Meet the Team – Sue McFarlane
September 14, 2020
As part of our Meet the Team series, we get to know our Operations Manager, Sue McFarlane, a little better.
Tell us about your previous working experience?
I have been in the financial services industry since 1988 (I know I don’t look old enough!!) and have done a little bit of everything, from administration, paraplanning, to office management and I have also been a Financial Adviser.
I think the various roles I have held have really helped me in my current role as Operations Manager here at Plus Group, because I have to wear many different hats depending on what area of the business I am looking at, from one minute to the next.
I believe it has also given me the ability to look at situations from all sides, and definitely helps me to stay objective when I have important decisions to make, or dealing with something difficult or sensitive.
What do you like about working for Plus Group?
I love that my working day is never the same.
There are of course, some elements that never change, but until I log on each morning, I don’t really know what the day may bring and where it will take me.
I know this may be hard for some people to deal with, as there can be the fear of the unknown I suppose, but I find it is a really good challenge and keeps me on my toes and totally engaged.
I also love the team at Plus that support me in everything I do. None of what I do would be achievable without them and this truly applies to every single person at Plus, whatever their role is, I depend on each and every one of them a great deal to help me to deliver what needs to be done each day.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I really do get satisfaction from this role, as I spend most of my time helping people, which I love.
This could be simply by matching a Partner up with a suitable Paraplanner to help them get their cases written, or by having a chat with a member of staff and giving them a second opinion, with how to deal with something and they can go and get on with what they need to do.
And outside of work, what are your hobbies?
In my spare time, I run a little Etsy store from which I sell my handmade decoupaged craftwork.
Everything I decoupage has had a previous life and I turn them into functional, usable or decorative items again, rather than sending them to landfill.
Some of my items I have found whilst doing my other hobby of Mudlarking.
Whereas the Mudlarks of 18th/19th century London were looking for items of value that had been lost in the mud of the Thames to sell on, I look to see if there is anything I can rescue and re-purpose and more importantly just get it out of the river systems, if it shouldn’t be there – I take out as much plastic as I can even if I can’t use them in my crafts – which is sadly an awful lot sometimes.
I travel with my husband Ian and our two dogs, Molly and Oliver, far and wide doing this – it is so nice to be out in the fresh air in all weathers, in my shocking pink wellies without a care in the world!
What film or TV series seen recently would you recommend & why?
I don’t tend to watch too much TV or read, as I am usually in our shed crafting away, but whilst I am doing that, I do listen to podcasts when I can.
Most recently, I have been enjoying listening to interviews carried out by one of our SJP Partners, Sandro Forte. These have been really interesting and I have heard some great stories from a range of people about battling through adversity, having the drive and ambition to be successful and what that actually means for different people.
For some, it can mean reaching the very top in your chosen career and for others success is just being able to put food on the table for your family.
I really would recommend listening to these when you get a spare 30 minutes here or there, as I have found them quite grounding, which was something I didn’t expect when I started listening to them.