We sat down for a call with Jake Hodder, our Area Sales Manager for North-East England, to ask him ten questions on flooring, his career so far and what he gets up to outside work.
Read on to find out how Jake’s path into flooring started in the pub, what the industry has taught him, and why he admires Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
1. What was your first job?
“Apprentice welder, which was the job that my dad did. I started the day after my last ever exam at school.”
2. What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of the flooring industry?
“There’s loads of positives, but the first one that springs to mind is the people. Working every day alongside customers, peers, even competitors, is something I really enjoy doing.
“There’s loads of positives [about the flooring industry], but the first one that springs to mind is the people. Working every day alongside customers, peers, even competitors, is something I really enjoy doing.”
“A negative would be the working conditions on some sites. Most subfloor preparation products require three key elements in order to perform as they’re supposed to – warmth, air flow and water tightness. Sadly, on many projects, the flooring is done in an area that is still effectively a building site.”
3. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your time in the industry?
“Bide your time and try to learn as much as possible. Also, don’t pretend you know how to do something if you don’t. It’s a really friendly industry, so if you ask questions, most people will be glad to help.”
4. How did you get into the flooring industry?
“I was working in a call centre, which I hated, and one evening I was in the pub when an old friend came in with a tan. I asked him where he’d been, and he said Dubai. ‘How come you’ve been there?’ I asked, and he told me he was working for a flooring company and went to Dubai on business every two months.
“I thought, ‘That’s the life for me,’ so I applied for a job at the same company, got an interview, and was working for them within a week.”
5. How would you describe your role at Bostik?
“It’s the best job I’ve ever had. Day-to-day, a lot of it obviously involves travelling around and talking to customers. There’s no better feeling than turning up for a site visit with a customer and looking at a 15-storey building that will be laid with Bostik products.”
“There’s no better feeling than turning up for a site visit with a customer and looking at a 15-storey building that will be laid with Bostik products.”
6. If you weren’t in flooring, what career would you choose?
“It would definitely have to be something in sales. Or football, if I’d been good enough to make it pro. At one stage I did think about trying to go semi-professional, but by that time I’d discovered beer and women, so it kind of fell by the wayside…”
7. What has been your proudest moment?
“Becoming a father. Or possibly winning ‘Salesman of the Year’ at Bostik. But no, it’s got to be the first one, hasn’t it!”
8. What do most of your colleagues not know about you?
“That I write a blog on flooring. It’s called need.that.flooring and can be found on Instagram.”
9. If you could hire any one person to be part of your team, who would it be and why?
“I’d have to say Jurgen Klopp. I just think Klopp’s the best motivator out there – you can imagine that he’d inspire any team he was part of to improve.”
10. Finally, if you could be any character from film or TV, who would you be and why?
“Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders, because he’s a well-respected owner of several businesses and he does what he wants – not because he’s a criminal!”