Connor Shaw is Head of Service Delivery at Hoist Finance.
“I left school secondary at sixteen with average grades and a vague plan to continue my education at some point to become an engineer. Six months into my educational sabbatical my parents got pretty fed up of my mooching and put pressure on me to find a job and contribute something to the household – cue my first “proper” job. I started my career, like many in my industry, on the phones. I was working as a collections advisor for HFC and, to be honest, I wasn’t particularly good at it. I winged the first three months by producing reports and basic statistics for my team leader. Roughly a year later, I was offered the position as a dialler analyst at HSBC, and this is where I learnt my trade. A couple of jobs changes, companies and relocations later, I’m now Head of Service Delivery for Hoist Finance, a leading Pan-European bank.”
“It [is] really important for me to find time to disconnect from work and Manchester and the surrounding areas offer plenty to do!”
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
When I was 18, I took a loan for several thousand pounds from a building society and obtained my private pilot’s license at a flying school in Warwickshire. For the proceeding three years, rather than spend my wages on flying myself all around Europe, I had to divert most of my disposable cash to repay my loan. Even so, the months I spent training are some of the most rewarding and challenging I can remember.
Who inspires you?
The stories behind Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg inspire me. All struggled with education and dropped out at an early age which resonates with me. All four are ruthless businessmen too, but share their hard-earned wealth with charities. Branson particularly inspires me, he literally does everything possible to live his dreams, and you only need to look at the Virgin Galactic program to see this.
How has working in Manchester helped you achieve your goals?
I think it’s really important to respect the work/life balance; you can’t be at your best if you are always tired or stressed. I try to set clear boundaries between work and home, but, unfortunately, the nature of my job means this rarely goes to plan. This makes it really important for me to find time to disconnect from work and Manchester and the surrounding areas offer plenty to do! The restaurants and bars in the Northern Quarter are a personal favourite.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Discover your values and beliefs and live them. Don’t feel like you have to deviate away from them, just because you colleagues, or boss, or organisation have different or conflicting ones. Trying to be someone you are not will only leave you frustrated, angry and unhappy.
What are your business goals for 2018?
The challenge right now in my organisation is how we harmonize processes across the different countries. I will be focusing on how we deploy omnichannel and digital technology deployment and strategy across the group. This is a big undertaking and will keep me busy well into 2019. Along with this, I have a personal goal to develop and improve my people management skills to enable me to manage larger teams.
Where do you see yourself in twenty years’ time?
I honestly don’t know. I find it easier to plan for the short term; I only really look two, maybe three years ahead. This helps me keep my options open. In 20 year’s time, so long as I wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and I enjoy the work I am doing then it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing.