Superwomen Series: A Day in the Life of Branch Manager Sharon Gullen
Each of our 15 branches across the UK has a fantastic team working hard to arrange and deliver a range of storage and accommodation solutions. But at the helm of every ship there’s a strong captain, which is where our Cumbria branch manager Sharon comes in.
Having previously worked for HMRC, Sharon joined Mobile Mini in the internal sales team at Middlesbrough, before eventually becoming our Cumbria branch manager – one of only two or three women across the UK cabin hire industry when she took the role.
So, what does a typical day look like? Let’s find out…
My alarm rudely awakens me at 6:15am each day and the first job of the day is always trying to encourage my teenage daughter out of bed. The volume is significantly higher by the time it gets to 7am!
After a breakfast of either yoghurt, porridge or toast, I head out on the road to work. On a good day it can take only 15 minutes but as this is rural Cumbria, anything could be on the road! From roadworks to a tractor – and sometimes even livestock.
I often get teased for my prized VW Beetle. Maybe not what you’d expect from a construction branch manager, but reliability is good – predictability is not.
8:30am – noon
I love getting into work early to enjoy the calm before the storm – sometimes I feel I’ve achieved more in the first 30 minutes than I do throughout the whole day.
But none of that can happen until I’ve had a cup of tea – so putting the kettle on is the first order of the day.
I then get on with one of my favourite tasks – the daily ops meeting!
The rule for the meeting is that there are no rules – anything and everything can be discussed and I encourage the whole team to be open, we have some of the best ideas that way.
With this being every member of the team from yard ops to the office team, it really helps everyone to understand the challenges we all face, as well as the key part each and every member plays in the overall success of our branch.
I then check my emails and write my daily to-do list.
I prioritise tasks based on what is important to the business, and what is important to those asking.
While my to-do list is never completed – there’s always something else to add to it – I always like to know timelines of tasks to make sure the whole operation works in sync. The last thing I want is anyone waiting around for me.
After lunch, I find most of my role is desk-bound, checking orders, managing accounts sheets and looking after the team, but I love the opportunities to get out and about.
From wandering about on site, checking the stock and sometimes doing spot checks to make sure the units are at their best, to site visits – it’s always great to get out of the office for a bit.
One of the most important things to me is that our customers receive the best service, and in my opinion that doesn’t end when units are delivered. The personal touch really makes a difference.
I usually leave the office after everyone else and, in the same way I start each day, I like to end it with a ‘power half hour’.
This breathing space gives me time to reflect on the day and think over things that we discussed in our meeting, as well as develop ideas about how we can make the branch even more successful.
Before I treat myself to tea, I catch up on the latest news from around the world while peddling on my exercise bike. It’s a fantastic way to burn some calories and de-stress – especially if politicians are being particularly annoying! I know they can’t hear me, but it makes me peddle even harder!
My bedtime ritual is always the same – drink a pint of warm water with Vitamin C and D tablets. The water helps keep my body hydrated through the night as well as flush out the day’s toxins, and the tablets aid a deeper sleep, helping me wake refreshed and ready for another exciting day at Mobile Mini!