Typical 24: Annabel Thorburn, eCommera, Linked by Isobar

What do working professionals really do all day?

[image_library_tag fe755cb4-bf5c-41b0-aec7-138127197e93 159x186 alt="05-02-2018-annabel-thorburn-ecommera-linked-by-isobar" title="05-02-2018-annabel-thorburn-ecommera-linked-by-isobar - " width="159" height="186"class="left "]Name: Annabel Thorburn

Job title: Director of Consulting

Company: eCommera, Linked by Isobar

Location: London, United Kingdom

Years’ experience: Over 15 years’ experience in the retail industry


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    I usually arrive around 8:30. For years I made the mistake of trying to get to my desk as early as possible but now I realize the importance of having a proper work/life balance. I’m a better more productive person with more time for sleep and exercise!
  2. Is your job varied?
    Yes, very. Last week I was helping a jewelry brand develop their marketplace strategy and now I am knee-deep in and optimization strategy for a global electronics brand!
  3. Is your job creative?
    Much of the job is about simply helping put in place the right foundations and processes for the companies we work with. In many ways, we are setting the stage them to add an element of creativity as the finishing touches. With Brand Commerce, we can advise up to a point -- but the client must add their voice.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    The bit that takes time is not just forecasting the end state that clients want to reach, but specifically the first steps and implementation to get there.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    Not deliberately with plants and knickknacks, but it’s very definitely mine. Maybe it’s the shoe storage underneath that gives me away!
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I think the phrase is “creative problem solver”. I’m good at asking the right questions and applying things I’ve seen in one context to a new area, one that others haven’t necessarily thought of.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I’m not sure you can necessarily notice if your rituals are quirky -- you’d have to ask my colleagues.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    Definitely with colleagues. Even if our tasks/deliverables are individual we have a very open culture, so the team will often ask for input and advice on different projects and I do the same.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    Probably 9, my work-life balance is pretty good but when a deadline is looming, we all pull together on it.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    Probably 50% emails and meetings; 50% working on projects and analysis. With 12 teams to manage, there’s lots to co-ordinate.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I use Twitter and LinkedIn as sources of interesting news and opinion pieces -- for example, the recent story of Amazon bringing its “Amazon Go” concept to the UK.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    Firstly, I love helping our clients crack an interesting challenge. There’s a great satisfaction in finding a solution when nobody else can.
    Secondly, my colleagues. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t with an intelligent, challenging group of people. We’re all here because we’re passionate about the work so there’s rarely a day without debate or discussion on some retail, tech or consumer-related topic. 
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I don’t really listen to much music full stop.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    Usually a salad, soup, sandwich or sushi. Being based off Oxford Street, we’re very lucky to have lots of options and after 13 years at a Tesco canteen I still enjoy a healthy choice.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    I do when I get a chance but I’m careful to maintain a balance. The work culture at eCommera is great and there’s a lot of out-of-work activities.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Not specific tasks but I’ve learnt I have to be doing a job that interests me and is busy and varied, otherwise I get bored, mundane repetitive tasks definitely don’t suit me.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    More often than not a quick scan of my emails to see if I’ve forgotten anything that needs to be flagged for tomorrow.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Some kind of exercise, I play sport or go to the gym; socialize with friends or sometimes just chill in front of the TV.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    I try not to, unless there is a specific project that may throw up urgent tasks. It’s unlikely I’ll have something that can’t wait for tomorrow.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Again, I try not to, I’d rather stay in the office late and get something finished so that home is always relaxing, it makes me more efficient.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    A slightly clunky laptop at my desk!
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    I have a work laptop, but I only have one phone, essentially my personal phone that I use for work.
    One mobile device and one laptop is far simpler to manage.

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