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Q&A with Head of Strategy and Transformation James Bowles

20 November 2019 by Mason Alexander
Mason Alexander Office136

Q&A with Head of Strategy and Transformation James Bowles


We caught up with Associate Director James Bowles to find out a bit about his background, what roles he focusses on and what the strategy and transformation market is like at the moment.

Give us a bit of information on your background

I am from Dublin, my family are all from Cork originally and I have lived a lot of my life around the world, growing up in Southern Africa and living and working in the US, UK and Australia.

I started my career in IBM in Ireland and moved with them to the UK, I transitioned from IBM into recruitment in Australia and have never looked back, I really enjoy the entrepreneurial atmosphere within a recruitment business and the level of impact you can have. The role is extremely varied from embedding new ways of working through to supporting Irish start-ups scale successfully and succeed on a global scale.

What is your role MA?

I lead the Strategy & Transformation Practice at Mason Alexander, a successful and growing business. My role focuses on team growth and management, managing key accounts, business development and CxO engagement. I am driving our team and wider business to create the best possible customer experience for our candidates and clients.

What is your market like at the moment?

The strategy & transformation business is sector agnostic so the market is always busy, we are busy when businesses are growing and restructuring, the market is strong at the moment and we are well placed to continue to support the best candidates in the market get the most interesting and rewarding roles in Ireland and internationally.

Do you see any trends in your market?

People are valuing work life balance more than compensation: the best candidates have their pick of opportunities and are more willing to move if their current employer is stagnant, not growing or developing, or not taking work life balance seriously.

What are clients looking for from a candidate?

Energy, honesty and creativity with discipline.

What are candidates looking for in a new role?

People want to work in a nice environment where people work hard, on interesting initiatives and have a good work life balance that is respected. There needs to be a clear and open opportunity to progress, companies that promote on tenure frustrate the strongest and most creative candidates.

Any tips for people looking for a new job?

Don’t wait until you need a new job. You should have a rough career plan. If you are in a role that is not conducive to this plan look for one that is and be honest with yourself. If an opportunity that will accelerate your plan pops up, go for it.

Would you recommend MA to friends/colleagues? Why?

Yes absolutely, out of my friends I am the only person I know who loves their job.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Understand what you can and cannot control. Focus all your energy on what you can control.