Jen’s Journey – The Welcoming Face of Paynters

March 31, 2022

We recently sat down with Paynters Head Office Hero, Jennifer Budzynski. Jen has been running Paynters Brisbane Reception for an impressive 9 years, working the front line as a much-loved member of our family.

Is there a story on how you landed at Paynters, and what did you do prior?
I joined the Paynters team in October 2013. I had spent the last 16 years of my career in the finance industry which was incredibly intense. The bulk of my career involved 12-hour days with little to no breaks & at a point, I decided it was time to find a more supporting environment to spend my days. I saw the Paynters Receptionist advert on Seek, and it mentioned work-life balance – hooray! I interviewed with Dean and Brett on the Thursday and was told I had the job on Friday and started the following week. Coincidently my old bosses came into Paynters a while later – I probably looked like a new woman (far more relaxed).

Is this the career you envisioned when you were younger?
I originally wanted to be an air hostess, given my knack in customer service. I applied and commenced the tedious process but given I had constraints with my vision (wearing glasses my whole life), meant I ultimately didn’t get through. Looking back, I am not sure the airline industry would have suited the lifestyle I have today – I am very glad I landed in construction which has felt much more stable.

What do you love about your role, and more specifically about Paynters?
My role enables me to talk to different people throughout the day which I really enjoy. I continuously learn from my colleagues (and being the first point of contact keeps me in the know!). The business in general has been a great fit for me. It is the best bunch of people to work with, and while we know how to get the job done, there’s always time for a laugh and a bit of banter. Everyone is approachable and willing to put their hand up to help. I have seen this firsthand more recently as we all rallied together to support our disaster management team in insurance who had to promptly respond to the flood tragedy in Qld and Northern NSW.
I love that I have been fortunate enough to see the company grow. My first Christmas party we had 40 people, now we have over 170!
I also have a wonderful immediate team. We have a great day to day culture and a calm leader.

What changes/ groundbreaking events have you witnessed during your journey here? How have you adjusted?
The big one is probably changes in technology. Over 9 years, I have seen our systems grow leaps and bounds (are continuing to do so). I like how easy it has become to communicate with our teams across Australia via Zoom/ Teams. I am certainly kept on my toes with the tech side, always learning new ways to do things. It was a big learning curve coming into construction from finance, but I very much enjoyed the transition and feel it is a more diverse environment to be amongst.

Any favourite tasks/ projects that have stood out or have stuck with you?
About a year after I started, the leader of the administration department at the time had 6 weeks leave, and I stepped across to help with a very important support task for our clients at the Department of Defence. It was an intense, and very heavy few weeks of preparing over 20 manuals, but the moment our Director Michael Koen came to me and said our clients were rapt with the standard of documentation and professionalism, I felt so happy I took on the challenge. In the 8 years since, I have had many of situations and days that get stressful, but that specific project taught me how to move out of my comfort zone. It also reminds me how important a thank you or good job can be to someone.

Any interesting stories / memorable moments to share?
Our team have maintained some really great relationships in the industry, so there are a number of familiar faces (be it clients, consultants, subcontractors or suppliers) that I have gotten to know over the years and enjoy seeing when they come to the office for a visit. We have had a celebrity or two come through the door as well. I remember when Shayna Blaze came into the office (not knowing she had dietary requirements). Mad dash to our local café for catering and all was sorted. She was lovely.

Strangest phone call?
Prior to my time at Paynters, I actually got a call with a Bomb threat! My most stressful call to date. I of course reported it immediately. After that experience, answering client queries became far less stressful in hindsight.

Advice for anyone that wants to learn the ropes of Reception?
You learn more and more over time as you understand the business more. The job us to put people at ease, remain calm, get back to them accordingly. Best advice – listen – be patient – treat with ease. You also have to be good at vetting sales calls / scams! When I walk in the door, I tell myself its time to switch ‘ON’ at 8am and ‘OFF’ at 5pm. I try my best to keep positive in stressful situations – but we all human and have off days. Thankful for my team!