Overcoming Adversity with Resilience and Courage

Growing up in a culture where success is largely measured by academic success, 30-year-old Jack Riddell always felt on the backfoot through school. Struggling academically, he left at 16 after completing GCSE’s and began working full-time as a farm mechanic. 14 years on, through resilience, hard work and courage, Jack has overcome his dyslexia and gone on to achieve what was once a pipe dream.

From his role as a farm mechanic, he moved onto the farm full-time as a sprayer operator, a role which he held for almost a decade. It was the arrival of his first child that spurred Jack to seek more from his job and allow for a better work/life balance in an industry notorious for long, unsociable hours.

With minimal experience in applying and interviewing for jobs, Jack sought advice from Hadrians Resourcing Solutions which helped him format a strong CV and practise interview techniques. From here he secured his first position in farm management with a large, UK-wide farming organisation.

It was during his time in this role that his dyslexia was recognised and diagnosed. Whilst attending university to complete his BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection, his lecturer identified signs of dyslexia that might be impeding his ability to navigate the written aspects of the course, primarily note taking during lectures and written exams. This was quickly followed by an assessment, a diagnosis and steps put in place to aid Jack’s learning.

This diagnosis came as somewhat of a relief for Jack and, in understanding his dyslexia, he was able to go on and successfully pass the course, achieving one of the highest marks amongst his peers. He has also taken these learning strategies forward unlocking further opportunities to progress in his career.

Jack now manages a large arable enterprise in the Scottish Borders producing 28,000 tonnes of cereals, peas and beans annually, and a renewable energy plant. For Jack, on a personal level, this has increased his confidence in his own ability, as well as a much better balance with family life.