Graham Spence

Tell us a little bit about your career journey.

I left school after finishing my A levels and moved to London to be a rock star. Well, I started a band anyway.  That didn’t quite work out the way I hoped (there’s still time though). At 19 years in London I had to work to support myself while I pursued my musical ambitions so after a few retail jobs I ended up in the Civil Service, first the Department of Trade, then the Foreign Office. Purely by chance, I ended up working in export promotion helping UK companies sell their goods and services overseas and this led to quite a lot of travel, France, Japan, Panama, Ivory Coast, Mexico the USA - including nearly a year living in New York and working at the British Consulate there. As I got older (turned 30) I realised I still wanted to work in the music industry so I left the Foreign Office and started a small recording studio in East London with a friend of mine. We managed to keep it going for 7 years but technology and life moved on so we closed the studio and I returned to the North East and found the job here at Shotton Hall where I have worked as the Performing Arts Technician for the last 14 years.

Is your current occupation what you always wanted to do? 

Well apart from the rock star thing… In a way, yes. I enjoy working here at Shotton Hall as every day is different and I still get to be creative especially making videos for the school and recording music here. 

What have you learned along the way?

That you never know what’s around the corner or what life has in store for you – a setback one day might lead to an opportunity the next so make the best of those opportunities and enjoy yourself along the way. 

What is your top career tip?

2 tips really, No. 1 - there is no substitute for hard work -  putting the time and effort into achieving your goals is going to be the only way to achieve them. No. 2 - embrace change, the digital revolution, technology, the internet, will never end or stop evolving and we all need to keep up with that change and how it affects our lives and the way we work or risk being left behind. 

Graham Spence