A view from the top: Toolkit

Discover what it’s like working in website design

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We had a quick chat with Dave Swan, who is Chief Operating Officer at Toolkit Web Design. He gave up the inside scoop on how he made it to the top and his journey along the way.

What was it like finding your first job?‍

Honestly, I was lucky. When I left University I was offered a job to work in insurance sales but just before I signed my contract with a company in Southampton my Uncle, who ran his own Software Company in Cosham, called and asked me to come work for him.

The job market was different 10+ years ago, the multitude of job sites didn't exist then, and those that did were not up to date or easy to use. As a graduate, a big problem was that I didn't know specifically what my degree actually allowed me to do next and the support wasn't there from the university.

Case in point, I did a degree in Marketing, fell into £20,000 worth of debt, but found myself applying for an entry level sales job in Insurance!

What made you choose website design as a career?‍

The people. Running a web design company gives me the ability to work with staff, business owners and suppliers on a daily basis which I love.

Websites are critical for a businesses success, but it amazes me even to this day just how little business owners and even new staff coming into Toolkit realise this.

Working in a fast paced industry with hundreds of small business owners is exhilarating and no day is ever the same. Web Design is ever changing, you can't stand still and have to think not just about delivering for clients in the moment, but for providing those businesses with the best designs and platform for their services over the coming years.

Why is it important for your business to hire great young people?‍

It's not. It's important to hire great people! We recruit on merit and desire. If you come to us with zero experience but an insatiable hunger to learn and unrelenting desire to be part of something greater than yourself, we want to speak to you, regardless of age.

Web Design and Development can be taught, Customer Services coached, Sales skills trained, but the mindset and determination is all on you.

Have that and it doesn't matter your age, we want to work with you.

What's the best way to impress you in an interview?

Honesty. Tell us why you really want the job. Where you really see yourself in 3-5 years or if you really don't have a plan. What can you really do in code? What is your realistic experience with design software? What customer service skills do you have and where could you improve?

The academic performance and experience get you the interview, demonstrating the right mindset, determination and self deprecation get you the job.