Tom Giles has swapped the oil sector for a fulfilling life in the automotive industry with Revive!
The global pandemic has impacted every aspect of life. But for Tom Giles, the new owner of Revive! Aberdeen, it’s provided the impetus and finance he needed to make a major career change. Originally from Canada, Tom spent his working life in the oil industry, moving to Aberdeen in 1998.
Questioning his future
The already volatile oil industry was one of the worst hit by the pandemic and Tom was asked to make half his team redundant in April 2020 - a task he hated and one that led him to question his future.
Tom says: “It was just the worst time. Having to let really good, talented people know by Zoom that they were going to lose their jobs didn’t sit comfortably with me.
“I was working really long hours and felt like I was on a constant hamster wheel. My work-life balance was terrible and I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
“When the call went out for volunteers in the second round of redundancies, I applied and spent an anxious two months waiting to see if they would let me go.”
Fortunately for Tom and Revive! his application for voluntary redundancy was accepted.
Tom knew there was a strong demand for a top-quality SMART repair service in the area. But while he had excellent management and financial skills, he lacked the necessary knowledge needed to set off in this new direction and all his research kept pointing to Revive!
“I knew that following a proven business model was the way to go and it was just a matter of choosing the right franchise brand,” Tom says.
“Revive! came top of all the internet searches I made and the more I read about the company the more impressed I became.”
The Revive! management franchise training programme has been adapted as a result of the lockdown, with classroom sessions being held online rather than at the franchise’s new headquarters complex in Rugby.
Tom went to the Revive! training academy for his final week of practical training, which was carried out following the strictest social distancing procedures.
“By the time I went to the Revive! training academy, I’d already met so many people via Zoom that everything felt very comfortable and familiar,” he says.
“The time learning the technical aspects of the job has been invaluable, giving me a solid foundation on which to learn and the confidence to know I will eventually get to where I need to be.”
Tom and his two technicians opened Revive! Aberdeen on March 29 and their two vans were quickly on the road. Retail demand has been so high that Tom is considering adding another van already.
“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would never have left the oil industry and not had the chance to start a whole new career as my own boss doing something I love,” he says.
“I’m building a business for the future and feel lucky I’ve had this opportunity to set off on an exciting and challenging new path.”
At a glance
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