Giles Fagan

Clerk (CEO) of the Stationers’ Company

Having left school at 17, I was not sure what I wanted to do for a job. I grew up in a farming community, so I started work on a farm for three years during the summer holidays. During the winters, I did lots of temporary jobs from working in bars to data inputting for property companies. For fun, I joined an amateur dramatics theatre company and discovered that I really enjoyed acting and was quite good at it! I had found my vocation, so applied for several drama schools to teach me the skills I needed to become a professional actor and earn a living.

After three years at drama school, I began working professionally in theatre, television and on radio (I have a great face for radio 😊!). For 12 years, I worked hard, scraping a living together, but never quite making the breakthrough required to accelerate my career. It is a very difficult industry in which to succeed, as only 20% of actors are in work at any one time. That means 80% are actively looking for work and, invariably, working temporary jobs to earn a living. Between acting jobs, I worked for a company who organised and ran corporate events.

An opportunity arose to join the Stationers’ Company as the Events Manager (organising events for the members). This was a life changing moment, as it meant I would leave acting forever, as this was a full-time job. Whilst I loved acting, I now had a young family to support, so I grasped the opportunity of this secure job with both hands. That was 11 years ago. Since then, I have been promoted twice and now hold the title of Clerk (or CEO) to the Stationers’ Company.

Whilst I do not have a University degree, I have taken many courses to give me the skills I need. However, in all of the jobs I have had, I have always learned the most through ‘doing’ rather than ‘reading how to do’. This is what apprenticeships offer.