A good work-life balance reduces stress, makes you healthier overall and is proven to increase productivity, meaning you perform better inside and outside of work.
After working in another bank for ten years, Ronan decided to make the move to Bank of Ireland, so he could improve his work-life balance and spend more time with his family while still doing work he enjoyed.
We spoke to Ronan about his career, what kind of person is suited to working in Direct Channels and how you can find a similar job.
Talk to us about your background.
I consider myself to be a very loyal employee. Before joining Bank of Ireland I worked with another bank for 10 years. During this time, I worked in both the Baggot Street branch and the Bank centre branch.
I gained a lot of experience dealing with sales, deposits, cash and customers in a face-to-face capacity. For my final 4 years with my previous employer I held the role of Mortgage Advisor.
As Mortgage Advisor, my role revolved around being the branches first point of contact for all Branch Mortgage Enquiries. I started with Bank of Ireland in November last year so I’m just coming up to my one year anniversary.
If you’ve worked in other banks, what’s different about working at Bank of Ireland?
The work-life balance for definite. I used to set the alarm for 6.00 am to ensure I made it work on time! By the time I got home in the evenings, it was mostly too late for any quality time with my family. This has completely changed since I joined with BOI in Direct Channels. Although this isn’t a 9-5, the shift pattern has worked out brilliantly.
I get my rota 6 weeks in advance which ensures I can make plans outside of work! Being able to do a portion of the school drop-offs and getting to spend regular evenings with my kids has worked out far better than any 9-5 job ever could for me.
Working in Direct Channels is very different to branch – my customer interactions are solely phone based and my day to day is somewhat busier. However, this environment allows me to be more organised and efficient.
The distractions that come along with branch-based roles are eliminated in Direct Channels and you can focus exclusively on each task at hand. The After-Call system is brilliant and awards you the time to wrap up each case/call prior to engaging with your next customer.
Above all, it’s the people that make BOI stand out. From management level all the way down, there is always support and guidance on offer. Whilst settling into my role, in the beginning, I had a lot of self-doubts but the re-assurance from team leads really gave me the confidence to succeed!
How did you land your job? What drew you to apply?
My wife worked for Bank of Ireland and she pushed me to apply when a position came available.
Hearing the positive experiences that both current and previous employees had with BOI was hugely appealing, as well as the work-life balance, the salary and career progression opportunities that are available.
Tell me a little about your experience in Bank of Ireland so far. What’s your favourite part? What has surprised you about the role?
Leaving my previous job after 10 years wasn’t an easy decision but I know now it was the right move for me. One of the best things about Direct Channels is the interaction you have with various colleagues from different backgrounds.
There are so many different pathways within BOI that there is always knowledge to be gained from everyone!
My favourite part of my position is helping people make one of the most important journeys of their life – obtaining a mortgage. Delivering the good news of mortgage approval is something that never gets old! I find my role so rewarding.
What was your biggest worry before starting? How did this change once you started your new job?
My biggest concern was moving from working in a branch into direct channels. The nature of banking has totally transformed over the last few years and continues to do so.
I’m glad I made the change. I’m still delivering the same standard of customer care, just through a different medium! I got used to the new systems and procedures quickly, it was a challenge but once I became used to the Bank of Ireland way I really came into my role.
Can you describe the culture at Bank of Ireland?
There’s a definite sense of community and there’s always a buzz around the place! Onsite there is a large canteen which is great if you want to escape from the main floor on your break. Aside from that there are also
chill out facilities located on each floor. Handy for grabbing a tea or coffee, having a chat with colleagues, or just taking some time to yourself.
The pool tables and ice hockey also give the opportunity for some friendly competition during break times!! There are regular outings throughout the year like the Christmas Party and Summer BBQ. We are also fond of holding pizza days and always ensure each employee celebrates their birthday in style.
What skills do you think are important to excel in BOI?
There are four main things that I think are important:
- Being a team player is important. If you are a people person you will get on really well here – the sense of camaraderie is great and there is always someone on hand for a friendly chat.
- Customer Focus. It’s very much about the customer experience and satisfaction above all else.
- Being cool, calm, and collected is something that we all have in common here in Direct Channels.
- Organisation is key to success within Direct Channels. It’s a fast paced environment so you need to be methodical and on top of our workload.
What’s next for you, what role would you like to progress to and what’s needed to get there?
At the moment I am working towards becoming a Band 2 Advisor. For my first year, my main goal was to finish completing my QFA journey. There had not been a big push on achieving this in my previous role, so I hadn’t taken the next step after APA.
Bank of Ireland supported me to achieve my goal and I’m currently awaiting my full accreditation. At the same time, I’m always working towards reaching my sales targets and soaking up all the information around me so that I’m always up to date.
Would you recommend your job to someone else?
Yes definitely! The people based on direct channels are fantastic. We work hard and deliver exceptional service to our customers whilst supporting each other along the way.
The management and team leads really support and encourage you to be your best and develop your career.
What’s your top tip for someone who’d like to follow a similar career path?
Take the plunge and move! Sometimes you can become comfortable in a position and in a company, I think you should always strive to be in an environment that challenges you.
When starting a new role never be afraid of asking questions and always utilise your interactions with management. The management team are here to support you on your journey and if you work together you will achieve your goals!
For positions within Direct Sales, you need your APA or QFA. Make sure you complete your Regulations, Loans, and Investments so you’re eligible to make the move.