Tanya De Aguiar is PA to two Head of Departments at a Major UK Retail Bank. She has worked across a range of industries which include Travel, Transportation, and now Banking.
Whether you've been to Canary wharf before or not if you do get a job there I would recommend taking a day before you start your new job to explore the area and most importantly, plan your journey.
Having visited Canary Wharf briefly in the past, I thought this would be a breeze. My First day on the Job was anything but that; I arrived in London Bridge and rushed to the Jubilee Line only to discover to my dismay that the Jubilee Line wasn’t running. Now What? After a frantic discussion with Station Staff, they suggested I take the DLR from Bank. The Northern Line from London Bridge was packed and it was pouring with rain outside. Luckily I managed to get a bus up to Bank and literally flew through the station to the DLR only to find that it was running with delays. No other option but to wait.
Finally I got to Canary Wharf only to be turned around. The DLR and the Jubilee Line entrances are not near each other. After much huffing and puffing about on high heels (which is not as easy as it looks), I finally make it in to the reception area with barely a few minutes to spare. Those minutes came in handy as I attempted to make myself look presentable again.
Within the first week, I realised that there things about Canary Wharf that as a PA I needed to know and I would have been better prepared had taken the time to explore the area beforehand. Things like Parking availability, hotels and places to eat, etc., to name a few.
Most of the Companies in and around Canary Wharf have their own parking lots but spaces are limited and often booked well in advance, so plan ahead. There is also parking available from Waitrose but that gets a bit costly when parking there for the day (at £25 to £30 depending on how long you were there).
There are quite a few hotels in Canary Wharf for your overnight guest and the more notice you have, the cheaper the cost. You may prefer cheaper hotels a little further away but that are within easy reach of a station that will bring them back to Canary Wharf within minutes. Thanks to the Olympics, Stratford has quite a few hotels and with Westfield being right there with various restaurants, right next to the station, that makes it an attractive overnight spot as well.
Food wise, you have a number of options depending on your requirements. Be it, Costa or Starbucks for the coffee break away from the office or Birley’s & Pret a manger for your sandwich lunch, not forgetting Waitrose for your munchies, or even lunch to go. Canary Wharf also offers options like Jamie’s Italian or Rocket, for your sit-down business lunches. I have only lsited a few of the options available to you, there are plenty more - what you must know as a PA in Canary Wharf is where they are.
For those with children who want to see where you'll be working, make a day of your exploration of Canary Wharf - there's the Museum of London Docklands within walking distance of canary wharf station which is a popular attraction for children.
Have you ever had an experience like Tanya's on a first day? Do you think it's important to explore the area you'll be working in before you start? Got a question for Tanya?
Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.
To find a new PA opportunity, click here