Our principal, Louise Woollard, recently spoke to The Yorkshire Post about a typical day in her life – from breakfast habits and dog walking, to tasks at the office and sporting hobbies. If you missed the original write-up, catch up here…
During the week, I’m awoken by my 6am alarm – sometimes there’s a little snooze, but I’m definitely an early bird, so I’m out of bed and ready to tackle the day head on. I find that most of my productivity and creative ideas are sparked in the morning, but not before I’ve had a cup of tea.
Once I have my brew in hand and bran flakes and fruit prepped, I like to catch up on the news and see what’s going on in the world, before checking a few emails. I also have a charming golden doodle, Otis, who I always walk in the local park before getting ready for work.
I don’t live too far from the office, so I’ll aim to be there for 8am – with a little caffeine stop at Starbucks along the way to fuel the day’s busy agenda.
One of the great perks about our workplace is that it’s pet-friendly, so Otis comes with me every day – actually, he’s got a very important role as ‘head of security’.
Arriving at my desk, I go straight to my emails, actioning anything super important there and then. But in the financial planning and wealth management industry, a lot of the work I do is reactive – people’s circumstances can change in an instant, so no two days are ever the same.
When I’m not heading straight to the office though, I’m busy meeting with new clients or reviewing plans with longstanding ones – either on-site or visiting their homes. Research also forms a big part of my day, as when customers have additional queries – about pension and investment planning and care funding, to name a few – I have to investigate how these elements would impact their current financial plan and advise on the best options.
I’m also incredibly passionate about financial education for young people and believe that empowering the future generations to be more financially savvy – with savings, budgets and loans – is vital for fostering healthy, long-term money habits. This sees me working with lots of local schools and colleges to deliver financial education programmes and assemblies, designed to prepare students for managing their own finances.
As well as my love of financial planning, I’m also a huge sports fan, so over three years ago I decided to combine the two and to become a trustee for the Huddersfield Town Foundation. This is a children’s charity aimed at improving the lives of children and young people via meaningful projects covering health, education, sports and inclusion.
I’m very driven by giving back, so meeting up with other trustees to discuss the charity’s funding strategy is perfect for me.
Despite having been a Huddersfield Town fan since I was seven, football isn’t my only sporting passion – cricket plays an equally important role in my life. I try to fuse my sporty side with work where possible and this sometimes includes taking clients to watch the Ashes – it’s a great way to get to know them more and foster relationships.
When it comes to my favourite part of the job, it has to be making a difference to people’s lives. As a financial adviser, people put their trust in me to help them find a solution that meets their needs – not just in the immediate present, but long into the future too. This means I can have a real impact in shaping someone’s life for the better, helping them to live financially happier and fulfilled lives.
It goes without saying that helping people in adversity is also an extremely rewarding side of my role. I truly enjoy assisting other people in creating financial security for themselves and their loved ones, and that’s why I’ve done this job for over 20 years.
A typical lunchtime sees me dining ‘al desko,’ but I take Otis out for a walk at least two to three times each day, and this is how I get my headspace.
When I’ve completed all the day’s tasks and meetings, before heading home I always write a list of the next day’s priorities. I love having a tidy mind, so organisation is key, as it helps me stay structured and plan my weeks effectively.
I’m a very active person, so when I leave the office, I’ll get home at around 6pm, but it’s straight back out again for a personal training class or gym session. When I’m done, I head home to eat tea. I really enjoy cooking – it’s a great way to unwind – and there aren’t many foods I don’t like, so I like to keep it varied and interesting. I think Otis likes this too!