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How You Made It: Interview With Michael Tobin OBE, Chairman Of Audioboom

Published: Friday 5th June 2020

This week, hear stories from Michael Tobin OBE on how he made it to the top in his career, and what hurdles he has to overcome when climbing the ladder to success.

Discover top tips and expert guidance on how to stand out and succeed in a job interview and develop a fulfilling career.

Zoek Interviews Michael Tobin OBE

Hannah from Zoek recently interviewed the charismatic, philanthropic, and multi-award-winning entrepreneur, Michael Tobin OBE. A technology pioneer with over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector.

As the former CEO of Telecity, Michael now holds multiple none-executive Director and Chairman roles with progressive businesses in the datacentre and technology industries and has managed many successful exit strategies.

Click below to watch the Q&A interview:


Now Chairman of Audioboom, Michael regularly shares his experiences on The Tobin Podcast, and enjoys inspiring others through his collection of books.

Head over to our Zoek YouTube channel to continue watching the interview, and find out what advise Michael give job seekers for their future career development.

Top 3 Video Highlights

Q: How would you avoid burnout? (09:12)  

A: People think of burnout, generally, as working too much. My second book, called “Live, Love, Work, Prosper” is about how work-life-balance doesn’t exist. We have now experienced that in spades because of the lockdown and working from home. The book is all about integrating work and life, and then you don’t feel like ‘oh, I’ve worked too much, I need a break’. Because, you are integrating your normal world and working.

Now, it is not possible with some people. It is very difficult for a bus driver to integrate normal work and life. When they are driving a busy, they are driving a bus. When they are not, they are not. But, for a lot of us, there is an ability to integrate much more work into our general life. And then we don’t have this, ‘instead of working 8 hours today, I’ve worked 15 hours and I’m burning out’.

Q: What top tips would you give someone when attending an interview? (13:37)

A: Question sub-sets are really valuable. So, when someone gives you a piece of information and you ask a question about it, and you ask a question about the answer, and you ask a question about that answer, you will find that the fourth answer is nothing to do with the original comment. But, it is so much more enlightening.

So, if someone says, ‘we work 9-5 here’. Q: ‘Oh really, why do you go for a 9-5?’. A: ‘Well, because that’s always been the roles’. Q: ‘Really, it has always been the rules – why has it always been the rules?’. A: ‘Well, no one’s thought to change it’. Q: ‘Oh, no one’s thought to change it – why has no one thought to change it? Is there a more interesting way to do this then?’.

So, suddenly you are in control of value creation in the interview. And you have got to be creating value for yourself in the eyes of the person in front of you. But you have also got to understand whether there is value there for you.

Q: How do you think coronavirus will affect the job market? (15:39)

A: Well, we have seen in the short term a massive impact on the job market. We are likely to have a very significant hike in the unemployment rate sadly. I think what it will do, is get people to think about role flexibility a lot more. During the financial crisis we saw a lot of bankers, because all the banks made a lot of people unemployed at the same time, there were no jobs for bankers. So just because you were made unemployed, you could not go to another bank and get another job, because there were no jobs. So, they became Uber drivers, different things, and set about their own business.

So, I think this is one of those situations again where there is a lot of unemployment. We used to think about ‘jobs for life’. Well, now there are no ‘jobs for life’. But there are probably no ‘careers for life’ as well. So, a typical 14-year-old today is going to end up having maybe 40 jobs in their life, over 4 different separate careers, and so we should get more accustomed to be flexible in terms of how we think about the journey through employment.

If you are interested in learning more about different entrepreneurs work/life experiences, watch more from our guest interview series here.

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