Why I Work In… is a regular feature, kindly sponsored by Huddersfield-based recruitment firm Stafflex, where we ask people about their jobs and the industry they work in. This time it’s PHIL BIRKHEAD, director at Milnsbridge-based Oyster.

Tell us a bit about Oyster.

Oyster is a sustainably focused managed print services provider, meaning we supply printers and photocopiers as well as supporting print and document management software. Ultimately if it involves producing or processing documents, then we can help support you.

Because the hardware involves plastic, metal, paper and energy, it isn’t usually a very sustainably focused industry, however at Oyster we have worked with our partners to ensure that what our clients print is reforested within UK schools, charities and projects.

What’s your role and what does it entail?

Where do I start!?

Driving growth through our internal and field sales teams, working with our partners to ensure we are consistently evolving our services, reviewing our internal processes to ensure we are delivering the highest levels of customer service, mentoring our new starters to allow them to develop within the business and my favourite part – going out and meeting new and existing customers!

How long have you worked in this sector?

My entire career has been in this industry, so nearly 22 years!

What’s the best piece of career/business advice you’ve ever been given?

Be authentic and accountable. This was my dad’s advice the day before I started my first job. He articulated it in slightly different way, but the meaning was the same!

If you could describe your job in three words, what would they be?

Wow, this is hard. Fast Paced, Fulfilling, Diverse.

What do you love most about your job?

There are two aspects that I enjoy the most:

  1. Supporting my team to reach their personal goals. I don’t think there is anything better than helping develop people and seeing them flourish.
  2. When a new client places their trust in you to deliver a project and we get the feedback after. I know I am biased, however we do a great job and the thank you emails/recommendations we receive really do make us all feel great.

What one word would your colleagues use to describe you?

Approachable. (I asked the team and this was their answer!)

How do you relax away from work?

I have two young children, so I don’t think I know how to relax!

My weeks consist of coaching grassroots football, watching my kids play cricket, dance, swim….and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Although…maybe a couple more rounds of golf could help me relax a little bit!

If someone is reading this and wants to work for Oyster, what should they do?

Really simple, contact me through the Oyster website or find me on LinkedIn.


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