A smiling man wearing sunglasses, standing in front of a mountain landscape. He works for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.
John Davenport. Image: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

Want to know what it’s like working as a training leader?

6 Feb 2019

John Davenport is a site training leader at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Here, he talks about what led him to that role and what it’s like.

As in most industries, there is so much more to working in biopharma companies than you might first think of.

Just as you might picture software developers and engineers when you think of tech, a career in biopharma might conjure up thoughts of scientists and lab technicians.

But if your dream is working with people in a training or coaching capacity, there is still a job for you in biopharma.

John Davenport is a site training leader at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Here, he talks about what led him to that role and what it’s like.

What first stirred your interest in a career in training?

I’ve always been interested in coaching and training. From involvement in sports and in college, I had my first real experience of being responsible for both: coaching a volleyball team.

What education or other jobs led you to the role you now have?

Having studied electronic engineering, my subsequent experiences in engineering and manufacturing helped me understand the need for and the value of effective training and systems. Completing a certificate in training before progressing to a master’s in training and HR helped me to understand why different approaches are required in different situations.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges you encountered on your career path?

The biggest surprise is to be doing a job that I really love. I always thought that a job was a ‘necessary evil’ to pay the bills but I have discovered that finding the right job and working with fantastic people changes everything. If you had told me 15 years ago about my current role, I would have thought you were mad. Seize the opportunity when it comes up.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

Paudie Butler (former hurling development coordinator with the GAA). He led a complete cultural and mindset change in the way the sport is coached.

To put structures in place nationally to positively influence coaches – from a wide variety of backgrounds and varying experience levels – to completely change their methods was truly transformational.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Being encouraged to find innovative solutions to problems and trusted to make the right decision for the company and the employees. It’s about understanding what the need is and finding the best way to meet that need.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to this job?

I’m very curious by nature and enjoy working with people. Particularly helping them to find the best possible solution to suit their situation – personal, process or system.

How did Johnson & Johnson Vision Care support you on your career path?

Broadening my horizons to see what is possible. Seeing the positive influences that employees and companies can have to help others to be create a more sustainable future for the mid-west region through collaboration. One passionate individual can make a difference, regardless of the scenario.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in this area?

Follow your passion, regardless of the career. Think about what gives you enjoyment outside of work (eg your hobbies) and align those aspects with your future career. I love training and coaching, which led me to a role that gives me a sense of fulfilment now.

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