What’s not to like about the Lakes?

It can be hard to find finance jobs with work life balance in consideration. But at DSW, we provide our Partners with the autonomy to build businesses that reflect their values! In this blog, we hear from Owen Malton, a DSW Debt Advisory Partner, who balanced his career with a relocation to the Lake District to make the most of the great outdoors.

the lake district uk - Finance jobs with work life balance

The Lake District’s stunning natural surroundings provide endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, ranging from fell walking to sailing, open water swimming, and ghyll scrambling. Owen Malton calls the Lake District home, and we find out why.

When and why did you relocate to the Lakes?

For many years, my wife Nina and I had a static caravan on the shores of Windermere. Every weekend, we walked, sailed, rode our mountain bikes and generally enjoyed the outdoors. The beauty and fresh air of the Lakes captivated us.

We were living in Sommerseat, just north of Bury, and every Sunday night I was (allegedly) like a moody teenager as we prepared to drive down the M6 the next morning to work in Manchester.

Then, nine years ago, during work restructures, Nina and I had a ‘Eureka’ moment. We decided to sell the caravan and our house and commute to The Lakes. We don’t have any children, so we reasoned that if we don’t take the plunge now, we’ll regret it later, and if it doesn’t work, we can always fall back on Plan B – though we’re not sure what that was!

How’s the commute going?

I drove every day at first, but after a few weeks, I began taking the train from Oxenholme to Manchester. It was better, but the train service was subpar. You get used to it though, and I wasn’t alone; many fellow commuters were doing the same thing and had already made the switch. Journey times on the West Coast Mainline have been reduced due to electrification, but post-pandemic, the journey can be subject to change.

What is your favourite thing about living in the Lake District?

What’s not to love about the Lakes? It’s a lovely setting that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. It is ideal for outdoor activities and good pubs, and it also has seven one-star Michelin restaurants. L’Enclume in Cartmel has three stars, and chef Simon Rogan contributes to the local economy on multiple levels. Yes, it does rain occasionally, but we live in the south Lakes, which has its own microclimate and is much drier and brighter.

What hobbies have you been able to pursue as a result of living in the Lakes?

We walk a lot, which usually includes a stop at a good pub. We sail and have some woodland, which requires some chainsawing. Nina did make me take a course before I started, which I’m grateful for because you do hear of some horrific chainsaw accidents. In addition to general husbandry, I’ve learned to rebuild dry stone walls – there are a lot of them up here – but what I didn’t realise is that each dry stone waller has their own style. My abilities are being honed, so I would describe my style as abstract!

owen malton chainsawing in the lake district
Owen experimenting with his new hobby!

How does living in the Lakes fit into your work schedule? Has it changed since you switched to DSW?

Prior to joining DSW, I managed a team at Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank Group (CYBG), where we maintained a healthy work-life balance. It was critical for me to join an organisation that shared my balanced perspective while also focusing on the SME market. The DSW Debt Advisory team, led by my former CYBG colleague Phil Tarimo, is focused on finding the right funding partner for our SME clients to help them achieve their strategic goals.

A modern workforce requires flexibility, which DSW and its structure can provide. My work-life balance has improved even more, and living in the Lakes has had no effect on my ability to deliver for our clients.

But it all comes down to patience and perseverance. When the M6 is congested or the next train from Manchester is cancelled, knowing I’ll be returning to the Lakes makes it all worthwhile!

Owen and the Debt Advisory team, second from right

Thank you for your time, Owen, and for demonstrating how DSW can be the right solution no matter where you are based!

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