Read our interview with Josh Taft-Sheeran of Northland Controls, as the Security Industry Association (SIA) spotlights a young professional on the rise!
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SIA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Josh Taft-Sheeran: I’m currently an application engineer at Northland Controls LTD. I love to travel and am very fortunate that I get to do that for work! Bit of a tech nerd and have always had dreams of working with the tech giants – especially after seeing films like The Social Network! I am originally from Birmingham, but I now live in sunny North London.
SIA: What first got you interested in security and safety as a career choice?
JT: To be honest, it is something that I kind of fell into. I’ve always had a main interest in IT, and a close friend of mine from school his dad owned a security company in Birmingham. Towards the end of school I asked to get some work experience at the company, and instead they offered me an apprenticeship. That’s how it all started, and I haven’t looked back since!
SIA: What has your career path been?
JT: I started out as an IT apprentice a little over five years ago, and after I completed my apprenticeship I remained in Birmingham working with the same company doing everything from in-house IT to installing control equipment. When I thought I needed a change, I put my CV online and was approached by a Northlands recruiter. I was offered a technician job that had lots of potential to go further, so I took the leap, moved to London and started two years ago. I had a goal to become an application engineer and was promoted to that role after 18 months.
SIA: Who has influenced you or mentored you – either within the security field or outside?
JT: My current manager has been a great influence. He’s someone that has started from the bottom and very quickly made it to the top. James Kendall started on the tools like myself and showed total dedication to every role he’s been in. He has recently been promoted to application engineer manager EMEA, which is fantastic for the team. That really showed me how fast things can change in this industry and makes me set regular goals to aim for and aim high!
SIA: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
JT: I went to Ethiopia last year to install solar panels in an extremely remote primary school. It was a trip of a lifetime in which 4 Brits and 4 guys from the U.S. took on challenges in extreme weather. We then got to see some incredible scenery, animals and people and made some friends for life!
SIA: What advice do you have for young professionals just starting out in the industry?
JT: Start from the bottom, learn the ins and outs in as much detail as you can and progress. This time is so valuable and pays off hugely in the long run.
SIA: What do you think you need to enhance your career?
JT: Certifications! I need to try and find some time to pick up more certificates. I feel these are so important not just for more knowledge in more systems, but also for the whole career development.
I’m very grateful to be at a company that invests heavily in its employees, so getting various certifications isn’t too much of an issue. I would strongly suggest anyone looking for a career to keep their options open and keep a look out for the great companies that are out there.
Learn more about Northland Controls at northlandcontrols.com.