Alina Kuzmina is the Head of People at Hexens, a cybersecurity startup protecting finances and investigating incidents since 2014.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m Head of People at Hexens. It’s a young and ambitious start-up in the cybersecurity world. I started my career in HR as a Business coach at one famous hotel. I was a psychology graduate and it was logical.
But then I realised that an employee’s life in the company is more than only Training & Development. And I decided to learn all HR processes and became an HR partner. When I knew all about hotels that I could, I desired to work for a socially significant company. My father is a doctor, it seems I inherited that from him.
That was how I became a Head of People at a Clinical trials company. It was a fascinating experience, clinical trials are a whole world! At the same time, I had long been interested in IT. And one day I got an offer from Hexens.
It was one of the most important decisions in my life but I made that one quickly. I just felt that I believe in that start-up and I want to work with those cool guys. I just packed all my things and moved to another country. And here I am!
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Well, if it’s a working day, I get up at 8 am, then I have breakfast and learn English or do physical exercises. I don’t like to go to the gym. I prefer to do it in my home, it helps me save a lot of time on the road.
I have dumbbells and different expanders at my home, so I don’t feel that I am missing something. I start my work at 11 am, it’s pretty late, but it’s comfortable for working with people from other time zones. I’m used to doing that because I like measured mornings, it’s really valuable for me. I try to spend my evenings with my close people.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance is about the joy of what you do. If you love your work, you won’t feel exhausted even if you work more than 40 hours per week. But of course, I know that relationship building takes time. That is why I even plan my free time because I know myself. If I don’t plan something, I won’t have enough time for that!
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I cannot say that I got out of some habits, but I cut my consumption of sweets and coffee, and screen time. I know that I cannot just throw out those things from my life. Because I like the first two things, and people cannot be productive in the 21st century without screens. But I’m free to balance between my passions and my health.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Hmm, I like Thinking, Fast and Slow and I absolutely recommend that book. But I think that people need entertainment content too for their rest and mental health. It’s balancing too, between fiction and nonfiction books for example. I like the classic dystopian books Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, etc. Maybe it sounds cliche, but I get my portion of the pleasure so, why not?
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Haha, I would be interested to read an interview about that theme with one of the busiest people in the world, for example, Elon Musk.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to just wish them to listen to their own feelings. Nobody can give general advice about work-life balance. It can be an only individual receipt for every person.
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