A Day in the Life of – Setul Mehta

Setul is Head of Partnership Services for The Openwork Partnership. Here, he tells us all about the day to day responsibilities of the role and managing work/life balance.

My primary role is to lead The Openwork Partnership’s in-house Mortgage, Protection & GI Advice team. The team are there to help the networks 750 members support clients where those members might be at capacity, on holiday or just in need of some temporary support on advice. It’s an incredibly valuable role that ensures no client need ever walk away from the advice they may want and need. Alongside this, I’m delighted to be a member of The Openwork Foundation’s Grant Committee, which reviews and distributes funds to charities who put themselves forward for funding, to really make an impact in the world around us. I am also part of The Openwork Partnership Inclusion Action Group that aims to make the group a more diverse and inclusive place for colleagues, advisers and clients.

What does your morning routine look like? 

Get up at 6, do the thing I shouldn’t… pick up my phone and have a scroll. Get ready, sort the kids out, have breakfast and, where possible, do the school drop off. Then work begins with reviewing any incoming e-mails linked to client queries, or support needed from advisers either within the team or the network. Catch up (mostly virtual unless it’s a Tuesday, then it’s face to face) with individual team members on any outstanding client related activity.  Monday & Friday mornings have all team calls, so we can all understand what is planned for the week (on the Monday) and share our successes and challenges (on the Friday).

What does a typical afternoon look like?

This would be more functional related activities, e.g. call listening and auditing. I’ll typically use afternoons to hold calls with some of our referring advisers, to ensure they continue to get what they need from the team. Afternoons will also involve e-mail checking and responding.

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

I’m an early and late person, so I’m ready for the team for when they arrive, happy to crack on with e-mails (and teams messages), so activity can progress! For bigger pieces of work or more time consuming work, I’m better late in the evening, once the kids are asleep! This is why I tend to use the time in between for virtual or face to face meetings with partners, as that doesn’t require the need for a quiet environment.

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

I probably don’t! I really enjoy the work that I do, I’m passionate about the difference good quality financial advice can make, and I want to ensure I can play my part in clients receiving good quality advice. As such, work isn’t a chore, its part of my value drivers, so I will allow it to take over my personal time. That said, I have two kids and a wonderful wife who know when to drag me into personal time, which helps!

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

When talking to the advisers in the team about a client they’ve helped – nothing better than hearing a success story and a member of the team who has had a great meeting!

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

If we are at home, we’ll eat about 6:30 – if we eat out, it will be about 7:00.

What do you do to unwind?

A game of chess or uno with my favourite child, hugs and hide and seek with the 2nd child, tv shows or a dinner with my wife…. and when they are not around, or if I need a break, football or poker!

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

Just talk to people, whether its to share a success or a challenge you are having, whether you need to take your mind off something or you just cant find an answer – there is nothing better than having a chat.

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

Invaluable, I can rely on different people to help with different things. I’m phenomenally lucky to have such an amazing peer group around me.