Name: Alex Smith
Job Title: Founder and CEO of The Cares Family
My position in a nutshell: The Cares Family is made up of different charities around the country, which bring younger people together with older people to share time, laughter and new experiences. We do that to reduce loneliness in communities and build connections across the generations which everyone can benefit from. We also do it to build confidence, community and connection in a rapidly changing time.
How I got the job… The Cares Family has been running for nine years. As the founder of the organisation, it was my idea. I had to work through the concept before we got started and, over the last nine years as we have been building up the charities, my role has completely transformed from having to create something from nothing, to a charity that has been running for ten years with a team behind me. Over the last nine years I have had to diversify my skill set and learn on the job. I studied history and languages at A levels and went on to university, but it wasn’t those skills that enabled me to succeed in this job, or any other job. It has been my character and personal strengths rather than the qualifications or the skills that I have picked up on the way.
My typical day… My job now involves people management, recruitment, finance, operations, strategy and planning and fundraising.
The key skills I need for my job… Determination was one of the main skills I had and that’s why I was able to start the charity from nothing and learn on the job. I would also say have confidence, be kind to people, be interested, listen and collaborate with people. Having the will to want to work hard has enabled me to learn some of those skills as I have gone along.
Advice for someone wanting to do the same… Locate who are you are, locate what is important to you and locate what you enjoy doing. Figure out a way to make those skills, and those passions, the thing that you do in your job. This comes in incredibly handy in the world of work – and the reason I say to locate those specific characteristics you have, is because the only characteristic I really had was determination, which has got me to where I am now.