What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?
I work in Service Management, within Worldline UK’s Mobility & e-Transactional Services, and my main clients are the Train and Freight Operators.
To be honest, I joined the technology business kind of by accident! I trained in Fine Art and was looking for a part-time role whilst I continued my painting career. I saw one that was advertised at SchlumbergerSema (before it was acquired by Atos), applied and was successful. I started my technology career then, back in 2002, on the Credit Cards team where I worked for a couple of years on the daily bank reconciliations for the Train Operators, before taking on a full-time role in the Settlements Team. I never have been in roles where I need to be particularly technical – this was essentially business processing for the rail companies.
Whilst I did not start with a particular goal to work in the technology industry, I have found that I am motivated by learning new things, and working with interesting people and variety, and doing something that actually impacts people’s daily lives. The applications we deliver to our clients in the rail industry are critical to both their actual operation, as well as their ability to retail tickets. Because I get to be involved in all stages, mainly service delivery of course, but also in bid responses and the project phases, it is never dull!
What do you find more challenging in your profession?
Every day brings different ones - being in Service Management, there is usually something somewhere that needs resolving - whether it is a P1 incident, or a client escalation. So overall, I would say my challenges are around improving client satisfaction and trying to change some embedded perceptions within some of our clients that can take time to shift. A big factor of this is making sure we deliver the quality services we say we will do, and when things do go wrong, that we fix them quickly and communicate well in the interim.
What are you most proud of in your work?
It is hard to stick to one! I am proud of my teams, who work hard to keep our clients happy in challenging situations. I am proud of the services and products we deliver; they really do matter to millions of people every day. I am proud of winning the “Women In IT” Excellence Team Lead award; which was a great surprise and honor. And I am proud of having represented Worldline (with my colleague Claire Alderson) in our climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Railway Children - and am looking forward to this year’s challenge – Three Peaks by Rail!
What advices would you give to achieve work-life balance?
It can be hard to achieve this, given how much is going on all the time, and especially in Service Management where you can be called out at any time. I try to make sure that I really switch off properly during weekends. I also swim most weekday mornings and find that helps to set me up for the day. I think doing things that are completely different to work helps me - both my partner and I share a lot of the same interests; getting out in the countryside, painting and comedy. I also find flexible working helps, I tend to be in the office most days, but being able to work from home if needed makes life easier. I would not say I always get the balance right, but the way I do it works for me.
How has Worldline helped you to advance in your career and reach your professional goals?
In my experience, a lot of it has to do with the people and the resulting culture. I have had several great mentors, who have helped me broaden both my horizons and network. They and my managers have always encouraged me to take on new challenges, which is where you learn and develop. In turn I have had the opportunity to mentor others too and learned a lot from those experiences. There are some fantastic talent programs that I have been fortunate enough to be on. And simply the fact that there are opportunities within the company, and I have had lots of support whenever I have gone for one.