Are you thinking of taking up a role in sales? If so, you may be pleased to learn it’s an excellent career with ample opportunity for growth.
For Al Williams, coming to Ireland to continue to grow his career in technology sales was a no-brainer. Ireland is, as Williams rightly pointed out, home to a number of “the world’s leading companies”. Furthermore, Williams has had so many wonderful opportunities for personal and professional growth with his current employer, New Relic.
However, that doesn’t erase the natural hunger for home that anyone who has left their birthplace will understand. Here, Williams talks about his love for his native country of Jamaica, how the Irish are similar to Jamaicans and what he loves about his role.
Where are you from and what’s it like there?
I hail from Jamaica, the land of sun, water, wood, reggae and the greatest people in the world. I might be a little biased.
How long have you been in Ireland?
I’ve lived in Ireland for over 11 years. I moved here in May 2007.
What prompted your decision to move here?
Before moving to Ireland, I lived in the UK for a few years. While in the UK I met my wife, who was studying there at the time. We eventually moved back to Ireland and got married. I knew very little about Ireland at the time.
Since we were both in technology sales, it was a great place to be. Many of the world’s leading companies have a presence here in Dublin. We’ve since raised a family here and have grown our careers here, which I may not have been able to do at the same pace back in Jamaica.
What’s your role in New Relic?
For the past two years at New Relic, I’ve led one of our commercial sales teams. I’m responsible for mentoring, coaching, motivating and empowering an awesome team of individuals to be successful in their current roles and position them for a successful career in the future.
How would you describe your working environment?
New Relic is by far the best company I’ve been a part of in my career. The company offers a healthy balance of challenge and support, and I really enjoy coming into work every day.
I’ve found my career in sales, especially at New Relic, to be very rewarding. We’re faced with unique challenges that make every day a little different than the last. I’m tasked with growing a diverse team and empowering them to be successful, from achieving our quotas to growing their careers and much more.
The support from our senior leadership team across the various lines of business has been remarkable. Everyone is aligned in the success of each individual and toward the success of New Relic as a whole. It’s really nice to work on a team where we’re able and encouraged to think strategically, but we’re also really great at taking action to get things done.
New Relic is just a fun environment to be a part of. Our quarterly themed happy hours (Data Drinks), impromptu office competitions and the daily banter that happens around the office all make it a very energising place to be. I think a big factor that plays into building this kind of environment is that most people are very open and inclusive.
What do you like most about your job?
I work with a diverse group of people who are brilliant and funny in different ways. They make each day that much more enjoyable. I see my colleagues growing and challenging the norm on a daily basis, and together we’re raising the bar for ourselves so we can become better people and professionals. It’s been so fun being a part of this journey. New Relic challenges me to keep growing as a person and as a leader.
In addition to working with my team, another very important aspect of my role is working with our customers. I really enjoy spending time with them, learning about the challenges they’re facing and uncovering new solutions for them. New Relic’s product platform is changing the way that modern businesses scale and transform, and our customers are doing some really interesting things with our solutions.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
It was difficult when I first got here. I had to adjust to the weather, culture and work environment. I remember for a long time I hadn’t made any new friends here; it was just family, work and my church community that I leaned on.
After a while, I realised that I had to make certain adjustments in the way that I approached life here. I worked on being more open and spent time learning more about the history and culture of Ireland, finding ways to connect with people at different levels.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?
I had heard about the ‘Emerald Isle’, but I didn’t fully understand how it got its name. The lush green fields exist because it just doesn’t stop raining!
I pretty quickly realised that it was a lot like Jamaica in many ways – quite laid-back. People might say ‘Ah sure, it’ll be grand’ versus ‘No problem man’ but the two cultures are pretty similar. Not to mention I was convinced that the Cork accent came from Jamaica.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
New Relic’s core values align with my own really closely. New Relic employees are authentic, bold, accountable, connected and passionate. I look forward to coming in to work every day because I know I’ll be surrounded by people that hold the same things close to them as I do. New Relic employees are good fun and genuinely good people so I feel very much at home here.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
I like the friendliness of the people here, the cosmopolitan feel of Dublin, and the unlimited opportunities for growth and development in Ireland.