Q&A Sep 26, 2023

Why Internal Mobility is Key: A Q&A with John Gullick

In this article, John, one of our senior project managers, explains how managing people is just as important as managing projects, and that facilitating internal moves for employees is key to retaining the best talent.

Q&A with John Gullick

Jacobs Senior Project Manager John Gullick has supported several major programs during his time at Jacobs, including the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

For John, being a good line manager is as simple as doing his best for the individual, even if that means losing them from his team. Here, he explains how facilitating internal mobility within a large company like Jacobs is key.

Why do you think it’s important to encourage internal mobility?

Day to day, I truly feel lucky to work with such a talented and varied group of people across Jacobs. Having moved between three major programs myself, I value the importance of variety and opportunity. By encouraging those around us to think about what interests them, they can not only develop their skills, but also help to share ideas across our programs, sectors and businesses. If our employees feel valued and supported through this journey, it's more likely to lead to a satisfying career and will increase loyalty to the company. If anyone is feeling the need for change, this doesn’t have to mean moving away from Jacobs; by opening the door to fresh and exciting internal opportunities, they can experience new roles with the safety net of the support network they already have around them.

How do you personally help to facilitate moves for team members?

I operate an open-door approach, where I will always make time for team members, regardless of how busy I am. I think it's important to set out early in the relationship that you are there to help them in all areas of their career and ensure that the approach to diversifying their career journey is a normal thing to discuss. This allows our people to talk openly about what interests them and what they are hoping to achieve throughout their career, rather than worry about what people might think if it includes moving role.

What advice would you give to other managers?


I think we all know that good line managers are open, honest and approachable… but for me, it really is as simple as doing your best for the individual. If you can facilitate development in the team member's current role that's great, but understanding what makes them tick and allowing them freedom to explore alternative opportunities can really help get the best out of people both in the short and longer-term. Don’t be afraid of what losing someone locally can mean – it’s not only an opportunity for someone to start the next chapter of their career, but an opportunity for you to bring in someone new who is potentially starting the next exciting chapter of their own career - bringing enthusiasm and new ideas!

“By opening the door to fresh and exciting internal opportunities, employees can experience new roles with the safety net of the support network they already have around them.”

John Gullick

John Gullick

Jacobs Senior Project Manager

Proudest career moment?

Early in my Jacobs career, I was working on the London Olympics construction and was responsible for air quality on the park. Through the work I led, we were able to save over £12million and significantly reduce the impact on London’s air quality.

Or, on a more personal level, I’m proud of being continually recognized by my direct reports as being a good line manager, looking after their development and wellbeing over extended periods of time.

What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs?

The wide variety of exceptionally talented and humble people I work with on a day-to-day basis, and the challenging and exciting programs we are lucky enough to deliver for our clients.

You might be interested in...

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable. We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision.

external Let's see the impact we can create, together