24 hours with....

Name: Simon Johnson
Job title: Business Analyst
Sector: Financial Markets
How long have you worked in this role? 2 years
Describe your typical day? I don’t tend to have a typical day; there is a lot of variety in my job. There are certain things that I need to do on a regular basis, but there is no real consistency regarding when and where they need to be done, so each day is generally quite different. Amongst other things, my time is mainly split between meetings, drawing up documentation and process material, stakeholder presentations, running training seminars, facilitating testing workshops and supporting the end users for implementations my team has worked on. There is also a massive amount of variety within these particular areas, as each project, or even phase of a project, can be very different. I also need to spend time in different locations, and can sometimes go weeks without sitting at my desk. From a personal perspective, I really enjoy working this way. If things become monotonous I get bored very quickly, so a varied workload is something that keeps me interested.
What's the company culture like? I work for a large global company, which has its benefits, but there is also a downside to this. Culturally I would say it differs internally between departments. Because of the nature of my job I get to experience all of this, so in a word I would say it is ‘diverse’.
What's your favourite part of the job? As I mentioned before, variety is important for me, so this is an aspect of my job that I really appreciate. However, I would say that my favourite part is interaction with other people. My role requires me to engage with a lot of individuals and groups from other areas of the business. This gives me a very rounded perspective of how the company works, and also gives me an appreciation for the importance of other people’s roles and how everything fits together. My most recent project has been a global implementation, which has meant I have had to work with a great deal of people from all over the world. There have been some people I haven’t got on with, but I’ve also made some good friends. I’m a firm believer in the fact that your colleagues make work what it is, so getting to know so many people has definitely been good for me. I’ve also had to travel quite a lot, and in the last 12 months I have spent time in America, Europe and Asia. Whilst it’s not as glamorous as some people might think, I have really appreciated the experience.
Is there anything you would like to change? I have never been a fan of ‘office politics’ but, unfortunately, this comes with the territory when working for a big company.
What's your favourite way to wind down? Eating and drinking!
How did you get to where you are now? I haven’t really had much of a structured career path. I started working for my company a couple of years after graduating, and it was just a case of needing a job. I had no particular desire to work for them, or in the markets sector in general. Initially it was a great place to work, and there were lots of opportunities for progression if you wanted them. I found myself discovering other areas of the business that looked interesting and then taking the steps to move internally. I started getting involved in more project based work, which I really liked, so when the opportunity came up to move into my current role a couple of years ago it was something that really appealed. Although it was a bit of an accident, I think I have now found something I can see myself doing for a while. Not necessarily a permanent career, but I definitely think it’s got the potential to keep me interested for a long time.
What's the best advice you've ever received? Two things: ‘You need to make things happen yourself.’ And: ‘Never expect a thank you’.
If you were not doing this job, what would be your plan B? I think the end goal is to work for myself, so if I had a job I wasn’t happy with I’d probably try to set up my own company. What this company would do is another question entirely, but I’m sure I’d be content as long as I didn’t have anybody to answer to.

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