Ten Minutes with Sean Maher, IT delivery director, Unum

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This article is sponsored by Unum as part of the ‘10 Minutes With…’ series.

Sean Maher has worked at Unum for more than nine years, progressing from an associate IT professional to IT director.

How did you get started in the IT delivery manager role?
I was a scrum master when the opportunity came up to manage people as well. I jumped at the chance as I love working and helping people.


Why did you choose to work with Unum?
I was working with a small software company and looking for more structure and somewhere I could grow in my career. When I spoke with Unum first I knew this was something they could provide.


What are you working on at present?
I’m lucky enough to be working in a number of areas, but my main focus is heading up our Total Leave Employer Portal, which give our customers real-time information and helps them support their employees and their business.


What is the best part of your job?
The people – I have great team working with me, we deliver on our asks and have fun while doing it. I also have a great support network around me.


What is a defining career moment or high point? Is there a career moment you are really proud of?
Throughout my career at Unum there have been numerous highs to think of. From a personal point of view the promotions and career enhancements I have received have been career defining for me. I’ve just been promoted to director of IT. Also, getting the opportunity to work on some high-profile projects with talented team members are real highs for me.


Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Well established in my in role as director of IT, helping to build out our roadmap and vision to help our customers and helping the company become an industry leader in the market.


What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received?
Any problem can be solved once it’s broken down into its smallest form.


If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice at the start of your career, what would that be?
You don’t need to know everything straight away. Focus on the things that matter at that given time.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about interviewing for this position?
If you have an appetite for helping people grow and delivering on projects, then do it!


What would you say are the key skills and capabilities necessary to be good at what you do?
A willingness to be open, honest and transparent. Having an ability to get software out the door and into the customers’ hands as quickly as possible.


If you were applying for X role today, how would you prepare?
Know about current or trending technologies, and research the company you are apply and know what they are about.


Is there a particular book or resource you’d recommend to someone early in their career?
Steve Peters’s The Chimp Paradox.


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