My Working Day at Barclays
- Back to Work, Working Women
- 30 Nov 2018
My alarm goes off: at 05:20. The first 30 minutes are spent in solitude as ‘me time’ which includes having a hot cup of tea, watching my three-year-old (sleep like a baby!) and listening to some melodious music recitals in the background. This is followed by a brisk walk (fitness goals are always on my mind!) and the crazy rush to get ready and head out for a 90-minute commute from Gurgaon to Noida.
My typical day at work: usually starts mid-way through my commute- from clearing emails, to reviewing and updating my to-do lists. I use the first half of the commute to read flagged-off articles covering technology, leadership, emerging markets, and parenting to keep the grey cells ticking. Once in office (it feels like the morning tea was ages back!) a cup of coffee and the 11-floor climb up the stairs (remember fitness goals are always on my mind!) energises me for the rest of the day. Leading a project management team involves working with many stakeholders, team members, and colleagues across multiple offices and time zones. As a result, the rest of the day is spent listening, analysing, solving, and troubleshooting through discussions, huddles, and meetings over phones, VCs, and in-person. Amidst all the frenzy of work, the one-on-one coffee meetings with colleagues and the occasional fun break-outs with the team provide me the opportunity to connect and build relationships.
The most challenging day at work and how I sailed through it: There are quite a few, as you might expect in the story of 'A life of a project’. In every project, we have had moments and challenges that stand-out and stories that are waiting to be told and lessons to be learnt. The one that stands out in my mind, was from a couple of years back, when we had a five-hour marathon call to take a ‘Go/No-Go’ decision on an important project. The project was at a critical juncture and needed tough decisions to address the long list of challenges. I was impressed with the perseverance and the positive approach demonstrated by my colleagues to address all cross-functional issues that enabled a timely delivery of the entire project.
My most fulfilling experience so far: was a special day, when all my colleagues were recognized for their stupendous efforts in a successful programme delivery. The multi-phased programme had its fair share of challenges, encompassing communication across stakeholder groups, technology solution, budgets, personnel, regulatory compliance and even changes in requirements. However, the deep knowledge, focus, hard work, and a strong governance framework saw them pull out all stops and establish a highly collaborative relationship with their business groups to see the programme through. The exemplary display of execution, leadership, and teamwork during the programme has been called out in many different forums across the organisation.
I love my job because: of multiple reasons. First of all, my role as a Change Leader allows me to pursue my passion of solving complex multi-functional problems applying planning and organising skills (a skill everyone at home is happy I’m getting to apply away from home, so they get a respite!). Secondly, I love the variety in my role – where no day is like another, and where every day is a new challenge. Finally, it is the people I work with that make all the difference. My role gives me the opportunity to connect with an amazing set of people, learn from sharp minds from across the world and equally important helps many colleagues grow to be successful leaders and managers.
My biggest takeaway from Life@ Barclays: Be YOU! Have open, honest, and transparent conversations and you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcomes. My own personal journey through my daughter’s premature birth, maternity break, and joining back is a testament to the same. One should make choices on work-life integration, on how you would like to contribute and add value, be open and honest to yourself and your organisation; and you will have all the support you need.
How I like to unwind after work: spending time with my family.....evenings are clearly ‘my girl’s time’. It’s always the highlight of my day when I walk through the door and am greeted by my daughter. I play with her at home or in the park or listen to all her pre-school activity banter, or just have a peaceful meal as a family (without phone calls), tucking my daughter into bed after story time.