In this new article series I Want That Job! I'll be interviewing people from various professions within the climbing world. If you think your job is a dream come true (it has to be climbing related) and if you're willing to be interviewed - then drop me a line. Likewise if you can think of a job that you'd like to have - suggest it in the forums and I'll try and track someone down.
It's the turn of Lucy Ham who works for Beyond Hope the UK distributors of prAna, Metolius and Evolv. Lucy used to work for the North Face but has now graduated to working for prAna when she's not running. climbing, cycling or ski touring. Lucy's philosophy is to "go for it" whether at work or at play.
Name: Lucy Ham
Lucy on Brazen Buttress E2 5b, Pembroke
© Lucy Ham collection
Job Title: Sales and Marketing Manager - prAna
Relevant Qualifications: Non specific but a level of confidence helps.
Salary: Enough to have a good lifestyle
Perks and holidays/time off: 2 months holiday a year!
Describe your job in 100 words max:
I am basically responsible for all elements of developing the brand prAna in the UK and the direction and distribution channels to take. This involves account management and sales, marketing and athlete management, communicating product development needs for our region to the design team and all customer service. I attend trade shows and sales meetings throughout Europe representing the UK.
How did you get this job? How long did it take? Any hardships? Did you always want it or did it just happen?
I worked in a climbing shop in New Zealand and then in the UK on my return. From there I worked as an account manager for The North Face which was a great place to learn the trade. prAna offered both an exciting development opportunity and a great lifestyle with the additional holiday.
What attracted you to the job in the first place?
Did I mention the holiday...! As a keen climber for most of my life it was a fairly obvious choice for brand fit but the role was also very exciting, a chance to affect the future of the brand, something different to a massive company like The North Face.
How long have you been in the job now? How long do you see yourself continuing?
Just over a year, I see no reason to change in the near future, I'm loving it!
Describe your average day at work? And the average week?
There is no average day. My job is very varied in both what I do and where I do it.
Is it how you/other people imagine it to be?
Lucy Ham of Prana UK.
I think my friends think I just drive around drinking tea and climbing with customers. There is some of that but there is a fair amount of logistical planning involved to. I can work some very long hours and do some serious amounts of travelling.
The best day? The worst day?
Best day so far was finishing a sales meeting in Chamonix and heading out for three days in waist deep powder with some of the European team. Worst day is any number of days stuck on the M1 in traffic.
Why is it great working in Sales and Marketing, and why is it rubbish?
One of the best things about my job is the people I work with, be it customers or other prAna people, they tend to be genuinely keen climbers or outdoor activists. It is great to have a job that you can develop a complex professional relationship with customers but leave it all at the door and go climbing at the end of the day. I have a climbing partner in nearly every region.
Do you 'love' your job? Why? Why not?
I can't imagine myself doing anything else. It is very stressful but what isn't that is interesting? I love the variety and the places it takes me to, both socially and geographically, and the people I work with.
If a teenager said to you 'I want to be in Sales and Marketing, like you' – what would you say? Recommend it? Warn them off? Laugh?!
Don't do it if you want an easy life but if you are up for working hard the benefits are great.
Any tips and advice on how to get to where you've got to?
Go for stuff.
After I got The North Face job which was the big turning point for me career wise, I spoke to a few people who I believe would have been better than me who said 'oh yeah, I saw that advertised but didn't think I would get it'. Be cocky enough to put yourself in the right positions.
Any friends through work?
Loads, some really good ones too...
And finally - What's your dream job? Why?
My dream would be not to work at all and just climb, ski tour, bike, run etc. I am not one to say I would be bored if I didn't need to work, I'm sure I could think of things to do.