First things first
Today I’m up bright and early and, even though it is still full lockdown here in the UK, I’m looking forward to my busy Monday schedule, which not only includes carrying out my usual Monday tasks, but also home schooling my two kids, who have now taken full command of my kitchen and living room.
As Compass Plus operates globally, I never get an easy, slow morning and every day feels like I’m jumping onto a fast-moving train. The first hour of my day tests my multitasking skills to the extreme; I am checking and replying to emails, making breakfast, sorting wi-fi issues for my eldest, printing worksheets for my youngest, and getting ready for an on-camera zoom call.
Usually, my first meeting of the day is with the Managing Director of our Asia Pacific office, however, today I receive a call at 9.00am from the Group’s CEO, who wants to discuss taking one of our smaller solutions and making it standalone so that we can better address the needs of our customers. This certainly gets my creativity flowing.
At 9.30am, I’m back on track and on my Asia Pacific call where, alongside the usual regional update, we discuss a complex, but exciting new business opportunity and I inflict my CEO-inspired creativity on the regional MD whilst we hash out the details of two more.
My Mondays are usually allocated for catching up, small workshops, addressing questions, regrouping and setting my teams and myself up for the week ahead so we stay focussed on the most pressing tasks.
So, at 10.30am, I jump straight on with Sales Support and the COO team to ensure new, as well as existing, customer activities are ticking along as they should. This meeting is swiftly followed by my bi-weekly catch-up with the CFO.
Just before lunch I am usually on a call to see how new customer projects are going to ensure we are delivering what has been promised. Today, there is a wider team present as we are discussing a large-scale project in the Middle East, involving one of our newest products. I make a tonne of notes and connect the dots across many other projects. Later in the week I will highlight my observations to various teams and they will be able to incorporate this into best project delivery practices and take note for further product development. This part of the job makes me feel happy as I enjoy facilitating product development, personnel growth and knowledge sharing in the company and ultimately passing the benefits of this on to all our customers. This sets the tone for the afternoon.
Lunch break – who am I kidding?
It is lunch time, so I quickly dish out lunch instructions to my always hungry kids, and as one of them wants to be a chef, she is very happy to make everything herself (result!). I spend some time with them in the kitchen, answering maths questions, listening to the eldest read her English essay to me (making a mental note that perhaps I could convince her to take up a career in marketing), mop up the inevitably spilled soup by the youngest ‘chef’ and head back to my room.
On a Monday, I keep between 1pm and 3pm free for project work, overspills from the previous week, creative business development and product marketing, or strategic comms work. Today, it is the latter, and I jump on a call the marketing team has set up with one of the leading industry publications to brief them on our digital banking ecosystems vision and how new age platforms can support this.
Keeping the plates spinning
At 3pm, it's time for the customer project teams, starting with our processing centre. Very serious bunch, almost military grade. I mentally prepare for extreme levels of technical jargon and a report on systems operations, customer projects and payment scheme certifications. Today, they also talk about the yearly PCI audit, and as it starts tomorrow, they have no time to waste and talk even faster with dozens of abbreviations per minute, only briefly slowing down to accentuate the exciting new tech they love to use in the processing centre.
As they don’t use full words, the meeting is over quicker than I thought so I use 15 minutes to order presents for my kids’ birthdays and browse ideas for vegetarian recipes as part of my meat-free-Monday pledge.
At 4.00pm, it’s time for my meeting with the Projects Director. He is in the full-on new software release implementation mode with one of his key customers, so our usual chat is more formal. I listen to his detailed report and note down some ideas for process improvements to take to the ops and dev teams later in the week.
Ending the day on a high
It’s 4.30pm and time for my last call of the day. No matter what is going on with our accounts, the Accounts Director has a way of raising my spirits and ending my day on a high. As always, mixed in with her report are many ideas on how to develop the business and enhance various internal and external processes. The meeting rarely finishes before 6.30pm as the conversation just flows, and the end of my day feels like a welcomed brainstorming session.
Once we finish, I check my emails and put urgent tasks to complete tomorrow on a post-it note and stick it to my screen (no funky digital reminders work as well as my post-its, I tried).
It’s 7.15pm and my Monday is done. Now, time for that vegetarian dish I discovered in-between meetings!