspective, you need to be able to communicate with all the different people. So the fastest way to do that is to get you to.

[00:12:37] John Foley: get you up to that C-suite level, so, mm-hmm. in all in the undergrad as well as the masters, was very much teaching you about, okay, yes, there's design, there's the creativity, there's the thinking and the problem solving, and how do you assess a problem. But then there's also, here's how you do business, marketing, entrepreneurship as well as design research and ethnography.

[00:12:58] John Foley: How do you go in and look at stuff, or [00:13:00] even remember my undergrad, how do you weigh. If it's worth buying equipment or investing in something, like what's the net present value of a, of, of an investment? Yeah. So we had a lovely, which fulfilled my eclectic interests, uh, kind of brain, uh, because it'd give you all these options to try stuff.

[00:13:20] John Foley: So it was quite, it was general, but I feel like can, saying it was general would be a disservice to what they were actually doing, uh, which was to get you ready for anything really, and let you choose what you wanted to focus on a bit.

[00:13:33] Gerry Scullion: So one of the problems that I'm seeing, um, it's from coaching and through this podcast in particular, is at the end of the academic year, it's a little bit of like, you know, pat you on the back, see you later, or if you go Best luck, copy, get a job.

[00:13:51] Gerry Scullion: How was that handled in Minuth? Okay. Cuz this bridging experience between the two worlds, the transitionary period between academia

[00:13:59] John Foley: and

[00:13:59] Gerry Scullion: [00:14:00] um, full-time employment. What was that like? Did they bring industry into the Masters? Were were you working alongside other businesses? Were they teaching about entrepreneurship and business to set up on your own?

[00:14:12] Gerry Scullion: I'd love to know a little bit more

[00:14:14] John Foley: around that. Yeah, so actually it's all the above. We did all those things. So they'd bring in industry partners. So I think we had e sb I think some stuff had went through because of the pandemic. Um Mm, which kind halfway

[00:14:27] Gerry Scullion: through the pandemic kicked off halfway through,

[00:14:29] John Foley: wasn't it?

[00:14:30] John Foley: Yeah. So that was kind of, that had nothing to do with the university. That was mainly to do with the world, uh, . Yeah. The pause for a bit. Um, so yeah, so they, they'd bring in people. They'd also. Train you to kind of do entre or if you have an idea, and yeah, they, they would get you ready for entrepreneurship as well, through both course coursework as well as mm-hmm.

[00:14:54] John Foley: you'll have indivi, individual lecturers that will say, Hey, you should, you know, try that out. See what happens. Yeah. [00:15:00] Um, cause you don't have that certainty, uh, in, in reality. So yeah. You find something cool, give it a go. So how they went about the. It's hard to tell cause I haven't been able to sample any other places.

[00:15:11] John Foley: So it's kind of, it's all, I've actually known , if I'm honest.

[00:15:16] Gerry Scullion: But even having those conversations, um, with the people within the university, it sounds like they're across it and they, they support that kind of thinking and that entrepreneurial mindset sounds like it was instilled from the degree level as opposed to just being something that we need to bolt on at the master's.

[00:15:35] Gerry Scullion: It was within the dna. It sounds like with within the design function of Minu,

[00:15:40] John Foley: I would a hundred percent. Yeah, pretty much. I would, yeah. I would a hundred percent agree on that because I noticed, even when I look back on certain things, I'd say like, oh, we've been like left alone just to figure stuff out by ourselves.

[00:15:50] John Foley: I was only, I think I had ju, I think it was first year I hopped on quite quickly on that and went, this is fantastic. Yeah, they're just gonna say, go do this thing. Figure [00:16:00] out the way you're gonna do it. There are no rules. Just go, go make sense of it. Yeah. And what I loved about that was that you could, you had the freedom to explore it, and then when it came to the.

[00:16:13] John Foley: When you to pitch and present and that kind of stuff. Once you have a rationale or a logic and you could explain how you came to your conclusion, you're fine. Um, yeah, like there, there, there's no issues about that because again, I think they looked at design from the point of view of we have no id, we have to invent point B.

[00:16:31] John Foley: There is no A to B. You could, you could make up, you could come up with a new point B. Um, I. As I agree has was there from the very beginning. So the masters was just speaking with more experienced people in the course.

[00:16:45] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. One of, one of the things when I look at your LinkedIn profile was the continuation of the relationship with Minuth.

[00:16:52] Gerry Scullion: You, you ended up working in Minuth. Yeah. Is that the same for all of your class or is that just a case of a, of [00:17:00] a select view or how, walk me through what that looked like.

[00:17:03] John Foley: I'm trying to think. I think there. There's one or two like this is, yeah, so this is something I've noticed as well when you're doing coursework, is that your lecturers have worked in industry or they are in industry, and they will have gigs, freelance stuff.

[00:17:19] John Foley: They'll have their own companies or whatever it is. And if you're. Showing up at the university every day. You're doing great work. You're positive and good to chat with. Mm-hmm. , it's just a matter of time before they will probably go to you and say, look, I've got a little project here. Could you help me out on it?

[00:17:37] John Foley: There's a bit of money or whatever, and, and that would kind of open the door to you, so, You wouldn't be aware of it because it's not like something that gets announced and goes, hello, everybody. Uh, we've Well, I've, I've got a side gig. It's very much, it's true. Those relationships that you mainly unconsciously develop, um, that, that get you those opportunities.

[00:17:57] John Foley: So I've known a few people. Yeah. There's a good few [00:18:00] people that I know that has continued it, that. .

[00:18:04] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, cuz that, that's super cool cause you ended up working as a design researcher in Minuth for maybe, what, a year

[00:18:11] John Foley: and a half was it? So little of that. Yeah, that was actually a funny one as well. So yes, that was with, so the EU has, um, this thing called Horizons and then insert year.

[00:18:22] John Foley: So Horizons 2020. And what they do is they put a lot of money into innovation in some sort of area. And the one that I was, um, asked to join was, It was called shapes, which was to do with smart and healthy aging for people engaging in supportive systems. So basically, okay, we're all getting older, how are we gonna make sure that that's not a bad thing, uh, was the base of it.

[00:18:47] John Foley: And so one of my lectures had. We were doing ethnography, uh, I believe, and he quite liked the way I would write about stuff or how I would describe things. Uh, when I [00:19:00] carried out research, and I think I got a phone call one of the days and he said, John, I'm working on the future of aging in Europe. Are you interested?

[00:19:08] John Foley: And I kind of went, oh yeah, let me think about it. Like, uh, , no, I, I went straight into it and said, yeah, you don't, you'll turn. Opportunities like that gig. So yeah. Here's a good gig. Um, we're interviewing people, apply and see if you can get in. Um, yeah, so that's kind of how that happened. ,

[00:19:26] Gerry Scullion: right. And which was a really important thing as well, because it was within the 15 minute walk.

[00:19:31] Gerry Scullion: Um, you know, you don't have to Yeah, I wouldn't have done it otherwise. Yeah. More than 15 minutes as well. So you, you are okay for that? Yeah. Um, what was the interview process like for them? What, what were they looking for when you were going through that process?

[00:19:44] John Foley: That was a long time ago. Um, can you make

[00:19:46] Gerry Scullion: It was two years ago, ,

[00:19:48] John Foley: can you Extremely fast for me at the moment.

[00:19:51] John Foley: Uh, but yeah,

[00:19:51] Gerry Scullion: there was a pandemic in the middle of it. Yeah. But did you have a portfolio, uh, at that time? Because this is one of the big questions for people who listened to the Getting Started Design [00:20:00] podcast is. He must have had a Cracken portfolio if he was hanging out in, uh, the electronics department from 16.

[00:20:07] Gerry Scullion: What, what kind of stuff did he have in his portfolio? Jerry? Ask him the questions. Do your job. That's, people are saying to me when they listen to this podcast, can you remember what that was like? Did you have a paper

[00:20:17] John Foley: portfolio or was it digital portfolio? Philosophically, I don't agree with portfolios.

[00:20:24] John Foley: Um, I know you, I know you do a course and I'm, and I, I'm happy to. To, to, to dis to, to, to have a different perspective on that. I do not like the idea of portfolios, and I think it's a, it's a big waste of time for everybody involved. Um, what I do believe in is a pitch deck. Um, okay, so I know I'm probably just doing semantics here.

[00:20:46] John Foley: Um, changing the, does the pitch deck have examples? If you're working. Yes and no. So it, it's mainly, it, it in the same way you put a proposal together for working with a client, you would, you would do that. You would treat the [00:21:00] person or company. You wanna work as a client. Yeah. And so you go, all right, this isn't gonna be a 30 page thing.

[00:21:06] John Foley: It's not gonna be multiple projects. It's going to be, um, here's why I want to apply, here's why I'm good. Here's some examples of why I'm good. Let's have a chat there. And that would be like, what? Less than 10 slides of content. Um, Because then you're a human and then they, they realize they're human and we just wanna, and you're putting effort,

[00:21:27] Gerry Scullion: understand, and it's making it easier for them to make that leap, um, on saying actually, you know, he's put some thought into this.

[00:21:33] Gerry Scullion: It's customized to our needs. Yeah. Yeah. It, it's, it's definitely, I've heard a few other people recently say they do the same thing. So let's talk about what was in your, your pitch deck then. Okay. So, um, was it, did you create a pitch deck for the role with Horizon 20?

[00:21:51] John Foley: For that one, I think I just had a CV because this is with anthropologists, so they Okay.

[00:21:57] John Foley: Yeah. Different process. It was like a standard [00:22:00] interview cv and then have a chat and see why you're good for the role for. However, for live work that was going into a service design role. So I might explain that one.

[00:22:09] Gerry Scullion: So let's talk about that one a little bit. So when you were, um, January 22, you started, um, with live work in in London.

[00:22:18] Gerry Scullion: Um, which for anyone who doesn't know live work, live work, or. A pretty remarkable service design practice. They've been around since stay taught in the service design world. Um, and from speaking to Marsia recently, who's a design director based in Rotterdam, but also in the London office, was explaining to me now that it's employee owned and I wasn't really aware of this, so, um, Walk me through.

[00:22:43] Gerry Scullion: And it's not, not like, uh, thousands and thousands of people working in lib work. It's, it's still quite a small, you know, um, very intimate and I don't wanna say boutique, but it, it's like under 30 people is what my understanding is that right?

[00:22:57] John Foley: Correct. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:22:59] Gerry Scullion: So [00:23:00] how did you approach live work, or what was the process and was your contract finishing on, on the horizon 2020 and then you were like, Walk me through, did you select who you wanted to work for and kind of go target them or,

[00:23:13] John Foley: so?

[00:23:14] John Foley: Um, yes, actually, yeah, again, it was, it was all the above. So it was, the contract was ending, uh, yeah. For the Horizons Project. So that was a good motivator to, you know, look around. Uh, yeah. I had been reading a book, actually was service design from Insight to Implementation, which was written by Yeah. And Ben.

[00:23:37] John Foley: Yeah, so, so, so I had read that book because I was kind of getting ready to do freelance actually. Um, yeah. And that was a good book that gave for, for once. It was, it was a design book that I think went through, like, this is how much we charged for certain things. I went, alright, this place is pretty cool.

[00:23:55] John Foley: And I think there was a project that they'd done, um, and it was [00:24:00] reducing long-term unemployment. Somewhere in the UK I went, alright, they're doing something important. They're able to explain themselves and they're giving me information that's useful. I'll keep an eye on them in the future. And I think I saw posts somewhere on LinkedIn by one of the directors.

[00:24:17] John Foley: It was bi and yeah, they just said, we're hiring. And I said, all right, I'll send out the cv. See if they get back to me, and that, that's kind of how that entry point started, uh, was true there. Very

[00:24:29] Gerry Scullion: good. So again, I'm loving the fact that you are like, at the front of the pack and you're kind of hunting down these opportunities yourself in, in, uh, uh, it sounds very kind of facetious and in that sense, but again, you, you're going out and you're, you're looking for this.

[00:24:45] Gerry Scullion: You're not sitting back kind of going, oh, I got my LinkedIn profile up to date. I'm just waiting for people. Knock on the door with an opportunity. You went out there, you found it, and you, you made this happen. Um, so that's, that's a pattern that I'm [00:25:00] seeing with people who are having a less bumpy road in that transitionary period.

[00:25:05] Gerry Scullion: Um, can you remember when you're going back to that point? Uh, cuz this was during the pandemic. Okay. So it was, it was kind of a, an interesting kinda transitionary period between the world that we knew Yeah. And pandemic. So you did an email introduction and walk me through what the interview process was like and what were they looking for, how many interviews were there and so

[00:25:28] John Foley: forth.

[00:25:29] John Foley: Perfect. So as I was saying before, I made a little pitch deck. So I think, I think it was three interviews in total. Um, so the first was just getting to know me and seeing a bit of. You know, the portfolio or a project that they wanted to see. The second one was more the same, but to showcase a skill or, or something like that.

[00:25:52] John Foley: Yeah, I think we'll just do it like a, a tool that you'd used in a project and to be able to talk about it. I think the last one was just to get to know me. Um, yeah. [00:26:00] And see if you're, if you're, if you're gonna pick culturally so that they're, they're the three interviews. Um, and so I think the pitch deck or the proposal had said the same, the whole, more or less the whole way through.

[00:26:12] John Foley: Um, which was, would you like me to go into how the proposal shape? Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to, love to learn. So there's one thing that I always learned a couple of years ago, which was people don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you. And so I had used that for my proposal, uh, and said, okay, here's live work.

[00:26:36] John Foley: Here's why I'm applying. I think you're really cool. I think you've done these. I've read one of your books. Um, I'm seeing what you're up to. It was like, that's what I want to get up to. And so it was talking about how great they are and then about, look how great I am, I'd be a fantastic fit. And then I'd go into, here's an example project that you've asked to have a look at.

[00:26:53] John Foley: Yeah. And that'll be a general s. So a

[00:26:56] Gerry Scullion: 10 page, uh, pitch deck effectively. Yeah. [00:27:00] Yeah. Pretty nice. So the interview process, um, wa was there any requests for portfolios in that process?

[00:27:10] John Foley: Um, no, I just said, they just said, show us one project and, um, that, that's what I

[00:27:15] Gerry Scullion: went for. Okay. So then, then, um, it got to the, the sticky part of negotiations because they, they were obviously, Interested enough cuz you're a full-time employee over there.

[00:27:29] Gerry Scullion: Can you remember, um, moving from Dublin to London as well, which, you know, we all know you're, you've got a 15 minute radius around your house in the mood. Yeah. You, you're gonna have to get to the airport, which is a 40 minute drive, and then you're gonna have to get on a plane and get to London, which is, that's horrible.

[00:27:44] Gerry Scullion: My calculations is more than 15 minutes from your house. So, um, how did you determine. What to, what to ask from what was reasonable and may maybe walk, cause I don't want to know the numbers by the way. That's a completely private thing between yourself and live work. But how did you determine [00:28:00] what was, um, what was

[00:28:01] John Foley: reasonable?

[00:28:03] John Foley: So actually one thing I will say about the numbers won't get into the specifics, but I will say, yeah, on the, um, On the website when they were operating the role, they do say it's between this figure and whatever. Excellent. So, and that is really important because the amount of companies that say we don't have any talent coming in, and then they're not clear as to, you know, they don't tell you how much you could make.

[00:28:23] John Foley: And then there's like, it's competitive and that's all you get. So that's something.

[00:28:27] Gerry Scullion: Parity and

[00:28:27] John Foley: equity as well. Yeah. So live work is clear on that bit at the beginning. Yeah. Um, so sorry, what was the other bit of the question? No, just how did you

[00:28:35] Gerry Scullion: know? So they, they have the, the band on the application process, which is, which is fantastic.

[00:28:40] Gerry Scullion: So how did you know, um, how did you handle the negotiation periods? What was the, the steps? Did you go in and if, if there were offering 10, did you come back in and say,

[00:28:54] John Foley: Uh, I want more, I

[00:28:55] Gerry Scullion: want less. I want a review period after six months. Can you remember what that was? Cause this is [00:29:00] a really tricky period for a lot of people coming outta university, where they're like, this is a great opportunity.

[00:29:05] Gerry Scullion: I really want this job, okay? Mm-hmm. . And I'm prepared to do it for nothing. Almost never do that, folks. But I want to know what, what that process was like, like, you know, cause that's really, um, it's a tricky one for a lot of people.

[00:29:20] John Foley: So, I didn't negotiate. Because the figure was perfect. It worked for me.

[00:29:28] John Foley: Yeah. Wasn't going to push any further on it. Mm-hmm. , uh, I agreed with the assessment on it. Um, cause again, I'm still really new to this whole Yeah. Career malarky kind of stuff. So what I. Did do beforehand though, was know what I needed upfront. So I ran my own figures. I looked at how much the average rent would be, how much I'd have to spend each month.

[00:29:51] John Foley: Yeah. And I knew, okay, this is how much money I would have to, I'd have to get just to break even. Um, yeah. And. [00:30:00] It was, it was, it was, it was definitely above that. So that allowed me to kind of go, okay, well the figures work out. Uh, so I don't really, don't really care much for getting into the negotiations.

[00:30:12] John Foley: I was happy enough to just to move in. Yeah.

[00:30:15] Gerry Scullion: So look, looking back on the whole kind of period, it seems, when I compare to some other conversations I've had, not the ones on this podcast. Hmm. But you've had a very kind of, um, direct. Process from leaving academia, like getting your masters, getting a contract job in, in design research, and then it just seems like, you know, a couple of months later you've landed a really good gig in London.

[00:30:43] Gerry Scullion: With one of the best services I agencies in the world or practices in the world. Um, what advice would you give to people? So if you've got a little brother say, who's looking to do the same thing as you? Can you think of the three things that you bring to the table that you're like, [00:31:00] if these, these are the three simple rules that work really well for me, can you think what those three simpler rules might be,

[00:31:07] John Foley: John?

[00:31:07] John Foley: So yes, there is, there's definitely three, um, which was. Whatever you're doing, and this is outside of your career as well, um, which is to always have your optimism. Yeah. Always be proactive in everything that you do and make sure that in all these pursuits that you're going on, keep your compassion for other human beings.

[00:31:32] John Foley: Those are the three biggest things. Being optimistic, proactive, and compassionate. And the rest of it figures itself out because it's all just a numbers game and you'll come across all these great things just simply existing in the world. There are hundreds of millions of opportunities. So those are the three things that will help you.

[00:31:51] Gerry Scullion: Yep. I. They're, they're three great rules. Um, so what I'm gonna do is, John, um, first of all, I'm gonna thank you for giving me your time [00:32:00] and your energy, and your openness and your honesty. Put you in the spot with a couple of those questions. Um, if people wanna reach out to you, I can put a link to your LinkedIn in there.

[00:32:10] Gerry Scullion: Do you have a

[00:32:11] John Foley: website? No, not at the moment. I'd say the LinkedIn would probably be handy enough. Is, is

[00:32:16] Gerry Scullion: is the best way for people to get in touch with you? Indeed. Um, John, listen. Look, if I don't get a chance to say now, have a great Christmas. I know you're going back to, to Minuth, you're, um, best friends with uh, Paul Mekel as well in Minuth.

[00:32:29] Gerry Scullion: You're

[00:32:29] telling

[00:32:29] John Foley: me just down the road? Yeah. That's

[00:32:32] Gerry Scullion: a a little joke. You know, John did go to school with Paul Mescal and I can hear collective gasps from the American audience getting a normal people star. Paul Meco is from the same area as John from, so there you go. You should update your LinkedIn profile and just put that in your

[00:32:50] John Foley: brackets.

[00:32:50] John Foley: I .

[00:32:53] Gerry Scullion: Listen, thanks much for your time. So there you have it. That's all for this episode. If you like this episode, feel free to [00:33:00] visit this cd.com where you can access our back catalog of over a hundred episodes with episodes related to service design, product management, design, research, and much, much more.

[00:33:09] Gerry Scullion: If you're interested in design and innovation training, feel free to check out our business. This is doing.com where you can join online classrooms and learn from the world's best design and innovation. Join that. This is CD newsletter where you'd receive updates from the network. And also, if you're interested, apply to join the Slack community.

[00:33:27] Gerry Scullion: And this is cd.com. Stay safe and until next time, take care.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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