The alarm goes off – time to wake up. I’m not a morning person, so it’s a struggle to not rationalise sleeping in a little bit more. I use this time to hop on my phone and see if any notifications have come through in the night before getting out of bed. It’s not a typical workday. Normally I can wear my casual clothes in the office here in Melbourne, and really flex my money-well-spent high-fashion clothing, but today I’m going straight to a client site for a workshop that I am facilitating. Since I’m familiar with the client already; I know what the standards are like. I don’t go all-out on the business wear, but I dress appropriately for the occasion and get ready to drive out to my station.
Past the initial madness of morning traffic – I’ve arrived at my local train station. I don’t mind the commute into the city as I get the opportunity to listen to music and really get in the mood for the day. Lately, I’ve been getting into Billie Eilish – but usually, kick-start my shuffle playlist with some Kanye (obviously). If I can get a seat, then I use this time to do some preparation work on my laptop or phone if I have to stand.
I arrive at the client site area, but the workshop is at 10.00 am – so I’m here early. I like to be at least an hour earlier than needed on these occasions, to use these out-of-office meetings as an opportunity to do some exploring of the surrounding areas. There’s typically a nice café around, and so I’ll make base-camp there. I take this moment to order some coffee (black and bitter the better) and some breakfast – but also make notes of what I want to get out of this workshop. The client is in the healthcare industry, and I’ve familiarised myself with their organisational structure and the key players who are involved in the project.
It’s go time. I arrive to meet my client, and a couple of the contractors that we work with, and prepare the workshop. For this project I’ve been acting as the sole relationship owner, and so I’ve had the opportunity to learn new skills and challenges that come with managing client and contractor relationships. I set the agenda for the meeting, and outline the objectives – in this case, it will be a co-creation workshop with the client to implement a Fujitsu PalmVein biometrics solution that will enhance their accessibility and safety requirements without the need for swipe-cards. Since I’m familiar with the client and the contractors – I feel pretty confident about how it should be run. We get stuck into the workshop, and it’s brilliant to see the different minds come together to ideate a solution. Acting in part of a project manager, I keep everyone on topic, periodically check through my list of objectives to achieve for the workshop, and track any actions along the way.
We wrap up the workshop half an hour earlier than intended, and satisfied the agenda with a solid project plan moving forward. We also set up check-point meetings virtually through skype to constantly keep on track with actions and keep up the pace of the project to deliver on time. I set out to head into the office – but not before grabbing some lunch first. I usually have a couple favourite spots around the office area, so I make my way there. If the weather is good then I try to eat outside, and thankfully there’s a nice rooftop garden across the road from the office!
I get into the office, and find a place to sit. We have an open office working arrangement in the Melbourne office; with booths, pods, and standard desks – and so people can sit wherever suits their working style. I typically choose the bench along the side of the office with the best view and most natural sunlight. It’s the aftermath of the workshop, so I instantly get to work in tabulating all the actions from the meeting, any photos we might have taken of the designs drawn up, and summarising the significant outcomes proposed. I send out the summary to the participants who’ve attended (and those who missed it), and that way we’re all on track and kept up to date with the progression of the project.
I don’t have any usual ‘day-to-day’ tasks in my role, and so every day is different and presents a new challenge or opportunity. I enjoy the variety in work – but that also means catering for more than one project at a time. Lately I’ve enjoyed the responsibility of being a project manager for several projects at once, and while I don’t do too much hands-on work myself, I rely on the unique skills of my project team to fulfil important tasks I give them. These projects range from internal Intranet web-design and development, to end-to-end student experience service design at a TAFE institution. I use this time to track timeline and schedules for these projects that I’m actively managing, but also to catch up with the team in weekly touch-point meetings. It’s great working with the teams I’m in now – and there’s such a variety of skills and experiences that it’s easy to get along with everyone and rely on them for the projects we’re working towards.
I get ready to wrap up the day. Here is where I plan out my schedule for tomorrow, and my plans for the rest of the evening. On some particular days I use this hour to do my due diligence and scope out LinkedIn articles, or informative articles on the web about the latest technology or digital trends or disruptions. It’s important as a consultant to constantly stay aware of what is out there to stay on top of what the market (and your client) expectations will be. Part of this is also reaching out to the wider team in Fujitsu and keeping them updated on your work. Here we use Yammer to communicate with our internal team, as well as to the wider organisation. I write a quick update on how my last couple of weeks have been, the people I’ve worked with, the things I’ve learned and the roles I’ve acted in – which gives people the opportunity to see my skillset and exposure for future projects. I also get the opportunity here to read updates from other people in the Consulting team and learn about their own variety of projects and specialisations – which provides me an insight into future.
I leave and head straight for the gym. I look forward to this because I can clear my mind after a long day – and I’m always a believer in maintaining physical health and general fitness. My go-to exercises are some calisthenics and a bit of cardio before hitting the heavier weights.
Gym has taken up enough time that the train home is no longer at a crazy peak hour, and so I can enjoy a comfortable ride home with a guaranteed spot on the seats.
I take the time to unwind, and get ready to meal-prep for the next day. I have a method of just ‘overcooking’ the amounts of my dinner to take for lunch the next day and save money on eating out. I don’t live with my parents, and so that last part is pretty important. I typically like to gorge myself in front of my computer attempting to catch up on Netflix shows my friends constantly suggest.
If I have any outlying work to do before tomorrow or anything to prepare I’ll take the time to do them now. I don’t mind working after typical office hours as I feel like I tend to concentrate better at night. I shoot off some emails or respond to others, and do a final check through of my schedule tomorrow to mentally prepare myself.
I shower, hop into bed, and set my alarm. I don’t immediately fall asleep, so I’ll read some articles on the web to catch up with the ongoings of the world before dozing off.