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My job explained: Chief financial officer

chief financial officerChief financial officer for Grey Healthcare Group in the UK, Didier Faure, explains why a busy job in an international organisation is just up his street.

What attracted you to this type of work?

Unfortunately, I have never had a vocation as such and although I knew I enjoyed being busy running various projects and growing businesses, I could not decide what to do…so like many of my colleagues at the time, I went into auditing which seemed like a good place to start.
I have always been attracted to jobs with a European remit because I enjoy working with different people from different cultures. The combination of a European job and the desire to be part of a management team running a group of companies brought me to where I am now.

How long did it take to train and what did the training involve?

It took me five years to get the necessary training for the accounting qualifications, it involved studying at university and practical experience in companies…but in reality I am still learning new things everyday.

Can you describe a typical working day?

Days are never the same because although you could think accounting and finance are well organised areas, there is always something happening, always some issues to be solved. I speak everyday to most of our European countries over the phone, and spend too much time dealing with e-mails.

What's the best thing about your job?

The sense of achievement when projects are running according to plan is exhilarating! I enjoy being part of teams who are achieving positive changes.

Have there been the challenges in getting to where you are now?

I guess my challenge was that I arrived in England with only a very poor command of the language and I had to find a job quickly to survive. I managed that by accepting little jobs first and capitalising from what I was learning rapidly.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about following in your footsteps?

Learn everyday something new. Challenge yourself everyday.

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