A Day In The Life Of….Head Of Operations

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Welcome to Day 3 of 7- A Day In The Life Of…..

Today’s post is by a beautiful woman, working within the rail industry across the UK. This lovely lady is currently working full time whilst studying for leadership qualifications and looking after her young son.


I am a 34 year old female and work full time as Head of Operations. Usually office and site based, though at the moment I’m working from home. I started in my company as an administrator and worked my way up through different positions over the last ten years. This has given me valuable knowledge and experience required to successfully manage my current role. I joined my company three weeks after a bereavement in the family, a close relative. Though I have always been motivated to do well, this gave me the inspiration to make me want to succeed in my career.

Before the pandemic, my wake up time was anywhere between 4am and 6am and I had a three hour journey to one of the sites I am responsible for. Currently I get up at 7am and work on my dining table for the day and I visit site every few weeks when necessary.

I am lucky that my son is old enough to get dressed without my help, so I start my day with a cup of tea. Have you noticed how it is now acceptable to be in sweats on work calls? A couple of steps to the dining table and I log on at about 7:30am whilst eating my fruit. I have a quick scan of emails, prioritise the urgent ones, then I check my calendar for the day and update my to do list, in order of priority.

I spend the morning checking in with the sites I am responsible for, on a zoom call. We discuss the priorities for the week and any issues we need to work on together on as a team, this is logged. I have five sites so this usually takes the morning up. Then I finish with a morning meeting with my management team.

This interaction is quite important, I have to know what is going on around the UK with anything operations related. We never stopped during the pandemic and the NHS relies on our rail service throughout.

I am quite boring with food I eat, could do with inspiration on this. I usually have a chicken salad most days with lots of salad cream….. I don’t generally feel hungry throughout the day but in the evening I turn into a right piggy!

I’m also homeschooling my young son which can be quite a challenge, he is intelligent for his age and I can see him running his own business in the future.

The next part of my day could be anything, this is where I love my job!

My time varies between 121’s with my team, preparing presentations for the board, reviewing performance on the sites or undertaking improvement activities. No two days are the same.

Lately I’ve tried to take a break outside with my son at some point throughout the day, whether it is a walk around the local woods or a game of football on the field. This helps me take a moment before I get back to work and spend quality time with him. I will remember this time when we are back to normal and continue with it, a break is good for the soul.

I usually work till 5-6pm depending what I need to get done, I am unable to leave tasks without completing them. I’m obsessed with to do lists and completing them. I’m very organised when it comes to numbers and dates, I like to be in control of my schedule throughout the day. This ensures operations continue across the UK.

Around 5pm I turn my laptop off and cook everyone’s dinner, my son usually has pizza or chicken nuggets and we love steak and chips. I have another play time with my son before story, bath and bed. This leads us to about 8pm or 9pm and we watch TV for an hour. I’m usually watching something like Sex and The City or Shameless, then its bed time and a quick Tik Tok scroll before sleep.

During the weekend we love nothing more than family time, meals out, time at the farm or a good pamper. We are currently decorating our home, as much as the pandemic took away the things we enjoy, we filled it with sorting our home and garden out. I love to play tennis which I have started again, doing nails and binge watching Netflix.

Becoming Head of Operations as a female 34 year old is quite an achievement and it took a lot of hard work and dedication, good times and I had to work my way into this position. I would not have achieved this if it wasn’t for my family motivating me every day. For anyone who would love to do this as a career my advice is take your time, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions no matter how silly you feel. Knowledge is power.

I would love to do a short time abroad with work but this will not be happening anytime soon due to the current situation, so my goal is to have a better work/life balance.

My spirit animal is a donkey, I have a fear of them but love them dearly. I can be quite stubborn, so donkey makes sense for me.

My strength has always been to never give up, see the positives in life and be a problem solver. Throw whatever problems at me and I will see the positives and solve them, even if it does include a ladder and a mop.

As for weaknesses, I like to call these areas of developments, see my strength about seeing the positives. My area of development is overthinking things and sometimes letting work take over my life, as I don’t want to fail. Work to live not live to work.


Check back tomorrow for another day in the life of….

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