Changing lanes: How OpenPayders move between roles

Inside OpenPayd

Posted on September 14, 2023
Changing lanes: How OpenPayders move between roles
There’s no one-size-fits-all career at OpenPayd. Here’s how two of our people: Charlie and Cristina moved laterally within the company to find the right fit for them.
OpenPayd Editorial Team
OpenPayd Editorial Team
September 14, 2023

Sometimes the biggest change in our careers doesn’t come from a promotion – it comes from a sideways move into a different role in a new team.

At OpenPayd, we’re a small team (for now). But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had a few people moving between different teams as their careers have evolved. Cristina and Charlie both joined OpenPayd in different roles and, over time, have moved into the positions they now hold. So we sat down with them to understand exactly what they’ve been getting up to since joining OpenPayd, and how their careers have changed since then.

Cristina Urso

Current role:

Corporate Due Diligence Analyst, Malta

Hired as:

Office Manager

What was your experience first joining OpenPayd as an Office Manager?

I was working in hospitality before OpenPayd and I just received a LinkedIn message that they were looking for an office administrator for the new Malta office. The office had been open for about six months and they needed someone to come in and help run it. I was excited by the opportunity; it was a startup and I wanted something a bit more dynamic and a bit different. So I went through three stages of interviews and got the job as an office administrator in 2017.

I was in the Office Administrator role until 2020 – I managed two more office moves in that time! Then COVID came. But it so happened that I took maternity leave in 2020 when everybody else was shifting to working from home.

What was the process you went through moving into your current role?

Well, with everyone working remotely because of COVID, there was no real need for me to return to the office manager role when I came to the end of my maternity leave. Then about one month before I came back from my maternity leave, Lara was hired as the new Head of Compliance. So I introduced myself to her and one day we met at the office after restrictions were lifted, along with Iana (our CEO). I wanted to explore if there was any chance for me to progress and they agreed to move me to the compliance team. When I received the contract to sign, the significance of it hit me; what if I didn’t like compliance?! But I said to myself: now we’re on the dance floor, so let’s dance! And I’ve never looked back.

And what did you do to get up to speed with compliance?

I was reading a lot! Especially at the beginning. I also joined a lot of meetings, listening to people talking on very interesting topics. Then afterwards I used to spend time doing my own research. I also had great mentors – Lara for the first year and then Tom – they’ve been crucial for my development. I’ll be forever thankful because they’ve been very passionate and understanding and have supported me every step of the way.

If I see myself today and then think of where I was two years and a half ago, it’s like seeing two different people. Now I am a compliance professional, which is a direction I never thought my career would take!

Reflecting on your career journey so far, how would you describe it?

From the day I started until now, I’ve learnt that you can’t take anything for granted. So this is what I like about OpenPayd, that I had one career before having a child and I swapped it for a completely different department. Anything can happen at any point – that’s the beauty of OpenPayd!

Charlie Woollaston

Current role:

Business Performance Manager, London

Hired as:

Operations Executive

How would you describe your current role?

I started out at OpenPayd in the operations team, dealing with reports and showing senior leadership what we were doing. From there, my role has evolved into a proper performance management role, so now I’m looking at each department and looking for ways to improve. What I like most about my job is that I get to go into each team and discuss what they’re struggling with and help to improve their work. So hopefully I’m improving everyone’s day!

My philosophy at work is Kaizen, which is a Japanese term for constant improvement – that’s how I approach my reporting. Every single month, I will look to find a way to improve the knowledge our company has of itself to help us perform to the best of our abilities.

The project I’ve been working on lately has been on the client onboarding side. I have created a report that displays our pipeline, including current figures and projected revenue on a monthly basis. Now, I’m looking to provide more information on the time it takes to onboard each client. Because of these reports, we’ve been able to improve our entire onboarding process. So we are constantly getting better because of the data we have.

What was the process you went through moving into your current role?

I spoke to Monika (Head of Operations) in 2020 about the fact that I wasn’t doing operations anymore and I felt like my title didn’t reflect my work. She just asked “What do you think it should be?” From there I did research and I created a proposal of what my title should be. I built out the job spec and I took that proposal to Monika and the People team.

I had a meeting with Daniel (Head of Product Strategy) not long after he started to discuss what I want my role to be and what he thought my role could be – that was when I moved to the Product team. Although my work didn’t change overnight, taking on this new role had its advantages. It gave me the opportunity to join a different team and gain exposure to a different aspect of the business.

And what support did you get from your managers and the wider team?

I like to think that OpenPayd has quite a fair approach where smart and driven people have the capacity to do what they need to do. Monika and Daniel have always given me the space to do what I want. Instead of saying “this is impossible”, it’s always “we’ll work it out”.

Reflecting on your career journey so far, how would you describe it?

I feel incredibly lucky to have ended up not only in this company but also in the role I currently have. When I first joined, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in, but now I can say that I’ve found a role that I love. It’s not just about the job itself; it’s about the potential it offers for growth and development. This role has allowed me to explore new opportunities and see what I’m capable of achieving. The best part is that it’s not limited to just my role; it has had a positive impact on every aspect of my work. It’s an enjoyable experience to constantly strive for improvement and see the progress I’m making.

So that’s the inside scoop on career changes within OpenPayd! We definitely saw a few themes across Charlie and Cristina’s experiences: Taking risks, speaking honestly with managers about your career and opportunities outside of the obvious route.

If Charlie and Cristina’s story has inspired you, head over to our careers page to see the roles we currently have available – who knows where you might end up?