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How I Became: Rob Brown, Founder and Managing Director, JUMP

Rob Brown - Newcastle agency JUMP

Rob Brown is founder and managing director of JUMP, a creative agency based in Newcastle.

The agency, founded in 2007, secured a six-figure investment last year from the North East Growth Capital Fund to build its European presence and team.

From how he first entered his industry to the skills most crucial to his success so far, Brown shares his career journey and words of advice.

How did you first get into your industry?

The question often reminds me of my age. My journey in computing began at 15 with a Sinclair ZX81, a gift from my parents, who prioritised it over home furnishings. From that moment, I was set on a path in computing. Without a formal university education, I learned through self-study, leading to a software and database development career. I eventually founded my own company offering these services.

As the internet evolved, so did my business, moving into web design and growing to a team of three. A 2007 merger with a graphic design firm expanded our services to include branding and design. Today, with a team of over 17 people, we maintain our foundational offerings while also providing advanced solutions and marketing services.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy the daily challenges — no day is the same. Although I no longer personally handle design or development, my talented and creative team excel in these areas. It’s rewarding to witness the impressive work they deliver and the positive reactions from our clients. I am very lucky, and it always brings a smile to my face.

Who – or what – has inspired you in your career?

Throughout my career, I’ve encountered numerous talented individuals who have generously shared their expertise. I genuinely believe that their collective impact, rather than a single influence, has shaped me into the person I am today.

Whilst it may sound cliché, I believe my father’s dedication to his work has been a guiding example to me from the beginning, and I strive to pass this ethic on to my team and the people around me.

What are the biggest challenges about your job?

One of the biggest challenges is working in a competitive industry, so we need to ensure our work remains creative and engaging whilst working within budget constraints.

As technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) evolve, they present challenges and opportunities for innovation, and it’s crucial that my team and I adapt to utilise these advancements.

What skills have been the most crucial to you succeeding in your career so far?

My age and experience undoubtedly play a huge part in my success; however, building relationships and being able to remain calm during challenging situations are important skills.

Yet, it’s the collective effort of past and present colleagues that truly underpins the achievements of my business.

What was your first salary and what could someone getting into the industry expect to earn nowadays?

There are regular salary surveys that are published and as a business owner, it is real challenge ensuring that I pay competitive salaries. I remember however, when I started my career, I was earning around £10K. How times have changed that’s for sure!

What education or training would be most useful for someone looking to follow your career path?

While a university degree is a common path, apprenticeships and other forms of learning are equally valuable. What matters is your dedication to your field and your eagerness to learn.

Showcasing your skills through a portfolio is essential; it highlights your growth and learning journey.

What advice would you have for someone looking to follow your path?

The best advice I can offer is to surround yourself with people who can teach and motivate you. Over time, this has taught me to concentrate on my strengths and to collaborate when necessary. Listen carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Celebrate your successes as well as your failures.

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