With two little people in the house, like it or not my day starts soon after 6am. Fuelled by my first coffee of the day, the time between wake up and our exit from the house at 7.45am is a blur of breakfast and getting everyone, including myself, dressed, fed and ready for the day.
Once drop off is completed, I like to head to the office before the rush of calls and client meetings. You’ll usually find me touching down between 8.15 and 8.30am, making myself a coffee taking time to regroup and plan for the day ahead, checking emails and catching up with anything that did not quite get finished the previous day.
The best part of my job is developing relationships and supporting our clients. I love the variety of working with numerous businesses in different sectors and getting my teeth stuck into their people planning. Most days I will attend at least one client office for meetings typically focused on planning or problem solving. By submerging myself in the clients’ environment, I get a real feel for their culture which enables me to provide the most bespoke and tailored advice. One of my key projects over the last few weeks has been the establishment of a leadership programme for one client; so plenty of time has been put into planning this programme, presenting details to staff and undertaking pre-commencement meetings with those staff who are interested.
Networking and business development is a key part of my role and that’s typically where my next coffee fix comes from – I enjoy meeting up with potential new clients or contacts and finding out how their businesses are getting on. I returned to work in July following a period of maternity leave and so the last few weeks have seen lots of catch ups, finding out how businesses have coped during the Covid pandemic and hearing about their plans for the future.
Heading back to the office means catching up on emails, returning calls and, of course, another coffee. As a consultant, I never know what queries await me but those client questions that tax my brain a little, working on solving problems or advising on something a little out of the ordinary will always catch my attention first. As a business, but also very much to fuel my personal drive, I like to problem solve – removing the mystery and pressure from clients so that they can concentrate on what they do best. I thrive on finding commercial, pragmatic solutions to problems – striking the balance between the letter of the law (employment obviously) or best practice and a solution that helps our clients to achieve the best outcome for them and their people.
As a business owner, not only do you need to be good at what you do but you also need to be able to turn your hand to anything, so the end of the day is usually my time to catch up on billing and accountancy tasks, review articles and templates for our internal resources and newsletters and catch up with our ever growing team on any areas they may need support in.
I seem to always be trying to squeeze in just one more thing into the working day so before I head out of the office, I check my to do list and try to progress at least one more client project or task but this means you might see me taking the hurried jog to the car, rushing for the child-minder pick up wishing I’d left just five minutes sooner!
Pick up is fun, hearing all about the little ones day – I find it grounding to hear the simplistic joy they have from playing on the beach or flying a kite and it reminds me to jump quickly from ‘work me’ to ‘mum me’ and enjoy the chaos that comes with teas, bath and bedtime. If we can, we try to get out for a family walk with our excitable labrador or head to see the hubby play cricket but once the children are asleep, you’ll often find me heading to my desk, answering client queries, advising on a staffing issue and delivering on many of the promises I’ve given to client to make their lives a little easier.
I like to head to bed early, threatening to turn into a pumpkin soon after 9pm, so once the lunches are done and the bags are packed and by the front door, that’s where I’m headed, sometimes – if I can keep my eyes open – with a quick episode of some easy-going medical or legal drama for good measure.