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Guernsey Careers and Core Fund Services

Guernsey Careers and Core Fund Services

Core Fund Services CEO Martin Scott was featured in the Guernsey Press Careers supplement explaining what he enjoys most about his job.

If somebody were to ask you what you enjoyed about your job, what would you say? Amanda Eulenkamp spoke to Core Fund Services CEO Martin Scott, a man who positively loves his.

After a career spanning 25 years in fund administration, Martin set up Core Fund Services last year. He’s learned a lot on his way up the career ladder (his last role was head of Guernsey for a global PLC) and says that you never stop learning.

‘I’ve now got the chance to put everything I’ve learned into effect ­– and that means the good experiences as well as the bad ones,’ he says. ‘To me, it doesn’t matter what age you are, whether you’re starting out in your career or approaching your retirement, you can always be better and you can always learn more.

‘I believe that’s probably the most important thing about making sure you enjoy your job. I’ve never been somebody that worked for the week just to look forward to the weekend; we should work because we enjoy it and find a sense of satisfaction from it.’

He agrees that no job or organisation is perfect and everyone can have difficult days but believes that learning how to overcome challenging times is ‘part and parcel of learning, getting better and getting enjoyment’. ‘You will often find that overcoming these challenges will require your team to support you, this builds a great culture and sense of camaraderie in the business… well as long-term friendships after people move on in their careers.’

‘You spend a lot of time in a work environment during the week, so you should make the most of it in a positive way. One of my key principles is that it doesn’t matter who you are, you must do your best to give everyone a positive experience from being with you, regardless of whether it’s a major client or the person who comes in to clean your office…ask yourself, “Can I make a positive impression on their day?” Everyone has a back story and that person could be having a tough day, and your engagement with them might just put a smile on their face and be the highlight of their day. To me, that’s really important, because you’re doing your job, but also being a good human being and that should make you feel good about yourself and add to your own enjoyment of work life.

‘If you can feel like you’re making a difference in every little thing you do, that’s where the satisfaction comes from. Every day, I wake up thinking “how can we make Core better?” That’s a challenge, absolutely, but it’s what gets my adrenaline flowing.’

Martin operates in a competitive and high-end service industry. ‘There used to be an old school mentality that you had to tread on other people to be successful,’ he says. ‘But I believe that you’re always stronger as a team. Therefore, what I look for are people who are determined and motivated but who are also humble and team players. They’re not looking to point-score over their colleagues, they want to help each other, they share values and ultimately, they share success.’

In for the long-term

In a world where people often move jobs every couple of years for an incremental pay rise, Martin says that there’s a lot to be said for long-term planning. ‘Think about long-term success, long-term sustainability ­– don’t look to get quick fixes.’

He warns that being too short-term focused your aspirations can actually backfire, he suggests that focusing on engaging with and helping others in the workplace, whilst developing your personal and professional network is of far greater long-term benefit to a career.

‘If you’ve helped someone in the past, they’re likely to help you in the future. The ability to network and work collaboratively is far greater in a small island than, say, London. Using that network effectively can be extremely advantageous.’ ‘Furthermore, things change in business and in life, so in five years’ time, you may need to go to that same person for a job, particularly in a small island like Guernsey.

He applauds positivity and confidence as that can rub off on other people in a beneficial way. But warns strongly against being arrogant or over-confident. ‘Be humble. Be self-depreciating. People will like you and want to work with you if they see you as confident person with good values.

‘Don’t have tunnel vision and think your career is just about getting from A to B. Appreciate the whole picture. Don’t say to yourself that in three years you need to be in a certain position because if you do, you could be disappointed as things don’t always follow a straight line of progression. Instead embrace the twists and turns along the way….they may open up a new and exciting path too!

To have a long-term, sustainable career you’ve got to learn more at certain times and maybe that means things will progress a little slower. Life and career are about experience, they’re a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure.’

He likens building a career to building a house, saying that just as you can’t build a house without foundations, you can’t build a career without foundations. ‘You need to build those foundations. In the longer term, you will reap greater rewards, not just financial but lifestyle and internal happiness.

‘That doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious, just that sometimes you have to take a step back and let things play out. Keep making good decisions, accept that sometimes fate will intervene, but keep making those good decisions.’

More than just a job

He refers to his own business as a long-term legacy business. ‘I want Core to be a successful business long after I’ve moved on from it,’ he says. ‘I want to empower the next generation of Core; the philosophy within the business is to do that and then they will inspire the next generation and so on. You create an organic culture within the business which leads to organic growth.’

It’s inspiring the next generation that led Martin and Core Fund Services to become the sponsor of the Teacher of the Year award at Pride of Guernsey.

‘Ultimately, it’s all about the next generation, how we educate, and inspire them to be the best they can be. If you can find the right people and empower them, then they’ll go on to do great things.

‘I describe myself as a generalist in business, because I’ve been in my industry a long time and held different roles so have a good knowledge of all aspects of the business. However, I recruit people who are better than me in each area, then I empower and support them to do the job.’

Lifelong learning is a passion of Martin’s. ‘Nobody can be great at everything, but everybody can be great at something. Therefore, look, listen and learn from everyone you meet, then take all those snippets of knowledge with you, add your own natural skills and personality into the mixing pot, and then hopefully you’ll produce a “you” that is as good as you can be. But you’ll never be the finished article – there will always been more people to meet and learn from.

‘I love the fact that I will learn more today than I knew yesterday.’

Power, according to Martin, is in a team, but it’s also in learning from your mistakes. ‘We’re all human and make mistakes. If you make a mistake, admit it, and learn from it. Similarly, don’t undermine others for similar genuine mistakes, help and encourage them to learn from it too. Otherwise, a blame culture will be created and that’s an environment where people don’t enjoy working and the team fails. People need a friendly, collaborative, open environment to enable them to excel and enjoy their job.‘

31 January 2024

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