Apprentice to Ops Director in 10 years at SpeechWrite
What time do you wake up?
I’m not the best sleeper and usually wake up at 5.30 a.m. I normally have around 4-5 hours sleep a night, and this is more than enough for me. I’m not a believer that everybody needs 8 hours!
What’s the first thing you do?
Sometimes I take the dogs for a walk or make my wife a cup of tea before I leave the house. If I’m not doing that I’m at the gym 3 times a week. A lot of people go for fitness and I am no different but I find it gives me a clear head and time to think and plan before starting my working day. I’ve done this for many years and have noticed it helps my creative thinking when it comes to everyday life.
We also have a 6 month-old daughter who keeps us very busy so getting stuff done before she wakes is a priority!
I normally eat breakfast between 7.30-8 am either at home or in the office, it’s normally something like porridge, which is not very exciting but it’s quick and easy to make.
Getting into the office can be quite challenging. I live on the outskirts of Halesowen, which is around 12 miles to the office. This can take 50 minutes on a good day and 1.30 on a bad one. Not my favourite part of the day!
I get into the office between 8 and 8.30 and the first thing I do is reach for a coffee! I need to start my day with a hot drink but I’m not a caffeine addict honest!
On a typical day, I start by checking in with the department managers to see what they have planned for their teams that day. I like to be involved and aware of what is going on but trust in the people I work with, I’m not a fan of constant micromanagement. People need space to think and come up with new ideas.
I read a quote the other day which struck a chord with me from Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot –
“if you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”
After that, I like to be part of the team and help out where I can. I’m a hands-on person so, if there is something that needs working on, collaboration with marketing, current projects or a client visit I am more than happy to help.
I’m lucky because my career to date with SpeechWrite has been very varied. I started 10 years ago in an apprenticeship role and spent time working in all departments giving me an early insight into different areas of the business. Succession planning is very much part of the ethos at SpeechWrite and I suppose I am testament to that.
Lunch for me is important but not always at the top of my to-do list. I’m not the sort of person to down tools especially when I’m heavily involved in large or complex projects. I am currently working on a number of these, one of which is for a top 50 global law firm, so it’s a pretty exciting time to be at SpeechWrite right now!
If I do get time for lunch then it’s normally something on the go that’s relatively healthy.
Afternoons regularly involves meetings, maybe a conference call or a catch up with a client, excellent ongoing client service delivery is as important to us as it is to our clients. I think too many companies focus on customer acquisition and forget about ongoing customer satisfaction and retention which is bad business sense for everyone involved.
Part of my role is to look at new technology in the market and to consider if it is the right fit for our customers and our business. Last year was pivotal for us when we launched our latest cloud technology solution that has gone from strength to strength since its launch.
Our office closes at 5 pm but I’m normally around until 6 pm.
Does anyone finish work in today’s world though? These days there are so many ways to be involved 24/7, whether that’s emails, social media or remote working, I’m normally reading something to do with work, after hours.
Our biggest demand in the last 12 months has been “we want our staff to be able to work from anywhere, anytime.” It seems that we are quickly heading towards the agile and remote working revolution.
We are increasingly dealing with more virtual firms especially in the legal space where the traditional office is just not required – an expensive overhead that companies can do without. With tools such as Skype, Citrix and LinkedIn the world is connected anywhere at any-time.
When I do finish, I look forward to seeing my wife and my 6-month-old daughter who has learnt to smile when you pick her up. That smile makes you forget if you have had a busy or challenging day. I always said that kids where not something I was sure about but now she is here, we can’t imagine life without her.
Hobbies are difficult with a busy schedule but my wife and I both enjoy a nice meal, socialising with friends or a good TV series that we can both enjoy watching, its important to unplug from the rest of the world when possible.
Normally, our daughter will go to bed about 8pm and sleeps straight through until the morning. We feel very blessed having heard many horror stories about parents up feeding all night!
Bedtime for me is normally about 11.30 pm.