Typical 24: Sarra Bejaoui, SmartPA

What do working professionals really do all day?

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…


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Sarra Bejaoui

Job title: Client Services and Operations Director

Company: SmartPA

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


1.    What time do you reach the office each day?
I reach at 8am as I find that I’m far more productive in the morning.

2.    Is your job varied?
Yes, very! My role covers everything from training, people management, customer management and sales.

3.    Is your job creative?
It can be, especially when it comes to training. We’re always developing fresh and innovative ways to deliver training to our Partners.

4.    What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
This is a difficult one, as my day is so varied. I would say ‘talking’ mostly! I’m constantly speaking to people, whether it be current clients, potential clients, the Head Office team or our Partners.

5.    Do you personalise your desk?
Yes. I think it’s important to make yourself feel as relaxed as possible at work so I’ve added some plants and photos around my desk. I also like to make it feel more personalised through stationary – I’m obsessed with stationary!

6.    Would you describe yourself as creative?
My colleagues say that I can be creative as they believe that I’m good at lateral thinking. From a personal perspective, I think that I’m more visual than creative. I love drawing diagrams and maps when planning and illustrating ideas to the rest of the team.

7.    Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
Shower meditation. When I take my morning shower, I try to expel any negative thoughts and let them run down the drain with the water. I always feel so refreshed and positive!

8.    Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
I like to mix up the way I work. My natural style is solo-working but I always think that with bigger, more complex tasks, it’s better to work as a collaborative group. Ideas come more readily and you have the benefit of a diverse skillset.

9.    How many hours on average do you work a day?
On average I would say 10 hours. As a business owner, it can be really difficult to take time out. However, I do make it a point of taking off during the weekends, as I believe that it’s very important to achieve some balance in your life and that you will perform better if you switch off every once in a while!

10.  Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
3-5 hours a day usually.

11.  Do you use social media much for work?
As a company we do, but on a personal level I tend not to use social media. It’s something that I aim to improve on in 2017.

12.  What do you enjoy most about your work?
People; from working with them, to supporting and helping them deliver results. I really enjoy seeing the progression of the team and SmartPA as an expanding company.

13.  What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
I love to listen to House/ Ibiza lounge-type music. The playlist in Head Office tends to be very varied though, as we have a variety of different music tastes. We cover everything from rock, 80’s dance to the current chart music. We also try to tailor our music to the day, mood and time.

14.  What do you do for lunch?
I always make sure to take some time out at lunch, even if it’s only for half an hour. It takes my mind off work with light-hearted reading.

15.  Do you socialise with work colleagues?
Yes, we go out for monthly team drinks. We also have fizz every Friday and organise team outings every quarter.

16.  Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
Managing finance and the tech-aspect of things such as testing e-learning programmes – essentially tasks that don’t really involve people!

17.  What is your last task of your day?
I always plan for the following day. I like to feel organised when coming into the office the next morning.

18.  How do you like to relax after work?
I love going to the gym; the endorphin rush is a great stress release! I also like to socialise with my family and friends.

19.  Do you keep checking email through the evening?
In fact, I’ve been known to check my emails at 3am. I try my best not to though!

20.  Do you take work projects home with you?
I commute via train so I do like to take the opportunity to review certain documents and plans on the way home. I also make a point of working from home one day a week. However, I try to switch off by 7pm every night though.

21.  What would you say to your 20-year old self?
Relax! Don’t take certain things too seriously.

22.  If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
Either a Fashion Buyer or a Prime Minister! Again, both jobs revolve around people.

23.  What device did you use to answer these questions?
A laptop.

24.  Do you use your own personal device for work?
I work between my desktop and my laptop, depending on what I’m working on and where I’m working that day.