Katherine Herbert caught up with Paula Irving, who is part of the client management team in AP to discuss her hobbies and role within AP in our latest Time Out With… piece.
I’ve spent most of my career in the Asset Based Lending sector, looking more so previously at whole book rather than selective invoice finance. It is great to be doing something new and interesting.
In January I moved from South London to Cumbria, which meant not only a change in location, but also a change in vocation. I went into the care sector for a little while, as a care assistant. It was certainly an eye opener. Having seen how much pressure the staff are under and the low levels of pay that they receive for it; I take my hat off to my colleagues that continue in that role with dignity and respect.
I know you hear horror stories but, the people who I worked with treated the residents in their care as if they were their own mum and dad, or grandma or granddad. That is definitely how I saw them. I do hope that the public continue to acknowledge those in services and care with the respect they deserve.
After about 6 months, I got a call from a recruiter asking if I would be interested in a client account manager role. Of course, I said yes. This led to an interview with Accelerated Payments and that was it – I got the job. I love working with people, so the role really suits me, the clients are wonderful. I like the fact we can help people with the funding that they need to see their business grow. The systems are great at Accelerated Payments, which makes everything so much easier.
The commute is fantastic, it’s a lot better than being stuck in traffic jams at the end of the day. Being in Cumbria, I’ve also noticed the difference in attitude. It is really amusing when people say “oh there is really bad traffic tonight” and I look around and there are only three cars.
I am so lucky I have got the Lake District less than 20 mins drive away, and countryside just outside my front door. Saying that, I have yet to take advantage of its proximity. We moved during lockdown, then summertime was really busy with the renewed trend of “Britain’s staycation”. So, I am looking forward to exploring in the new year.
Everyone at Accelerated Payment have been so nice, helpful and accommodating. It’s good in a way that there are several others who have joined the company without meeting anyone physically. We’re all in the same boat, and with the technology it’s easy to forget that I’ve not actually met anyone from the team yet. Or, the fact that many aren’t even in the same country! I am really looking forward to meeting the team in person.
As I mentioned, the commute is wonderful. It barely takes 100 steps, but I love to keep moving in my spare time. I used to run marathons, having run 5 of them. Brighton twice, Beachy Head, London, and Edinburgh. But I have hung my running shoes up now. I tried cross country running once, but I am so clumsy I fell over midway and had to come back home. I am really enjoying my gym classes at the moment; boxing, HIIT, build, move – it is a great excuse to get out of the house. When I finish work, I head straight to the gym.
I have also taken part in the Moon Walk twice. This is a fantastic charity event where you walk overnight through the streets of London. It was absolutely brilliant walking past all of the landmarks. It’s a full marathon distance which took me about 6 ½ hours. The best bit was bumping into people pouring out of pubs and clubs in the early hours of the morning. They were gobsmacked at the sight of women wandering around with bright colours and wearing bras on top of our t-shirts!
Aside from exercise, I used to volunteer every Saturday at the RSPCA cattery. I did that for six years, even on Christmas mornings I went to help. It is such a rewarding experience. When you have seen a cat or a dog who is scared or has been mistreated, there is nothing more fulfilling than the turning point where they recognise you, or they get to go to their forever home.
The new owners always sent us photos to show their life beyond our care. It is lovely to know that I have been part of that journey. But I have started a new journey now. Helping SMEs get the funding they need to grow their business, and I am sure I will get a glimpse of their ‘life beyond our care’ too.