Get to know
Tobin Craig

ATSV Senior Manager
Published: February 8, 2023

Great people are the driving force behind great business. That's why at Allstate we pride ourselves in hiring and nurturing the best people at all levels of our organisation.

Get to know Tobin Craig, ATSV Senior Manager,  Allstate Northern Ireland.

Where has been your favorite travel destination and why?

TC: We tend to look outward when we think about travel destinations… the US, Australia, etc. Having returned to Northern Ireland by choice (after swearing to myself, I'd NEVER come back, but that's another story!) I can honestly say that the North Coast is high on my list! My favourite aspect of travel is the company I'm with more than the destination, so discovering a new restaurant or coffee shop with my wife is just as meaningful as jetting off somewhere! However, my wife and I went to Paris for our 20th anniversary, and even though I don't like big cities, I absolutely fell in love with the place. I'd go back in a heartbeat, wouldn't even take the time to pack! My current favourite travel destination is Pasadena Maryland, a small town on the outer edges of Baltimore, because that's where our granddaughter lives!

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

TC: I'm a part time musician, playing drums, percussion, guitar, ukulele, bass and harmonica (though not all at the same time) I like finding interesting interpretations of well known songs. I've started practicing with a full time singer/songwriter, and hope to start playing out locally if we can get some venues lined up. I like to cook; since coming back to Northern Ireland, there's some American foods that aren't available here, so I've been learning how to make them. I've turned my hand to baking too, making sourdough breads, cookies, etc. My wife runs an Airbnb, so I bake treats for our guests. I'm also building out a workshop that will be used to pursue another interest: toymaking. I'm interested in making Amish folk toys, maybe one day being able to sell them at local markets.

What show are you currently binge-watching?

TC: We've been watching Yellowstone, as well as the prequel stories (1893 and 1923). The recent Reacher series was very good, glad to see they finally cast someone who LOOKED like the main character! I tend to gravitate to documentaries when left to my own devices, so a little escapism is a good thing! I'll also binge things on Youtube too, my favourite youtube chef so far is Joshua Weissmann, for woodworking it's Steve Ramsey's Woodworking for mere mortals, and otherwise I'll be scanning for acoustic covers of songs that I can learn to play myself.

What's your idea of a perfect day?

TC: A perfect day for me is one where I can spend some time in my workshop making something, where I can satisfy a new curiosity (like learning how to program devices like arduinos etc for home automation), where I can make some music either by myself or with others, where I can enjoy a coffee with my wife and walk the beaches, where I've finished cooking or baking and can share and enjoy the finished products…. Every day is a fresh start, I try to make the most of it if I can. We only get so many trips around the sun.

What skill would you most like to learn?

TC: I told my kids growing up that they can do anything… once. I'm not afraid to trying new things, and I've learned what I'm NOT good at but want to be. I'd love to learn to play piano, I'd love to be more creative artistically (as in painting)… but the underlying issue is self-criticism. So if I think about it, the skill I'd most like to learn would be to be as kind to myself as I am to other people, and not self-criticize.

What's your most-used productivity hack?

TC: Keep a daily list (no more than TEN activities)
Keep it realistic
Check them off as you go
Do the best you can, and accept that some days you'll have items not yet done. Start tomorrow's list with those.

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

TC: Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to make decisions. You're here because someone sees the strengths in you, even if you can't see them yourself!