Shark diving and shipwrecks; a work-life balance interview with Peter Clark

Diving into the next instalment of our work-life balance we spoke to Peter Clark about his passion for Shark diving, who would play him in the movie of his life and how he'd like to make a public apology to Bonnie Tyler...

What has surprised you most about lockdown?

The many quizzes I have done has really demonstrated how little I know about the world!

Night owl or Early Bird?

I have switched from being a night owl to an early bird. I am much better these days at getting up early than I am at staying up late.

How did you get into insurance?

I went to work in Australia for a year and on account of some uninsured loss recovery experience I got a job working for insurance a company called CGU in Sydney and I have never looked back since.

What have you learned about yourself in this time?

That I am able to sit still, at least for a short period of time before I have to get up and do something. 

What, from this time, would like to keep in the new normal?

I would like to continue getting out for walks in the great local countryside. I have discovered a lot of new places close by I never knew existed before the lockdown.

What is your main priority at the moment?

Trying to keep in touch with people as much as possible.

What is your best travel memory?

On a dive trip to South Africa, it was my last day diving and the underwater conditions had completely changed overnight. The underwater visibility went from a green murky 10 meters to blue gin clear 30+ meters. Only me and the dive guide were in the water on scuba equipment when a tiger shark appeared and we swam with it for about 30 minutes.

It made several close passes. It was pure magic. That's probably tied with trekking through the Vietnamese jungle on Christmas day in 2020 to visit ‘Crocodile lake’. It was quite a departure from pulling crackers and watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

If I were to choose it would be Ryan Gosling, if it were my partner’s decision I'm fairly sure she would choose Homer Simpson.

What’s your Karaoke song?

'Total Eclipse of the heart' by Bonnie Tyler. I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologise to Bonnie for the many murderings of that song over the years.

What new skill would you most like to learn?

I’d love to learn a second language. As soon as I have mastered English I will get right on it!

What are your three top tips for maintaining a healthy work life balance?

Set times to switch off and stick to them. Take a break to go outside once a day. I’m not good at this one but I am trying: Stay off your phone!

I’m at my happiest when...

I am out at sea. It can be going to find a shipwreck in the north sea, or a remote island in the middle of nowhere. Even trying to surf. It is pure escapism.

What change would you like to see at RSA in the next 3 years?

I would really like to see us going back to the office. I miss connecting with my colleagues and having a routine that is built around the working day at the office. 

What are you currently binge-watching/listening/reading?

The Bridge on Netflix/BBC iPlayer and The Boys on Amazon Prime.

What did not expect about working in the insurance industry?

To feel challenged most days and learn so much about people and their businesses.

How is insurance making the world a better place?

By helping people get back on track after suffering from an unfortunate incident. We help people during tough times and playing a part in helping people through that I really enjoy. 

What would you say to someone considering a career in insurance?

There is so much to learn and people will always need insurance. It's a pretty safe choice in uncertain times and it's way more interesting than you think.

Before you go, tell us a joke!

I used to have a Dutch girlfriend with inflatable shoes. I didn’t hear from her for a long time so I called her parents only to find that she had popped her clogs.