• Onwards & Upwards: Drinks people looking for new roles

    Last week The Buyer launched its ‘Onwards & Upwards’ initiative to provide a platform for anyone in the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors who has lost their job, or is looking for a new start due to the impact of Covid-19. Today we introduce a new series that features a round up mini profiles from individuals who are keen to tell their story, share their experiences and explain what their next dream job would be.

    Last week The Buyer launched its ‘Onwards & Upwards’ initiative to provide a platform for anyone in the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors who has lost their job, or is looking for a new start due to the impact of Covid-19. Today we introduce a new series that features a round up mini profiles from individuals who are keen to tell their story, share their experiences and explain what their next dream job would be.

    mm By September 11, 2020

    If you have new positions available in your business then you might find exactly who you are looking for in the first of our profiles in our Onwards and Upwards series.

    Nothing can prepare you for losing your job. Even if you have been made redundant before that out of body feeling of being told you are no longer required, however rational the decision might be, is a shock that takes a long time to recover from.

    The biggest challenge is to stop thinking about what you have lost, and the hurt and emotions that brings up, and have the space in your mind to start thinking positively about what you can do next. To actually start thinking positively about all the new opportunities that this now opens up for you, rather than be dragged down by what has been done to you.

    Recruitment specialists will often talk about the need to get out and talk to people, to network, to explore any opportunity you can. But that’s hard to do at the best of times, doubly so with the Covid-19 social distancing rules in place.

    This is where hopefully The Buyer’s new ‘Onwards & Upwards’ initiative can help. As an initial sounding board to help people have a platform through which they can celebrate their achievements, share their skills and what assets they might potentially be able to bring to any business looking for new talent.

    Today we share a few of the profiles of people who have contacted The Buyer over the last week. We will continue to share more in the weeks to come.

    We are also happy just to share your name, your area of expertise and the kind of job you are looking for if you not comfortable going into too much detail here.

    This is very much a learning exercise for us about what approach might work best for people so please send us your thoughts and get in touch with me at richarsiddle@btopenworld.com.

    Here are our first selection of ‘Onwards & Upwards’ profiles.

    Nick Francis: drinks consultant through Rusty Pig Consulting

    Nick Francis is looking to move from his drinks consultancy role in to a full time position

    I have been operating as an independent consultant for over the last four years through my own vehicle, Rusty Pig Consulting. While I have enjoyed some interesting and lucrative projects, I am feeling unfulfilled and frustrated with contact work. I really miss being part of something so am keen to find a new permanent role where I believe I can add maximum value and enjoy a level of job satisfaction that has been missing in recent years.

    Key skills I can offer:

    • Relationship management: be it internal teams to key stakeholders, shareholders to suppliers I believe I can demonstrate both an empathy and an understanding as well as maximising the value of these relationships for the benefit of the wider organisation.
    • Operational understanding and delivery. I pride myself on understanding the needs of any business I work with and ensuring any solutions I come up with are fit for purpose for those needs.
    • Network and knowledge: With over 25 years in the sector I am able to call upon experience and resources to find workable and profitable solutions where others may not.

    Where I would like to work

    I would like to work in an SME business that embraces change, is fleet of foot and is currently looking to expand, grow and enhance its proposition. I don’t feel that jumping back into a large corporate beast would be the best outcome for me or them. I am a doer and I thrive on managing multiple daily activities alongside strategic and direction input in a dynamic and fun environment. If we can’t have fun delivering it how on earth do we expect our customers to have fun experiencing it.

    I am, though, still available for consultancy work and open to the idea of moving, where possible, from a contract to a permanent position.

    Contact: nick.francis1963@gmail.com.

    Linked-in profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-francis-6363668/


    Farrah Berrou: freelance broadcaster, media consultant

    Farrah Berrou is looking to share her media skills and, in particular, her knowledge of Lebanese wine with the trade

    Can you explain your career to date?

    My background is quite a mixed bag. I have degrees in biology and graphic design and my first job was as an art director at Leo Burnett, the multinational advertising agency. I worked for Procter & Gamble’s haircare brands for the Eastern European markets where I did a lot of research around trends in design, technology, and human behaviour.

    I then joined my family’s specialty drinks imports business in Beirut as the creative strategist and manager of our new retail branch. I have also been writing my own blog, Bambi’s Soapbox, for over eight years.

    How did you get involved in wine?

    It started out as a necessity to be better at my job in retail. Purchasing wine and spirits and representing the company at trade shows meant I needed to understand the wine trade and the basics of wine itself. I now have WSET Level 2 and an American wine expert certification through the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

    What experience have you got in media?

    In the process of learning about wine, I did a deep dive into Lebanon’s wine history. There are many wineries telling their stories but there was no source giving the full picture of Lebanon’s viticultural journey. I created ‘B For Bacchus’ for that purpose: to teach people about the stories associated with Lebanese wine through guided tasting sessions at one shared table.

    During Covid-19 I have developed ‘B for Bacchus’ even more online with virtual tastings, panels, videos, and written wine content.

    I’m also co-host of ‘A Better Beirut’, a podcast about initiatives in the country, so have built up podcasting experience.

    What sort of opportunities are you looking for?

    In summary, I’m a content creator and producer but, at the risk of sounding cheesy, I’m a resourceful storyteller. I’m looking to stay within the realm of audio, video, or written work for the wine world. I would love it future opportunities had some relation to the Eastern Mediterranean, or the Levant but, if they don’t, that’s okay too.

    I feel it’s important for stories from here to be told by people from here, so B for Bacchus will continue. I will stay plugged in to what’s happening here no matter where I end up.

    How would you describe your key skills?

    Technically, I’m a designer but my strength lies in bringing concepts to life. I enjoy research and coming up with original executions and activations, and ways to present information in a palatable, fun form. I’m voraciously curious and have a built-in need to document them in words or visuals, mostly on social media. Public speaking comes easy to me and I am thorough when it comes to stitching together a narrative.

    Are you looking for a role in Beirut or in other countries?

    I’m looking for a role outside Lebanon. I have dual citizenship so I’m eligible for employment in the US; however, I’m not opposed to opportunities elsewhere. Lebanon will always be home for me but I need some solid ground and I’d like the chance to stretch my potential.

    Contact: farrahberrou@gmail.com

    Linded-in profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/farrahberrou/

    Julia Wilson: freelance drinks consultant

    Tell us about your background in the drinks industry?

    I’ve been in the food and beverage industry for over 30 years in a number of different roles: I owned three coffee shops in Manchester and a deli in North Norfolk; I set up my own gin company in 2014; I’ve worked for Lavazza coffee;  and set up a coffee company for a client, from green beans to roasted coffee, building their website, and arranging its packaging.

    I’m currently working as a freelance consultant and am heavily involved in www.drynks.co.uk that is looking to take on artisan brands in the no/low sector.

    I am setting up my own site www.foodanddrinkconsultant.co.uk through which I will be offering my own web consultancy, including social media, SEO advice and building websites. I will also be selling and taking a percentage from a range of artisan food and beverage brands.

    Contact: jules2505max@gmail.com.

    Linked-in profile: http://linkedin.com/in/julia-wilson-1223a622

    • If you would like to share your story and skills on The Buyer and what sort of new role or opportunity you are looking for then please contact Richard Siddle on richardsiddle@btopenworld.com. 


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