Aleksandra Harsic is the Commercial Director, Global at Melbourne-based start up Vudoo, an interactive video technology video platform.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Currently, I am leading the Commercial Team at Vudoo globally. Vudoo is a technology platform that allows you to create interactive videos rapidly, and we currently have a presence in APAC, Europe and North America.
My role involves creating go-to-market strategies, managing the sales team, and working directly with both our customers and prospects to help them achieve their goals.
I’ve been in Software Sales for a decade, but it wasn’t an obvious career path for me, having studied Philosophy and International Studies at University.
With the mentorship of some very brilliant people throughout my degree though, I discovered that a career in this space could be rewarding, challenging and creative – all in the same day – something that instantly appealed to me and that I’ve since very much fallen in love with.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
It really varies day-to-day, and that’s what keeps it exciting for me as while I do enjoy some sort of routine, I quickly get bored with repetitive tasks.
I always begin my day by checking the news, my emails, and calendar to get a sense of the day. I then proceed on a walk with my little dog, Moochi (a gorgeous brown toy poodle), around Carlton Gardens. There is something about surrounding yourself with greenery that really helps ease you into the day!
I don’t believe in working 9-5, and because I enjoy my job as much as I do, I really integrate it into my day as soon as I wake up. At some stage throughout the day, I check in with my team to see how they’re doing, and generally with our CEO to run over high-priority items. There are always some internal meetings sprinkled in, but meetings with prospects and customers are always the most exciting bit.
Because I work across multiple time zones, external meetings can start as early as 6am, and wrap up well into the evening, so on those days I make sure to take time for myself by having a nice lunch where I get away from my desk, squeeze in a pilates class, or sometimes another walk.
If there aren’t any evening meetings, I always try and cook dinner – it really helps me wind down – and then finish the day with a book.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely! During COVID, we discovered that we no longer had to be constrained by traditional office structures, so we fast-tracked our expansion into other markets – Europe, North America, and Singapore – because we realised that we could service those markets just as effectively here from Australia as we could from those physical locations.
So far, it’s been a huge success and has allowed me to grow my network globally and meet with some of the brightest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life-balance for me isn’t switching on at 9 and off at 5, but rather it’s weaving both in together. I truly love what I do, so I have no issue being “on” for most of the day. With that being said, I do make sure I do things for my mental and physical health throughout the day too.
I always make sure not to skip on my walks; I spend time whenever I can with my husband, friends, and family; I never, ever miss out on a meal – no matter how busy I am; and if it’s been a really consuming week, I book myself in for a massage and wind down.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
The past 12 months forced us to stay at home more, which really meant our social outings evaporated for at least a few months.
As someone who has always had a social calendar packed to the brim, I realised that there was nothing wrong with slowing down, and taking time to just stay at home on the couch – it’s really allowed me to have more time to reflect, which is sometimes when the best ideas come to me.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m an avid reader, and while I spend most of the day reading emails, proposals, and business publications, I love to spend my down-time reading fiction.
My favourite book is The Stranger, by Albert Camus, and while fiction isn’t always directly applicable to your job, I truly think it helps broaden your understanding of life and people – something very important to me.
While most newsletters tend to clog my inbox, there are two that I religiously subscribe to – The Wall Street Journal that sends through fantastic round-ups of what is happening in the tech world, and a newsletter by Nicole Coomes called I’ll Start on Monday which is the most brilliant thing I read every week and reminds me of the collective challenges that we all face in life.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My iPhone which I literally manage my whole life from.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Recent refugees who live in Australia and are working multiple jobs to keep their families afloat – as someone who came from a migrant family, the concept of a work-life balance was non-existent, yet I am always fascinated by the fact that often they are the happiest, and most grateful, people that you meet.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t get obsessed by the concept – there are going to be peaks and lulls in your life and career where the two aren’t equally distributed. If you’re truly satisfied in your life and career, this won’t be a driving thought for you, and if it is, maybe it’s time you re-evaluate the bigger picture behind it all.
Before you go…
If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here.
Join our community and never miss a conversation about work, life & balance – subscribe to our newsletter.