So...what do you do all day?
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Stick with me on this – all will become clear! So, I suspect we all have the same conversations at parties when making small talk with people you’ve just met – “…and what do you do?” There’s the standard work answer: “We help banks make the right technology purchases for their business. We start with a business driver, articulate what the best strategic response might be, and how that translates into a technology initiative”. Sometimes I simply say that I get paid to think, talk and write. Friends and family still don’t quite understand what this means though. My youngest daughter, at about the age of 7, in a Pythonesque twist of sense of humour, decided actually it was easier and better to tell everyone that I helped people to stop being afraid of trees! All workers tend to be better defined or at least understood by what we actually do on a day to day basis. Whilst some of the patterns may be the same, no one day is quite the same, but it will give you a good sense. The morning starts with going to my office. The majority of analysts work at home, for historic and practical reasons. An analysts coverage is topic driven, rather than geographic, so work patterns require flexibility to talk to clients who can be – and are – anywhere in the world. The flip side is that we have a great work/life balance, and the company actively tells us to protect that. The first hour at least is spent responding to email. With clients and colleagues around the world (Celent has offices in 14 countries, and colleagues are more wide spread still), I get as much email overnight as I do through my working day. Some of the emails are press alerts that I’ve set up, following particular topics or companies. Keeping up to date with events is key. Equally, they may come from the press, asking for my insights. For me, I tend to try to spend the rest of the morning doing writing. At the moment, that’s a very varied task, and an important one - as analysts, one of the key measures on which we’re judged is how many reports we write. Today I was:
- Juggling 5 case studies from banks in 4 different countries for our upcoming Model Bank awards, including the “container” that 4 of them will be published in a paper commissioned by a client, trying to incorporate the ideas that they’d like to explore, but whilst making sure that I’m truly independent.
- Preparing two presentations for upcoming webinars with clients.
- Writing this blog post.
- And consulting at various stages – one answering last few questions from the deliverables, another designing the agenda for a strategy day, and handful of others at various stages of proposals. It’s very much consulting with a small “c” – we’re applying our expertise and experience, rather than throwing lots of “bright young things” at a project. In fact, most projects are usually a single analyst.