Meet the tribe: Tom Hashemi

Position: Director & Founder
Specialism: Communications strategy

What does a normal day look like for you?

By 6:30am I’m entertaining my 9-month-old son, making coffee with one hand and keeping him from terrorising the cat with the other. At the office by 8am via the nursery and working through the emails that have accumulated overnight (I’m an Inbox Zeroer).

I typically spend Tuesdays and Thursdays in central London, moving from meeting to meeting. The other days are usually spent on proposal writing, calls, making sure all our projects are running on schedule, and sorting internal admin. I keep 2 hours a day free to respond to last minute requests, whether meetings, calls, or “I broke my website… help!” type scenarios.

I’ve started to teach myself book binding as a no-noise hobby for the evenings; my guitars (affectionately known as my ‘other’ babies) haven’t had much attention as my “honestly the baby likes heavy metal” argument hasn’t proven very successful.

What do you like best about working at Cast From Clay?

The team. The benefits of being a purpose-driven organisation is that you’re all fired up by the same thing, even if we approach it from different angles.

As an organisation we are incredibly picky about hiring and we take our time doing it – typically 4-5 interviews, including a team lunch and a day of client work pre-job offer – so we know people are going to be a great fit when they join.

Taking time over recruitment really pays off. Work doesn’t feel like work and clients often comment that they enjoy spending time with us because everyone is so relaxed. For me, the photo above really sums us up. A key objective of mine is to maintain that culture as we grow.

What kinds of projects do you work on?

As the founder I work on nearly everything we do, mostly acting as the client’s voice in the room. I major on communications strategy and lead on any planning and research project elements.

I’m also known to get my hands dirty on the code side of things – as a teenager I was a front-end developer and, while it’s been many years since I built anything, I can play with website niggles for hours quite happily!

What’s your swear jar word?


What piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your career?

Read as many books as possible and keep your reading varied. It will help you frame your current challenges in different ways; when you start thinking about the problem you’re facing through different lenses, you’re much more likely to find a solution.

At the same time, be much more selective about what information you consume. If you want to have an impact you need to have bandwidth to get stuff done. Notifications every few hours about the latest celebrity to die or a talking head’s analysis on the latest inane politician’s quote only waste time. They fail the “so what” test. Read things with meaning and impact.