Becky works as part of Nokia’s global HR team, managing the company’s recruitment presence on social media.
“I hate the idea of being switched off,” she says. “I might miss something.” She really is always connected – answers to emails ping back quickly, pretty much any time of day. And missing something would be a problem – her job involves a continuous mix of online and face-to-face networking, to make sure that the company gets the talent it needs, and doesn’t miss opportunities. It’s clearly one she relishes – she loves social networking of both the online and offline variety, but has to keep herself ruthlessly organised to make the most of it.
Hers is the sort of job that many envy – she’s got considerable freedom to decide how and what she does every day. She’s based out of Nokia’s Paddington office, and some weeks haunts the building most days. Other weeks, she’s constantly on the move.
Despite describing herself as “not a pen and paper girl”, strategic planning for the week ahead is done on a Sunday night. “I want to know exactly what I’m doing at 9am on Monday, not be wondering where I left off on Friday.” So, that’s all sorted in her notebook – using pen and paper – before key appointments make it into her phone. That notebook and phone are two of the three things that define her working life, the third being a laptop. “I can do everything I need to do with those three,” she says.
Broadly speaking, these events, ideas and tasks that are pinned down go into her phone, and specifically her phone’s calendar. Other ideas, longer term plans and things to remember go into her notebook. “I don’t carry this information in my head,” she says. “Everything goes into the notebook or the phone.”
And the depth to which she uses her phone keeps her – according to colleagues – “super-efficient”. (Becky is positively excited when she hears she’s been described as such.) Sure, she’s got the standard big meetings in there, but everything from a reminder to leave five minutes early for a hair appointment to reminders to make a call go into the calendar. “My husband suggested it to me,” she says. “He works in a similar field. Recruitment is competitive. If you’re not organised, you’re not as effective.”
She uses travel time to keep the two systems updated – and she’s has a fair amount of it. While she estimates that international travel is under 25% of her working life, she’s often on the move to meetings, industry events (for networking and keeping up on trends) and even to her home. “A lot of my work involves confidential conversations, and if I can’t get a meeting room in Paddington, I can work from home knowing that the discussion will be completely confidential”.
The notebook she has was a gift from her sister. “It’s a nice, hard-backed one. I can never take those free ones you get given at every conference you go to seriously.”
That design/quality focus applies to her phone, too. She actually has two phones: a personal Lumia 820 in yellow and a business Lumia 920 in red. Which does she prefer? The 920, with its bigger screen and vibrant red colour. “It really makes a statement, it’s fashionable, and it reminds me of my favourite pair of shoes every time I look at it.”
The larger size isn’t a problem for her at all. “You should see the size of my handbag,” she laughs.
Her idea of a nightmare day is losing connectivity. “Not having battery power is no excuse,” she says. “I have a wireless charger, I can charge from my laptop. But without WiFi…horrible.”
Becky reckons that her working superpower is optimism. “My boss says that talking to me usually motivates him to find a solution to problems,” she says. Conversely, her weakness is a lack of ruthlessness. “Sometimes you need to be really hard to succeed, to do nasty things behind people’s back. I’d rather hide for a week than do that, but I worry that it holds me back.”
Not a whole lot of evidence of that emerging…
Does your working day look similar, and what are your personal working nightmares?
This is part of Nokia’s Smarter Everyday programme, which aims to inspire you with fresh approaches to productivity, collaboration and technology adoption, and the latest ideas from business leaders and innovators on creativity, leadership and management. To download our latest ebook on designing your day, visit http://nokia.ly/DYDebook, and to find out more about Nokia for business visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/mobile/business/lumia-for-business/