Episode 199 – Build Genuine Working Relationships and Invest in Yourself Monetarily with James Quick

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is James Quick. Founder of Learn Build Teach. He is a self-taught Web Developer who is addicted to learning and has a passion for teaching. He speaks at community events, participates in Hackathons and builds continuously.

In this episode, Phil and James discuss the importance of investing in yourself and talk about effective ways to do this. They also discuss the need to regularly check progress with your manager. As well as how to sail through the appraisal process and get properly rewarded for your work. James shares how he works to effect change and engages with the IT community to help others and ensure his skill stay sharp and relevant.




Invest in yourself. James had a great mentor who taught him to set aside some money each year to spend exclusively on himself.

You can use that cash to buy hardware, get extra training or travel to meetups. Basically, anything you need to further your career. In the podcast, James shares some great examples of how he has invested in himself monetarily.



One year, while working as a Microsoft evangelist, he got a really low bonus. Yet when he questioned why that was, he was told he was doing a decent job and was not given any areas to improve on.

For James, this was both frustrating and disappointing. Missing out monetarily felt bad, but not knowing where he was supposedly failing and how to improve was worse. It was very frustrating. James goes on to explain how he now works to ensure that negative experience is never repeated.



When James joined FedEx he was worried that his programming skills were too rusty. Yet, he was able to build the entire front end of the 2nd application he worked on basically by himself.

That achievement demonstrated to him that he was still a good developer. Getting promoted to an architect at FedEx, a year ago was also a highlight.



The fact that there is always something new to learn is exciting. As is the fact there are so many different ways to contribute. A positive situation James cannot see changing any time soon.


(11.14) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – For some reason, when he was asked which major to take he said computer science. So, his journey into I.T. was a happy accident.

What’s the best career advice you received? – His dad encouraged him to always do the right thing for him, especially careerwise.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Accept things the way they are. If things are not being done properly, always work to change that.

What would you do if you started your career now? – He would get as much hands-on experience as possible, while still studying. James shares several practical ways to do this in the podcast.

What are your current career objectives? – Having more of an impact at FedEx and broadening his brand.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Speaking Spanish and being outgoing has opened up several opportunities for him.

How do you keep your own career energized? – James finds that creating new stuff and investing in the IT community re-energizes him.

What do you do away from technology? – James and his wife love to travel. They are also very sports orientated.



Relationship management is the key to success. You never know where a chance meeting is going to take you.

Building genuine, strong relationships with others can open up all sorts of opportunities. But, you have to be genuinely interested and engaged, with others.



(2.47) – James – “Every year, invest monetarily in yourself as a way of growing your career faster.”

(6.46) – James – “Throughout the year, clearly communicate with your managers, so you can be sure you are doing things right.”

(7.12) – James – “When someone gives you positive feedback make a note of it. You can use those notes during your appraisal.”

(9.27) – Phil – “You don’t necessarily have to go down a management route to progress and grow your career.”

(19.25) – James – “Broaden your brand, doing things like public speaking will make career progression much easier.”

(23.31) – James – “Relationship management is the key to success.”




Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.



Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer



James Quick is the founder of Learn Build Teach. He is a self-taught Web Developer who is addicted to learning and has a passion for teaching. He speaks at community events, participates in Hackathons and builds continuously.



James Quick can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesqquick

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesqquick/

Website: https://www.learnbuildteach.com/

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