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Charmain Alway: A Day in the Life

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How do you get ready to start your day?

I always wake up really hungry, so I eat breakfast!

What’s the first thing you do each workday?

Check my Outlook calendar to see where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing!

What is something you do every day without fail?

I go for a walk.

What is the most enjoyable part of your working day?

Seeing and speaking to colleagues and working as part of a team.

What’s changed about your typical day in the last 5 years?

Both my children are old enough to get themselves dressed and make their own breakfast. There are not so many spillages of milk, orange juice and cereal these days to clear up before my working day begins.

What is the most satisfying part of what you do?

Helping others, whether that be colleagues or clients.

How have you adapted to working from home?

My husband has been really supportive of me working from home and after the first lockdown, he installed a mesh Wi-Fi system in our home, made me a large desk from scratch and set it all up for me with two large screens and all the wires neat and tidy. I am very lucky, as this enabled me to work the long hours comfortably, efficiently and accurately at home throughout January which is always a pressured month due to the tax return filing deadline.

Why did you decide to choose this career?

The careers adviser at my university advised me to look at alternative careers to law; tax appealed to me, and I thought I would be good at it.

What advice would you give your younger self/someone just starting out?

Work hard, try your best, and be patient.

Which social media platform do you visit every day?

I am one of the few people without a Facebook account but even still I have not managed to escape social media. I check my WhatsApp messages every day. I am also on LinkedIn, although I only check posts once or twice a week.

Tell me about how you manage your ‘to do’ list.

I use my Outlook calendar and put tasks in it, e.g. send reply to x email, heard back from x, prep for x call or meeting, review x, research x. I then just work through the tasks and those I do not manage to complete, I move to a future date.

What was the work highlight of 2020 for you?

One thing I found challenging in 2020 was dealing with the probate registry to obtain a grant of probate for a Spanish Will during lockdown. I had to liaise with the Spanish Notary to obtain a legal document in an acceptable format and obtain original signed documents from Spain. It was the highlight of my year when the grant finally arrived!

What is one of your work goals for 2021?

To continue to develop our brilliant tax and trust team and adapt and evolve working practices to suit the digital age.

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