Sam Jacobs

I’m a native North Londoner; I went to school in North London on the Finchley Road and then went to Cambridge University to study English Literature. I spent one year working abroad in Israel, mainly in the software industry. I also experienced the weirdest job of my life, where I worked on a Kibbutz, artificially inseminating turkeys. In some ways, I’m godfather to 1000 turkeys!

Returning from Israel, I buckled down and worked in IT for 40 years, across hardware and software companies. I carried out a range of roles, from technical to more commercial. I particularly relished working with people. For me, the human interest of big projects was just as interesting as the technical side. I loved meeting people from across the EU and the world, and was fascinated by their stories. My work gave me the opportunity to get to know clients over dinner or at a jazz or music event, and it was a lot of fun!

But, as I reached my 60s, I wanted to reset the balance in life and step down from full time work in IT to pursue other passions and interests.

During this transition, I faced common challenges; I missed the routine, the trips and the mental focus of work. The rhythm of your day changes and you must find a new rhythm and your own tempo.

One area of life I focused on was voluntary work. I became trustee of two charities: Together and British Future.

Together is a coalition of community groups which brings people together to help build a kinder, closer and more connected country.

British Future is an independent, non-partisan thinktank seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration.

The other passions I have pursued are history and walking.

I’ve always been interested in history, and what started as a hobby has now become a hugely fulfilling job. I began taking a few courses about London history and then went on to take my guiding exams, which were probably more difficult than my degree! And now, I am a qualified City of London guide, walking groups of people around different parts of London and introducing them to the rich history that the city holds. The Circle Square walkers are always a high calibre! During the last walk, we had one Professor, one History Teacher, one Global Capital Markets Advisor and a Doctor. They kept me on my toes!

What I love most about this new path, is meeting new people, researching more about historical topics and seeing the streets of London with a new appreciation.

There are also lots that I am looking forward to: travelling, reading, music, and working on a new and interesting community project that involves my passion for history and the City of London.

My advice for other Circle Square members who are approaching this transition is to try and do things that you enjoy, and a little bit of volunteering helps!”

Find me here.

Circle Square Member Q&A

What 3 words best describe you? Enthusiastic, energetic, always working to listen more.

If you could offer your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be? Listen to everyone. Everyone’s got a story.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Cycling through Vietnam in 34 degree heat, just a few months ago.

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to invite to dinner? Samuel Pepys. A mine of stories, from personal to global. And very entertaining.

How has age strengthened your advantage? Seen it all before.

What inspired you to join Circle Square? It’s great to be part of a network of really nice people that’s alive and growing and is a gateway to really interesting activities. Also, Noam!

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