My Working Day – Victoria Searl – Founder of DataHawks

My Working Day
Victoria Searl
Victoria Searl

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But, how do these business leaders go about their daily routine?

Business Leader spoke to Victoria Searl – Founder of DataHawks about her working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

If there’s no alarm, I usually wake up around 7am. I’ve definitely fully transitioned from the night owl I was during my hospitality operational days.

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I have developed this really lovely habit of sitting down and having a proper breakfast since working from home. This started as a very luxurious banana bread with mascarpone and hazelnuts, but has settled into a slightly healthier porridge or toast and a cup of strong tea.

What is the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

After a shower, I empty the dishwasher or drag a vacuum around and get breakfast for Lexie our cat. Then I’m good to go. 

First thing you do at the start of a work day?

I check my emails the second I wake up. As a business owner, I like to be completely up to speed with what is happening in the business so checking in as soon as I’m awake means I know what to expect from the day. I also check my calendar to remind myself what I have coming up and whether I have to put mascara on! When I begin my day of working at my desk, I tend to then deal with and respond to emails – these might be new business enquiries or just liaising with my senior data analyst over current projects for hospitality clients. 

How do you prioritise work?

I’m very much a ‘get stuff done’ person and I have developed efficient ways of working – plus I have a great (small) team around me to support. So, I tend not to leave things on to do lists for very long. I’m quite pragmatic. If I can do the task or have time to send the email, I will. Acting on something straight away leaves much less chance of it being overlooked. Identifying, quantifying and revealing insights through data for hospitality businesses means you really have to immerse yourself in that business for the time you’re working on that project, so jumping in and out isn’t really the best way to operate when you’re providing the kind of in-depth review and recommendations that we do.

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

I definitely value meetings. There’s always some sort of structure, because it’s important to cover the things we need to cover, but they often go off on random tangents. Particularly with working apart from my team and clients at the moment, I love hearing what everyone has been up to and how they are. It’s an important connection right now. 

Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a lunch break?

Oh god, I’m terrible at remembering to eat lunch. If my other half is around, then I’ll stop for a few minutes. If I’m left to fend for myself, I get so stuck into work and I only remember I’m really hungry about an hour before dinner, which means I’m just grabbing whatever snack there is available to get me through. I’ve certainly found myself eating a lot of chocolate and smoky bacon crisps for ‘lunch’! 

When does your working day finished?

It never really does! I don’t know if it’s the decades of hospitality conditioning or the fact I absolutely love what I do, (probably a bit of both) but I’m always thinking and always answering emails. I do have to force myself to completely switch off every now and then. No one can operate like that 24/7.

How do you prepare for your next day’s work?

Put everything on charge!

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

I’m an Apple addict, but I’d have to say my AirPods. I forgot them once and was bereft all day. So useful for meetings, zoning out from home-life and also great for wondering round the house listening to hospitality podcasts and the like!

How do you switch off?

Netflix, good books, long walks & red wine (although not generally at the same time). 

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’m not sure if you can call it advice as such, but the best thing I’ve learnt to say to myself is: “Vic, self-doubt really isn’t an attractive look on you!”. It pops into my head fairly often and helps with any imposter syndrome that might be creeping in.

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  1. Like you-I work 24/7- to give my international clients the level of creative marketing input- which my substantial fees suggest. Unlike you-I do not subscribe to the philosophy that one must be hectically busy-simply because one is subsisting on a diet of junk food-rather than balanced nutrition-This is (to use your own terminology) ‘not a good look’ to those of your staff who look to senior management for Work + Life examples. We risk too much-if we project our lifestyle on those who work for us. Commercial success is a thin excuse for poor leadership by example- in my humble (?) opinion.

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