theDesk story

Meet Paul Johnson: Partnership Director at theDesk

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Ahead of Hiring Day and exciting expansions on the horizon, the newsDesk speaks to Paul Johnson, our 31-year-old Partnership Director, about what’s it like to work here and manage our growth.

We’d like to introduce you to Paul Johnson, hailing from Yorkshire in the UK. He worked in the UK for many years before arriving at the 852 three years ago. You can meet Paul and the rest of our team at our next hiring event on August 16, where you can learn more about our company and jobs at theDesk. Find out more about Paul’s role from our question-and-answer session.

What is the role of partnership director at theDesk?
I look after growth at theDesk – tenancies, leasing, events space and venue space. I also look after commercial partnerships, which entails working with neighbourhood businesses to raise the profile of theDesk and to build on our connected community ethos.

Where were you before you joined theDesk?
I used to be a media and publishing guy. I stumbled on theDesk completely by chance after having a beer with one of the founders. I’ve worked for a publishing house, the Economist and a media start-up.

What are your colleagues like?
The people are smart, creative and pretty friendly. They’re cool.

What’s your average day like?
I come in about half-eight, I go through the inbox before the herd arrives. Then there are frequent distractions that lead to really interesting conversations and new ideas for theDesk, and ultimately new people coming in to use our space.

“There’s always somebody working on something interesting. One day we can have a film shoot, the next day we’ve got somebody naked in the courtyard”

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Where do I begin? It’s getting the message out that theDesk has so much more to offer. Not everyone is yet aware of how co-working and collaborative spaces add value. This is a little bit of an educational process. But I’m really excited that more and more people are enquiring about the space and having these conversations. They will only increase as we add two more sites this year. We really are quite unique. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
I love doing something different every single day. It’s impossible for a co-working and collaborative space to be monotonous. There is always someone new in the space, there’s always somebody working on something interesting. One day we can have a film shoot, the next day we’ve got somebody naked in the courtyard. True story! It was for a life drawing session. You’re at work, but you enjoy it so much more. There’s a social aspect of it all from one day to the next, for example our events and workshops.

What’s different from your current job than ones you had previously?
Different industry. But it’s great that content and media are still a central part of what we do. I also come from an industry that’s going through a lot of turmoil. It’s really refreshing to be a part of an industry that is growing at a huge rate, but one that continuously has to innovate.

Paul Johnson, in brief

Name: Paul Johnson

Age: 31

From: Yorkshire, UK

Position: Partnership Director at theDesk coworking and collaborative space

Location: Sai Wan and Causeway Bay

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