JW Hinks bids a fond farewell to Alan Jobling02/06/2023
After 33 years at JW Hinks, we are honouring Alan Jobling on his retirement. Alan joined the firm as Office Manager back in 1990 and over the years has been an admired and respected member of the team, nurturing and training many of our current staff throughout their careers, conveying his vast knowledge.
Many of you will have come across Alan or had dealings during his long tenure at JW Hinks and we invite you to join us by wishing Alan all best in his retirement, and take this final opportunity to give him the last word on his career and life at JW Hinks. So, without further ado, here is our goodbye interview with Alan:
JW Hinks: Do you remember your first day with the company, Alan?
Alan: Yes, I remember it clearly. Chris Carter, who was a senior partner at the time, and the man who interviewed me for the position, brought me down to meet everyone. This was back when JW Hinks was based on South Road, Smethwick and the Accounts and Audit department was one big open plan office. He introduced me, then walked off and left me there with no idea what I was supposed to do – manage the office, I suppose! Today, that’s what we’d call being thrown in at the deep end.
J: That’s quite an entrance – do you think you’ll have difficulty adjusting to the slower pace of life in retirement?
A: Well, I won’t be retired fully. There will be a period of transition for the next year or so, I will continue to deal with a couple of clients, preparing work for the tax return stage which will gradually be handed over. I think I will be kept busy as my eldest son is expecting a visit every Friday to help with gardening and with my grandchildren. There will be lots more walking, which my wife and I enjoy; and of course, there’s all the jobs around the house waiting to be done. Longer-term, I plan to make sure I’m mentally and physically active. I want to stay fit, since fitness is a big part of my life!
J: Given your years of experience, do you have any advice for the next generation of accountants?
A: The most important thing you can learn is to ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and admit when you can’t do something, communication is key. You are working as part of a team, and they are all there to help support you. We all need help sometimes.
J: How would you describe what it’s like to work at JW Hinks? What kept you here for 30+ years?
A: It’s like a big family, I suppose. I grew up with most of the partners, so it was easy to fit in. Honestly, it’s a very comfortable place to work. The deadlines can be tight, and the standards are high, but everything’s achievable. It’s a nice place to work, and it’s fair. Another thing that really helps is having nice clients, which JW Hinks does. Having clients where you feel like you’re more than just an accountant, where you socialise and have mutual respect for one another, is very important to me, and probably to everyone else in the business too!
J: Do you have any parting messages for your clients or colleagues?
A: Well, a lot of my clients supported me just as much as I supported them, so I just want to say ‘thank you’. To my colleagues, particularly the younger members of staff, I want to emphasise that JW Hinks is a great place to spend a career. Don’t be tempted to think the grass is always greener on the other side – sit back and have a look at what you’ve got here before you jump ship. JW Hinks is great at providing top quality training, and it’s full of opportunities. Just look at how many of the partners came up through the system!
Good luck in retirement, Alan – we hope you make the most of it!
Everyone at JW Hinks.