2 minute read
In his own words, Andy Morris tells his story.
I started off back in 1979 as a 16 year-old school leaver going into an apprenticeship with, what at the time was called, Post Office, which later became British Telecom (BT). I was working in their test department and that meant, as a young person, I was not only going to college to learn about electronics and telecommunications, but I was also getting hands on experience in laboratories. The work included a lot of electronics testing of components and systems as well as quality assurance work, where I got to visit manufacturer sites to inspect what they were making. That apprenticeship was so good because it taught me so many things, even things that weren’t directly relevant to the job.
Then I progressed through the ranks in that role to leading some groups within the bases in Birmingham and London until BT became privatised and things changed quite a lot. Over the years I had several jobs at various laboratories across the country until I joined NPL in 2017. I started working in business development and moved to work in NPL’s Huddersfield site as the laboratory manager.
Throughout my career there have been a couple of challenges. We used to have a school's career service, which was terrible back in the day. I remember my careers advisor saying to me, what do you want to do? I said, “I want be a scientist”. They said “No, that's not for you. You should go into banking.” Anyway, I obviously ignored that…
I think what makes a difference is being prepared to have a go at anything, putting yourself forward and also just doing your best at what you can. One of the strengths I think I've always had is getting to know people so you understand your business without having to know everything in depth yourself.
During recent years I’ve faced several health-related challenges. For the last 5 years I’ve been battling cancer. Last year I was told “we can’t cure you anymore”. I could’ve given up, but I initially stayed. The company has been able to allow me to go down to three days a week. I'm just about to go down to two days and I'll probably retire in 2024. I don't really want to retire, but for me, the right choice was always what's good for me and the family.
Over the last couple of years, I have suffered from depression following the loss of both my parents and anything could have happened then, but I got support from NPL and I managed to carry on with that.
The main thing is to do something you love. Of course, money and lifestyle come into it, but would you choose something that you're going to want to do rather than you have to do?
Be open and honest about your feelings about things. Share your thoughts. Interact with as many people as you can. Think positively of everybody.
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