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John Barker; my progression story

John Barker- Where did my career begin?

I joined the military back in 2005, as a Weapons Engineering Artificer working on Nuclear Submarines – specialising in the maintenance of radio communications equipment.

As part of my training, I was able to gain a Foundation Degree in Electrical Engineering from Portsmouth University, which I could then draw upon throughout my career, finishing as a Section Senior Rate.

After almost 10 years I was forced to leave the service due to medical discharge, following a back injury that prevented me from returning to sea again – which resulted in quite a drastic career change…

The start of my igus® journey

In late 2014 I joined igus® as an External Sales Engineer, focusing on e-chain® and chainflex® cable solutions for customers in the East of England. This was completely different than anything I had done before, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was taken on without experience.

John Barker early years

Fortunately for me, igus® places a huge focus on its people and their development, and that meant I was able to get the guidance I needed to adapt and grow in this very new environment – hopefully, becoming a valuable addition to the team.

In early 2017 I became the chainflex® cable product manager, which was a great opportunity for me to develop new skills and overcome new challenges. The biggest change this had for me is that it helped me truly realise just how global igus® really was – I was able to attend International Product Manager meetings at our head office in Germany and network, drawing experience from the other Product Managers who had come in from igus® subsidiaries worldwide. This has continued throughout every role that I have been in, continued training and support from our head quarters in Cologne as well as internal training in the UK.

What happened in next?

igus® has continued to believe in and invest in me, recently sponsoring me for my academic study where I have been working through my master’s in business administration (MBA) as a Distance Learning Alumni of Warwick Business School.

This has really helped me to elevate my strategic understanding of my role and how I can provide a better service to both customers and colleagues, enabling me to be far more effective in my work activities.

In 2022 I was promoted to readychain® Product Manager, which was an exciting opportunity that required my family to relocate to Northamptonshire, something igus® were incredibly patient and supportive with.

This role transition has been an enjoyable rollercoaster ride, moving from product distribution to production services, but I am fortunate to lead a highly driven and supportive readychain® team. Due to the complex nature of the products we produce in our department, we have been pioneering new technologies, processes and lean concepts and igus® as an organisation has both enabled and encouraged me to take this further each and every day. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that both myself and the team face on a daily basis and its with these challenges that make us grow stronger week in, week out.

What John Barker likes about igus®?

“It’s people.

igus® is full of talented and motivated colleagues, many of whom socialise together outside of work too. That for me is a great signal that a company has created a great working environment for people who share similar core values.”

For more information on John Barker; my progression story talk to igus UK

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