A Day In The Life: Michael Johnson On Corporate Travel, Staying Focused & Why He Never Has The Same Day Twice
NYC-based engagement manager Michael Johnson takes us through a day in the life as a valued Impendi Analytics team member. From completing a myriad of tasks to ensuring Impendi delivers high-quality results for clients, Michael divulges the tips and tricks that cultivate client results and capitalize on Impendi’s unique company culture.
What Does An Engagement Manager At Impendi Analytics Do?
As an Engagement Manager, I make sure our projects are delivered with high quality, on time, and within budget.
Day-to-day, this means a few things: first, communicating – keeping the client up to date on our findings, setting expectations, removing blockers for the team, and translating new information or guidance to adjust our plans accordingly.
Second, guiding our analyses, our work plan, and our priorities. Third, and most important in my opinion, is coaching and mentoring our more junior consultants in all the skills they need to perform well – both in their current role, and as future managers themselves.
Starting Every Workday With Consistency
I usually start my mornings with a quick workout – even when I’m traveling for work.
It’s a little bit harder to keep up with a morning exercise routine while traveling, but it just takes a bit of creativity and dedication. You start off the day with a sense of accomplishment, it gets the blood flowing, and exercise supports a sharp mind.
But then again, so does caffeine.
Beginning my day with a workout enables me to stay organized at work, too – which is important for roles that span multiple areas of responsibility, like mine does.
After I get to the office, I usually start by reviewing three things:
- My personal task dashboard that I keep in Notion.
- Emails to make sure I’m up to date.
- My calendar to make sure I’m ready for the day’s meetings.
Once I’m oriented, I check in with each of my team members on their respective workstreams to make sure they have the necessary support and resources to keep making progress.
After doing this for both the on and offshore teams, I feel confident that I know what my highest priorities should be for the day and can start executing them.
Staying Focused & Preparing For Upcoming Tasks
If I need to recharge during the day, I typically try to catch up with someone on a different project. We have a very tight-knit culture, and people genuinely enjoy connecting with each other.
It’s also useful to take a step back from your own work and learn how other people are approaching different types of problems. A lot of what I’ve learned over the past year has come not only from formal training and on-the-job training, but also from hearing the experiences of my coworkers.
Since our work is so dynamic, I end my days in largely the same way that they start: By reorienting myself and the team on what progress was made and what our next steps are.
A critical component of this is coordinating with the offshore team to hand off work for the night. Impendi is lucky to have an amazing, fully capable team in India who are equal partners in our work.
Effective handoffs with them ensure that a problem is being worked almost around the clock. It is also part of Impendi’s “secret sauce” to getting such fast results for our clients.
3 Items That Make Traveling For Work Easy
Many Impendi Analytics team members travel to see clients. However, as you get into the swing of traveling for work, you pick up on those must-have items that make travel easy and seamless. For me, those are:
- An internet connection.
We use a lot of collaborative digital tools for work; keeping lines of communication open helps projects flow smoothly. But it’s also critical to keep in touch with family and friends back home – it’s easy to get absorbed in your work when you’re traveling. Being able to communicate is important for keeping a healthy balance.
Client sites and airports may not always have a lot of privacy, so a good pair of headphones is a must-have for conference calls. It also helps create a separate mental space to focus on (or take a break from) work.
The work we do has no lack of variety, but it’s still good to try and expand your horizons even further to outside fields. I’ve found audiobooks to be a great, convenient way to do that. I can listen to it while walking from terminal to terminal, or while taking an Uber to the client site. Plus, I’m always surprised by some of the lessons you can learn and apply from seemingly disparate areas.
Impendi Analytics Cultivates Completely Unique Workdays
It’s hard to pin down a “typical” day – which is what I love about consulting. Client work could involve presenting our findings, working through an analysis with one of our analysts, interviewing stakeholders, or getting the team coordinated.
At this point in Impendi’s growth, there are also lots of internal initiatives to help our firm scale. We’re planning and implementing everything from recruiting, training, sales, technology, and more.
It not only keeps the days varied, but it also provides a really unique opportunity to take ownership and shape the direction of a fast-growing company.