Category: A day in the life, Career Development, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, transport, strategy, talent development
After working at the DVLA for 14 years, Paul Begley left on a voyage of discovery in November 2015. He found his way back to DVLA in May this year and now heads up Finance Business Change, a new unit within Strategic Finance.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I joined the Agency in July 2001. During my 17 months out I witnessed the good and bad of life in the private sector. Different experiences really do enrich your perspective and it’s reinforced for me how great a place DVLA is to work if you grasp the opportunities.
Where else have you worked?
I’ve performed many roles within DVLA Finance over the years, SAP implementation projects, Finance Operations, Financial Reporting and Commercial Finance.
Before working at DVLA I worked in the utilities sector for Hyder Consulting and then SWALEC before a brief spell in semiconductor manufacturing for Photronics UK Ltd. More recently I’ve worked for Lloyds Banking Group and Tata Steel.
All my roles have been in finance and accountancy apart from my student days when I spent many an evening flipping burgers under the golden M or tidying up the building aisle in B&Q - character building!
Tell us about your team and the work you cover
We’re a small team and our remit is evolving but with Transformation and Brexit on our doorstep, there are plenty of challenges ahead to look forward to.
In a nutshell, we manage all strategic and significant change impacts on Finance Directorate processes. This can range from policy and legislative changes, strategic change projects and developments in Shared Services.
What’s your specific role and why is it important?
I’ve spent the first 4 months in my new role helping shape our scope and responsibilities whist managing in flight activities. I’m also involved with initial Brexit related work which is really starting to pick up pace.
The Agency has always faced up to the challenge of change, and delivered. It’s important for all directorates to pull in the same direction and contribute effectively. This is how we’ll ensure people, systems, policy and processes operate seamlessly across functions and are as efficient as possible. Finance Business Change has been set up with this in mind and we’re keen to play our part.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Up early. Get ourselves and the kids ready for the day ahead, do the crèche run and enjoy a welcome Costa to start the working day. A quick scan of my emails for priority actions and meeting appointments before tackling the tasks for the day. Each day is different, which is great.
How would you describe your day job to a child?
In the context of explaining to my eldest, Teddy, who’s just turned three:
Me: See that big building over there?
Me: Well there’s a puzzle in it with lots and lots of pieces.
Teddy: Is it a fire engine?
Me: Yes, it’s exactly that and people who work there in different parts of the building all hold pieces of the puzzle.
Teddy: They got big ladders?
Me: They do, and every day Daddy tries to help people put pieces of the puzzle together. Is that a good job?
Teddy: Yes. Do they have crisps and Jaffa Cakes?
Me: Yes they do big boy, yes they do…
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Witnessing the birth of my two children – absolutely terrifying and utterly amazing! And I didn’t pass out…
What’s on your wish list for your next five years here?
I’d like to lead our team through what will be an unprecedented period of change, helping Finance achieve its vision of being at the heart of decision making, supporting the business to make the right choices. If I manage to get a good night’s sleep during that period it’ll be a bonus!
What do you enjoy about your work and what do you like the most?
I really enjoy the variety of challenges and opportunities in my current role. I’m fairly confident that no day will ever be the same, and that’s pretty amazing if you think about it.
I’m lucky to have an interesting, challenging job, working with great people, which also affords a good work life balance. After my recent exploits I know how hard that is to come by.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Post Proelia Praemia – after the battles come the rewards.
You very rarely get a free lunch! However, if you’re fortunate to do so, make sure you disclose it on the gifts, hospitality and conflicts of interests register!
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