I joined First Direct bank [a division of HSBC Bank plc] in 1996 because my wife already worked there and recommended it highly. I spent my first four years answering customer calls then moved online, being part of the development team that launched internet banking in the UK.
I was in Leeds for seven years, moving from being a software developer to leading digital teams and then I took a six-month placement in Prague to set up systems across central and Eastern Europe. I stayed three years by which time both me and my family had been bitten by the international bug. We moved to Jersey in 2010 and then Dubai in 2013 where I am head of digital for the Middle East and North Africa. This covers full operational management of our digital, mobile and ATM channels. I have a small team based in Dubai, and teams in Egypt, Oman and the UK – supporting seven countries.
I try to keep the days light hearted – my team works very hard, therefore I am committed to ensuring that there is a light and fun environment in the office. Life is all about balance and it is key that the work environment reflects this.
Eighteen years into my employment with HSBC, I have a clear view of why so many people stay with this organisation for a long time. Not only has it provided me with some great opportunities – it has also given my family an opportunity to experience an international lifestyle and have a very broad outlook on their future.
My advice is the same to all – life is short and goes too quick - never let an opportunity slip by, grab it with both hands.