My alarm jolts me from a deep restful sleep, and before I can even register how early it is I sit up and get out of bed. The moment I hit the snooze button it’s game over, so I quickly get dressed, grab my drink bottle and head off to the gym.
My gym class has finished, and with a red face and body filled with endorphins, I jump in the car and head straight to work. Being able to shower and change at work is a huge help as it means I can get into the office before traffic gets too bad. As usual, I use my commute time to listen to a podcast. What will it be today? Ted Talks? Dyl and Friends? Keep it Cleaner? The options are endless.
I’m finally up at my desk and ready to seize the day at work. I always start by checking how the prior day of trade went. I like to keep a pulse on how the business is trading, as it gives context to just about everything we do, making my role more meaningful. I jump into my emails, flagging anything that needs to be actioned. Then I spend 5-10 minutes on arguably the most important part of my day, prioritising. What do I want to achieve today? I pick the things from my larger to-do list that I want to get done and plan out my day to help keep me focused and accountable to timelines.
Coffee time. I’m sadly one of those people who cannot go a morning without it. I rarely go to get coffee alone. Sometimes I go with my direct team; however, today I use the time to catch up with my prior manager and teammate. Time spent over coffee is invaluable in getting up to speed on what else is going on around the business, while also maintaining important relationships I have built-in previous roles.
It's time to get stuck into the day. I try to use my mornings for ‘quick wins’ as I find the morning is when I’m most productive (a coincidence that it aligns with when the caffeine from my morning coffee is pumping through me?), so I try and focus on key tasks and tick them completely off my to-do list. I put together a slide for a deck going to the senior leadership team (tick), send off an email with recommendations on promotional planning for the beer category (tick) and make a phone call to the events team to confirm our Finance Graduate morning tea next week is all organised (tick).
Mid-morning is usually a key time for meetings! Today we have our monthly knowledge sharing session. In these sessions, someone from the Liquor Finance team will give the rest of us a rundown of a topic in which they consider themselves to be a subject matter expert. This helps to upskill the remainder of the team and make us less single- point sensitive. As I have newly rotated into the Liquor Finance team, these sessions are a great way to help expand my knowledge of the business. Last month’s session we did a deep dive into how to best assess supplier performance, and today we are tackling our finance systems and how we can get the most out of them.
As soon as it ticks over to lunchtime its straight to ‘The Hub’, the centre of our thriving building where there are plenty of options on offer for lunch, as well as plenty of familiar faces to sit and chat with. As usual, graduates tend to gravitate towards each other, giving us all an opportunity to discuss anything – from what’s on our mind that week at work, our plans for the weekend, and who we are backing to win Survivor. If the weather permits, I grab a few other graduates and venture down behind the building for a walk along the creek to soak in the sunshine and stretch our legs.
I’m back at my desk, refreshed and ready to work again. In the afternoon, I usually try and get stuck into bigger pieces of work that are more closely aligned to long term strategic objectives of the business. Firstly, I spend a few hours meeting with business stakeholders to discuss capital investment plans for the future, ensuring as the Finance voice in the room I provide a healthy challenge to their forecasted planned spend. We need to ensure the investment profile of the business really sets us up for success into the future.
Trivia time! Every Friday, same time, same place, our team huddles together and focuses our brainpower on something completely detached from our work. We take it in turns hosting, but as today isn’t my turn I settle in with a pen and paper and get my head in the game. It’s safe to say I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon to try my luck on Hot Seat Millionaire as I am yet to take away the title of Team Trivia Champion, but nevertheless I enjoy myself as it is a great way to get to know each other better in a casual environment before going back to work in the afternoon with a fresh set of eyes.
It’s time to put some energy into the other element of my job which is business partnering. I go around and sit with the Liquor Private Label team and help them to work through the commercial impacts of the new and innovative products they are planning to launch in stores. I assist them with their forecasting of future supplier commitments, and together we identify where the biggest market opportunities lie for our business.
How is that the time already!? Time really does fly when you are deep in strategic conversations. I head back to my desk and as I do every day before going home, I jot down my notes from the day. What work didn’t I manage to finish that needs to be picked up tomorrow? I add those things to tomorrow's to-do list, throw my things in my bag, and give Mum a call to ask if she wants me to grab anything from the Coles next door to bring home for dinner. Then it’s straight back into finishing the podcast from this morning.
I finally get home and have time to walk my dog Maisy before dinner. When I’ve had a busy day at work being able to walk and clear my head is exactly the wind down I need to be ready to come home and engage with my family.
I still have a little brain power left in the tank, so I use half an hour to go through my Chartered Accounting course work. I try and do a little bit each week as it helps to reduce the stress close to exam time. There are a few other Finance Graduates taking the same subject as I am at the moment, so if I have any questions, I pick up the phone and we work through it together.
Finally, it’s relaxation and family time. As I still live at home, I look forward to time sitting around the lounge room with my parents and brother, discussing how our days went and watching some TV (I swear we are funnier than anyone they have on Gogglebox).
It’s getting late so I start to wind down. I have a bath if I’m feeling really luxurious, then I give my room a tidy, layout some gym clothes for the next day (otherwise I will make up an excuse in the morning to not go) and jump into bed. The General Manager of our team has suggested I read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, so I open that up and give myself some much-needed time away from technology.
I set my alarm for the next day, turn the lights out and within minutes am off to sleep.