A BOSS has opened up about how he went from a £3.80-an-hour shelf-stacking job to earning £800,000 – without going to university.
Stuart Machin is now the chief executive at Marks & Spencer, but he came from humble beginnings.
More than 30 years ago, at the age of 16, he landed his first job as a shelf stacker at Sainsbury’s at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, in Kent.
Now Stuart's offering tips on how eager youngsters can follow in his footsteps.
The boss said he would spend his £3.80 an hour on records until he was 17 – and then he started saving up to buy his first car.
And while he had wanted to head to university to train to become a religious studies teacher, he decided against it.
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The boss told KentOnline: “After finishing my A-levels, I was offered a place at university, but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to stick with retail.
“Put simply, I loved the excitement retail offered. Serving and selling to customers, working in a team, the opportunity to progress.
“My job gave me purpose, I worked hard, and took every overtime shift I was offered that involved collecting trolleys, working on the checkouts and filling the shelves overnight."
By the age of 21, Stuart's pals were getting their first jobs and he was already running his own department.
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Seven years later he was a director of a store that made £100million in sales.
In the years that followed he went on to work at other retail giants like Tesco and Asda – taking on more senior roles when he spent a decade in Australia.
He shifted back to the UK in 2017 and within a year was being headhunted by M&S.
The company was said to be struggling at the time, and Stuart helped get it back on track.
Last May he landed the top job as boss and some reports say he earns a whopping £800,000.
And even today, he still loves parts of the job he did 30 years ago.
Stuart added: “I loved the buzz of retail and still do.
"Interacting with customers, working with some great colleagues. It grew my confidence and felt worthwhile and fulfilling."
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