Balancing the Grind with Angela Lee, Optimization Team Manager at Experian

Angela Lee is the Optimization Team Manager for the eCommerce team at Experian, a global information services company, providing data and analytical tools.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started my career as a web designer working on marketing ads and company websites, eventually adding in front-end development to my skill set.

I am now the optimization team manager in the eCommerce team at Experian, focusing on the optimization of the consumer experience of our products.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My day starts with a cup of coffee. It helps me clear my mind and let my body know that the day is starting.

After I put the pot on for the coffee, I play with my cat for a bit; she’s a 6 month old Persian who came to me a few months ago.

Once I have my coffee mug in my hands, I check my calendar and emails. I schedule my time around the meetings that I have on that day, and checking them before I start the day allows me to plan for the day.

I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to not let the work time blend in with my lunch time. Once noon arrives, I log out of my computer and make some lunch. I try to cook as much as possible, so usually lunch revolves around what ingredients I have available in my fridge.

Usually my afternoons revolve around checking on the different projects, catching up with my team, and meetings.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes it does. Ever since the quarantine, we have all transitioned to working from home, and so far it hasn’t affected our productiveness or effectiveness.

Most of what we do revolves around working on the computer and on the internet, and we hold virtual meetings.

It fits pretty well into my life. I’m not one to have set routines in my life, and I like to be flexible with what I do for the day, so spending my day going into the office and working. The only difference is that I don’t have the commute anymore.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I am pretty flexible when it comes to setting a routine in my life, which can also mean that sometimes work and personal time can blend in together.

For me keeping a balance doesn’t mean setting set times and routines to organize my life, but rather, to forgive myself a bit, and not be afraid to be spontaneous, doing what I want to do at the moment (e.g. eating ice cream before dinner).

Especially in times of quarantine, my first instinct was to try to set a routine; wake up at a certain time, take breaks at certain times, eat my meals at specific times.

However, I found that trying to keep the schedule was more stressful than it was worth it. So now, I only keep one scheduled time – lunch. Come noon time, I will go offline and have my lunch.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I think one big change that I made in my life would be that I adopted a cat. She’s a 6 month old Persian, who I adopted from an acquaintance.

I’ve never had a pet growing up, so it was a learning experience for both of us, getting used to each other’s routines and boundaries. She’s a cuddly one for a cat, so follows me around now asking me to pet her.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Yes, I love books! I don’t really listen to podcasts as much, or read newsletters, but you will always find me with a book in hand. I generally read fiction.

A couple that come to mind are The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and all of the books written by Douglas Adams. Those are all excellent books, and which I have read more than once.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Spotify, Amazon Prime, and my phone.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would love to hear from Van Ho, a talented designer and friend, with very interesting hobbies.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Personally, I think everyone should do what works best for them. A non-scheduled flexibility works for me, just as a scheduled routine might work for others. Just remember that the ultimate goal for all of it is to be happy. Do whatever makes you happy.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.