A Day in the Life of – Robyn Allen

Robyn is Partnership Development Manager at The Openwork Partnership. Here, she tells us all about the day to day responsibilities of the role and managing work/life balance.

I am part of a larger team that supports our Partner firms with face to face support, as well as being on the end of a phone, an email or a Teams call as and when required. We are the main liaison between our Partner Firms and The Openwork Partnership so have a great network within the business so we can offer solutions to suit each firm.

I help to create business plans so that firms can plan for recruitment, training needs and start to think about their future within their business. I also, alongside my colleagues, host webinars so we can support our firms and their advisers with topics that matter to them, including Consumer Duty, Cost of Living & Protection.

What does your morning routine look like? 

Whether I am working from home, or on the road, my first port of call is always to catch up on any emails or messages that have come in since I was last online. I tend to start the day with some ‘quick wins’ so I can always end a day feeling like I have achieved something.

I have to do lists prepared for every day of the week which I also revisit every morning, so that keeps me on track and helps me start the day focussed on what needs to be achieved. Once that’s done, I’ll either be heading to the car or into Teams calls, or sometimes both!

What does a typical afternoon look like?

Honestly, a lot like the morning! With a role where you’re on the road you keep up to date via your phone throughout the day, then once I am back home I will be writing up my notes from the day. I try never to leave tasks like that for another day as they can build up quickly.

I’ll also be reviewing the to do list, marking things off or moving them to another day. I will always finish the day by making sure I know what the next day looks like, where I’m going and what time I need to get started to get it all done.

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

I’m full of energy throughout the day (just ask Setul!) but find mornings, when I have an hour or so of ‘free admin time’, are when I can power through a lot of tasks and move projects forward.

I’m the first to admit that by late afternoon the brain can get tired, so I would rather move a more detailed piece of work to the following day when I can do it justice, rather than spend twice as long on it because my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. The shorter, quick fix tasks are managed throughout the day due to the nature of the role.

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

I love my work and I love my life, so I tend to just refer to it as ‘balance’ rather than work/life balance. Having run my own firm previously, I understand the hours some of our Partners can keep, but I have boundaries for myself to ensure I have the time I need to recuperate and recharge to be the best I can be.

My main driver is to help people, but I’ve learnt I need to make sure I’m able to. I tend to not reply to late night emails until the following morning, I turn off my notifications when I am on holiday, but ultimately, I love what I do and if I can help, I will.

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

People! I love working with people, all day, every day. I also love to educate. This role enables me to embrace both of those things in all parts of my day. Whether it’s meetings with my colleagues, catching up with our Partner firms, or hosting a webinar for the region.

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

Anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 one of us (myself or my partner Ryan) will look at the chalkboard with our meals for the week on, then we’ll have a debate if we’re in the mood for that dinner, then one of us, but mostly me, will crack on. We like to eat it in front of the tv whilst watching Drive to Survive.

What do you do to unwind?

Doom scroll through social media, rewatch a tv show I’ve already watched 5 times, hang out with Ozzy the cockapoo or nap.

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

Stop with the ‘shoulds’. Don’t do something because you think you ‘should’, do it because it’s the right thing for you, whether that be a career change or an outfit choice.

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

The MOST important! I was incredibly lucky to have an amazing network already prior to joining The Openwork Partnership ‘officially’, but it has only grown since. Having people you know you can go and ask the stupid question to and not be judged is awesome.

Does your job require a degree?

No. I did my GCSE’s, followed by three AS Levels. After that I took Certificates in Financial Administration & Planning and Retail Banking Conduct of Business. I also have 18 years of financial services experience.