Ngaire Moyes is the Senior Director, Brand Marketing and Communications at LinkedIn, where she is responsible for building the brand and protecting its reputation across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Sure. Today I lead brand marketing and corporate communications across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America for LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.
Together with my team I’m focused on creating a trusted brand and ensuring that LinkedIn is seen as a place for everyone, no matter what their definition of success. I’ve been at LinkedIn for 9 years doing a variety of communications and more recently marketing related roles.
Prior to that. I spent nearly a decade at Microsoft in a series of communications roles and before that at IBM and a PR agency focused on the tech industry.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Given the international nature of my role, I do a fair bit of travelling around the region and also to our California HQ in the US. When I’m in London and working from the office on a Monday, I commute in, and once there, a typical day would involve grabbing some breakfast from our café, before settling down to the day’s work.
This might include a meeting with my EA to review my schedule for the week ahead, a staff meeting with my direct reports many of whom are based in different countries and dial in via video conference to discuss the key priorities for the week.
From there my day might include a review of our social impact strategy for example, an interview with a candidate for a role on the team, a monthly global brand team meeting to review the latest creative for a campaign we have coming out soon, a quick catch up on a live PR issue and hopefully a bit of time to respond to email.
If I’m lucky I might finish my day off with a cardio dance glass at the gym (which always puts me in a great mood!) before commuting home, having a late dinner with my husband and some very brief time with my kids to hear about their day before getting them off to bed. I might get an hour of Netflix before bed or respond to a bit more email.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes absolutely. I am fortunate to work for a company that is very flexible. I work from home two days per week when I’m in London. I have a very long commute and being able to avoid that for two days of the week has an enormously positive impact on both my work and my family life.
It gives me back at least 3 hours in the day which means that the atmosphere at home and our family lives are just that more relaxed and less hectic. I do a lot of my meetings over video conference to places across the world so if doesn’t really matter where I am located. I also find I get more work done and generally work longer hours on the days I’m at home.
It’s sometimes allows for a different type of work too – as there is more opportunity for reflection and thinking and planning time. I can also walk one of my sons to school and do school pick up. But my favourite part of it is that I can take my sons to their climbing class after work.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Like most people, work life balance is really important to me. I appreciate that I can go to the dentist or do something for myself during work hours, as I know I’ll make it up later in the day or week. LinkedIn treats its people like responsible grown ups and as a result they behave like them.
That said, I also believe in having boundaries. For me for example, the weekdays are for work and I’m happy to work long hours, in order to connect with my colleagues in the US and get the job done. I’m also happy to travel given my team are based in and my role supports our international markets.
However, I try, and ring fence my weekends and ensure they are dedicated entirely to my family and friends. This doesn’t happen every time as I’m sure my children and husband would attest but in large part we make it work.
Having boundaries and trying to stick to them 80%-90% of the time works for me – but also not being too hard on myself if on the odd occasion I can’t.
Increasingly we’re seeing this is a priority for many businesses, with LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report finding 75% of UK hiring professionals stating that offering flexible working will be ‘very or extremely important’ in the future.
Eight four percent recognising it helps employees have a better work/life balance and satisfaction, and 72% agreeing it makes their workforce happier.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
The best one is to be present and put 100% into the activity or task you are currently focused on. If I’m working I’m 100% all in on that and if I’m doing something with the kids I try and be the same – with the phone off or laptop closed.
I also believe part of work life balance involves taking care of your physical and mental well-being and I’m a big advocate for making time for exercise and more recently I’ve got into meditation which has been helpful in dealing with stress.
When I get the chance to have a break, I am a committed holiday taker! While on them I like to completely switch off so I can recharge, build great memories with my family and come back feeling refreshed.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
Who Moved My Cheese is an oldie but a goodie! It’s a really easy and entertaining read and is a great one for helping you figure out how to manage change in your career and your life.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I do a ‘to do’ list every morning. I split it into four boxes – urgent work, urgent personal, work stuff for this week and personal stuff for this week. I never get through it all but it helps me focus and prioritise and importantly, not ignore the personal admin and other stuff that probably wouldn’t happen otherwise.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Jacinda Ardern – the Prime Minister of New Zealand (and until recently the youngest world leader and also a first time mother while in office). How do you juggle running a country and having a family life!?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Too often women in particular think of pulling back from their careers when they have children or caring responsibilities, as they quite understandably need greater flexibility to make their lives work. They may construe that more senior roles work against this – bringing more pressure and long hours.
However, as businesses have increasingly adopted more flexible work policies, something that is often overlooked and was highlighted to me recently is that you can have far more control over your schedule and your life the more senior you become.
For example, I previously worked for a manager who was up at 5 each morning to ensure she could connect with her international team but left the office at 3:30pm sharp each day to beat the traffic and have her evenings with her family. Counter intuitively, focusing on building your career can perhaps help you achieve better work life balance over time.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!