A Day in the Life of – Jane Benjamin

Jane is Director of Mortgages at Connect IFA. Here, she gives us an insight into the day to day responsibilities of the role and managing work/life balance.

I am responsible for:

  • our Connect Group residential & btl mortgage partnerships & propositions
  • protection provider partnerships
  • referral services partnerships
  • Connect Group marketing and events
  • Connect direct to customer adviser team
  • Consumer Duty Champion
  • Connect People/EOS
  • Industry collaboration including AMI Working in Mortgages Group, Diversity & Inclusion Finance Forum, Women in Financial Services Charter and anything else that needs me!

What does your morning routine look like? 

My day starts at 5 a.m. with a wake up call from my three rescue greyhounds, wanting their breakfast and a walk.

After that once my working day starts, every morning is different, which I love. It could be working from home, office meetings, hotel coffee shop meetings, car, train, walk and talk, sit and write, plan and deliver.

What does a typical afternoon look like?

More of the same – however, I have learned to manage my work life balance, which is really important to ensure I can be my best self.

When I finish work for the day both my work phone and laptop are locked away.    

What do you find to be your most productive time of the day?

I’m a morning person for sure, although it could be at any time. It’s more about having space to think, which is usually when I’m out in nature, so it could be whilst I’m out in the fields with the hounds and the birds at the start of my day, or when I’m weeding the garden and feeding my animals in the evening – that’s when ideas fall into my very full head. 

How do you manage your time to ensure you have a good work / life / home balance?

I specifically rescued my dogs for exactly this reason in February 2020, before we even knew about the Covid lockdown. I was working relentless hours with the business wanting more and more, my mental health was suffering and I had nothing left to give. In reality, my rescues actually rescued me. I now remember what is important and love my life again. I’m blessed.  

What is your favourite part of your working day in your role?

Being out and about, talking to advisers, lender partners and industry peers, to share ideas and create opportunities for business growth whilst at events and innovation meetings. Our mortgage industry is made up of many fantastic people, all passionate about working together for the good of the customer…awesome!

What does a typical dinner time look like in your household?

Definitely not Masterchef!  

What do you do to unwind?

Outdoor adventures and adventures in or under the ocean … wellies, walking boots, wetsuit, body board and scuba tank!

If you could give one piece of career advice what would it be?

Be true to your values – they make your personal brand. 

How important has your support network been in helping you through your role?

Sharing experiences gives a different perspective on the same challenge, so this is really important. Be open minded to change. Remember it’s a two way relationship … make sure you support others too, who may not be asking for help. Stay WOKE!

Does your job require a degree?

No – in fact I have numerical challenges and I work in mortgages!