I compare what I do to Wonder Woman sometimes
Hi I’m Karyn, I’m a Senior Associate Chartered Architectural Technologist for Stride Treglown.
What are your passions?
I think generally it’s a passion for doing things well and doing things right. I’ve always been focused on culture and enjoying where I work, so you end up with a good end product but you also enjoy the journey to delivering that end product. And then obviously family are your general motivation behind it.
What inspires you?
What inspires me to do what I do is delivering good end products for happy clients at the end of a long period of time – everyone’s grateful for the efforts that you’ve made.
How did you get to this point in your life?
Hard work, commitment. I’ve started relatively at the bottom and through hard work and determination I’ve managed to get to a place where now I can enjoy a bit of outside interest aside from my job. So, I’m going to look at investing back in people, investing time in their careers and giving them some support as people have done for me. Putting some commitment back into the company that’s supported me for 20 odd years.
What are your experiences working here?
For me, having started doing sort of menial tasks more because of my role than my gender, it comes very naturally to me to offer you a cup of tea, this is a place I feel very comfortable in. It’s like welcoming you to my home. I would make you a cup of tea if you came to my home and I would here too. I don’t think it is gender specific to do that. I think it’s more of our culture in Cardiff that we would welcome you in that way.
Supportive is the word I would use to describe Stride Treglown. They’ve been incredibly supportive. I started just typing letters and answering the phone with an architectural degree not really knowing what to do with it. And now I’ve managed to sort of furrow a really strong path towards being in a place where I look back and I’m quite proud of what I’ve achieved. I would say definitely Stride Treglown have been incredibly supportive through that.
Talk me through your day?
You come in with a list of ten things that you want to tackle and then at the end of the day you may not have even done one of those things. No two days are the same. You have one phone call in the morning and it can throw out three days’ worth of work. I think you always get there in the end if you’re driven, you can’t lose that focus. I rarely leave on time. I’m always sort of trying to catch up with myself later on in the day but that’s because you have to put that time aside for things that you want to do as well as your day to day job.
What pressures do you face?
Getting where I want to be now has taken a long journey but you feel the rewards at the end. I compare what I do to Wonder Woman sometimes. To mothers that are coming out of maternity leave, I say, “Some days you feel like you’re doing everything really well and other days you’re just not doing anything well”. You do feel sometimes that you’re not doing everything well, that you’re just about keeping on top of everything just about. But then other days you feel like a rock star because you have got the kids off to school, you have solved a difficult problem at work and you’ve sorted it and everybody’s happy. And you come back and the kids are happy and you do feel that sense of achievement that you’ve managed to do a good balance of home life and work life. But some days you don’t and I think you just have to settle with it.
You can’t be every person to everyone out there, you have to sometimes just make some time for yourself and give yourself a bit of credit. But it’s quite difficult at times.
What’s your foundation for support?
I hear a lot of men in cars after meetings talking about how supportive their wives are and I have to say that I have that in my husband at home. He works for himself but he is incredibly flexible which allows me to work the hours I do. And it allows me to drop something that he may want to do so that I can go to the London office. Or that I’m going to take a day out and do this thing…is that okay? So without him I don’t think I could have a successful family life and work life.