A Diverse Career Path in Every Regard

James on agile working and changing roles at Pan Macmillan

How did you make the decision to come to Pan Macmillan?

I had been aware of the Macmillan group as a reader and through my education in South Africa and I wanted to pursue a career in publishing. When I moved from Johannesburg to London, the Macmillan graduate recruitment scheme was the first application I made - I did not even get an interview! Happily, a few years later, an opportunity to join Pan Macmillan arose.

What was your path within our Group?

I joined Nature Publishing Group in 2005 as a project manager on nature.com. This was a fascinating time to join the group as nature.com was being redeveloped on a new platform, new journals and products were launching rapidly, and the site licence business was growing.

I then began discussing a redevelopment of the Pan Macmillan website, panmacmillan.com, with Sara Lloyd, and the potential for digital publishing in the trade publishing area. I spent a year on secondment to Pan Macmillan and then transitioned to a permanent role in digital development.

At Pan Macmillan, my roles have focused on transformation, from websites to ebooks and digital publishing, to analytics and strategy and now publishing operations. In my current role as Publishing Operations Director, I'm responsible for our production, logistics, business processes, data and technology and the Smithson office.

What are the big opportunities ahead for you and your team?

Understanding and shaping how we need to work in 2021 and beyond will be an opportunity for us. Last year, we moved into our new offices in the Smithson, which are designed for agile working and it will be interesting to see how we need to adapt further for the post-Covid world. In lockdown, our engagement with the virtual environment, in the form of the Google Suite and other tools, has taken a leap forward. The opportunity for us now is to build on that change and increase our skills in the virtual environment across the company.

We also have a fantastic publishing programme for 2021 lined up, so my team will be working hard to support all areas of the business in achieving great success for the publishing.

What do you love about working at Pan Macmillan?

That's an easy question to answer: the people and the books!

What advice do you have for job seekers looking to join as part of the group?

The wonderful thing about the group is that there is such a wide range of publishing, markets and technology that you could be involved in during your career. From scientific journals to AI development to global education to the Gruffalo, there is something for everyone. Also, importantly, the culture in the group is creative, nurturing and friendly, making it a happy place to work.

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James

Publishing Operations Director at Pan Macmillan

"...the culture in the group is creative, nurturing and friendly, making it a happy place to work."