Day in the Life – Joe O’Mahoney
Job title: Head of Business Planning & Portfolio Management
Function: Portfolio & Change Office
Tenure : 3 years
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a father of four (with one more on the way) based in Leicester, with a passion for running and, recently, swimming, although it would be fair to say my swimming needs a lot of work.
My family and family time are very important to me. Our weekends are filled with trips, swimming lessons and Lego building.
I enjoy reading about both cosmology and neuroscience. The more I learn about these topics, the more I realise how little I know!
In a nutshell, describe your role and how you support our business objectives?
My team is responsible for supporting with the assessment, prioritisation and financial governance of demand in our capital investment portfolio; covering anything from network & infrastructure improvements and store developments, to system upgrades and customer experience improvements.
We’re not directly involved in the delivery of these activities, but work to ensure that the right activities are prioritised and funded, aligned to company objectives, and that these are delivered to budget.
The role requires a lot of pragmatic thinking and negotiating, the ability to react to changing business and market needs, and the coordination of key senior stakeholders across the business.
I count myself as very lucky to be in a role that I enjoy, with a hard-working and competent team, working for a company that believes in and supports its people.
What has been your career highlight?
This is an easy one for me to answer, and something that happened quite recently.
In November last year, our Senior Leadership Team for the Portfolio & Change Office delivered a two-day offsite event for our entire function.
This brought together 100+ colleagues from across our UK and Ireland teams and helped us to deliver a clear and consistent message about who we are, our strengths and objectives, and the importance of reacting to and managing change.
The event was many months in the planning, was a real labour of love for the team, and was a huge success.
This may seem like an odd choice to some, but the quality of the event, and the benefit it brought to the entire function really has changed the way we all operate and view ourselves and each other.
How have you supported your personal wellbeing during the past couple of years?
Just like everyone else, the past few years have been tough. My mental health has taken a bit of a hammering at times and is still very much a work in progress.
The most important and immediately beneficial things for me are regular exercise and dedicated time with the family.
I love getting out for a run early in the morning – ideally just as the sun is rising. It’s the best start to the day, and means I’m up and ready by the time the kids start waking up and need feeding!
I’m also a big advocate of seeking help when you need it. There’s no shame in that, and there’s a lot of power in talking things through with somebody.
I was finally diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma in 2021, which had gone undiagnosed for almost 20 years despite multiple issues along the way and trips to various doctors. Perseverance is key – if something feels wrong, keep pushing for an answer!
When you were a child, what job did you see yourself doing?
A chef, a vet and a builder. At the same time.
Give us a fun fact
The mixing of two words to make a new one (i.e breakfast and lunch to make brunch) is called a “portmanteau”.
My 8 year old son and I call these “worder bonds” (like number bonds, but with words), which we think is a far better name. We play each morning in the school queue.
Our favourite worder bond so far is squircle (square and circle). Elemingo (elephant and flamingo) comes in close second.