Interviews / Operations

Balancing the Grind With Rebecca Hogan, Operations Manager at Churches of Christ in QLD

Rebecca Hogan is the Operations Manager at Churches of Christ in QLD, a church and community organisation. In her role, Rebecca leads social change for the ageing population with evidenced based education.

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

In my career, I have been very fortunate to work for great companies, and more importantly, great leaders. This has given me first-hand insight into what differentiates those that are immensely successful by changing the lives of the communities we support, from those who are doing just enough to stay in front.

My personal brand and my DNA is two-fold and what drives me to succeed directly relates to: creativity and diversity. Throughout my career, I have developed an incredible passion for developing and managing stakeholder relationships, implementing innovative business models, and community consultation projects that create social change.

My most rewarding career to date has been my career in the aged care sector. I started as a Program Coordinator 8 years ago and now an Operations Manager for the Virtual Dementia Tour, a national experiential program to raise awareness on dementia for Churches of Christ in Queensland.

My aged care journey has empowered me to disrupt and transform the lens of normality in our aged care systems and approach our service delivery models with a design thinking perspective.

My colleagues know me for using innovative education to create social change, whilst leveraging my strengths to develop collaborative partnerships to heighten my organisation’s profile nationally to emphasise the incredible work we do supporting vulnerable communities.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I have an incredibly passionate #HEROTEAM of 10 staff that travel across Australia, with a well-defined vision to transform the way people engage, communicate and care for people living with dementia by developing empathy and compassion.

My job is unpredictable and calls for efficiency, agility and a resilient approach to changing the mindset of whoever we engage. One day I’m presenting to a room full of passionate aged care providers at conferences across Australia and the next day I’m working alongside my team and supporting them with the challenges they face when delivering to stakeholders.

The diversity of my role is what excites me to get up and come to work every morning. I truly believe, if we remain resilient and flexible in our approach, then no task is too big or too small that we can’t tackle as a team.

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

Wake up at 3:45am, of course coffee is the next step to kick start a big day before everything kicks into gear. Arrive at the airport at 5:30am for a 6:15am flight. Depart from home town, Brisbane and arrive at Parliament House by 8:45am in Canberra.

Get the team ready to deliver to Local, State and Federal Members of Parliament by 10am. At 11am meeting scheduled with Senator Eric Abezt to discuss all things education before presenting to like-minded aged care providers, Members of Parliament and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) representatives.

Then 5 minutes prior to presenting, Tasmanian Liberal Senator, Mr Richard Colbeck Minister for Aged Care arrives which obviously placed the nerves a little higher than usual. Straight off to another meeting to discuss aged care funding opportunities with the Department of Health and then back on a plane heading home to Brisbane at 5:20pm.

Arrive home at 8pm and be dead asleep by 8:30pm potentially with shoes still on.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?

For me, it’s about extending trust to those around you and empowering your team to exceed their own expectations by building their capabilities and giving them the room to grow and be challenged.

Prioritising for me works hand in hand with how many things you are juggling at once. I thrive on a full workload and having 10 balls in the air at once, this way if 4 balls drop I’ve still got 6 in the air which means 6 opportunities to succeed.

5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

Family is everything to me, so I ensure that although my weekdays are long being so dedicated to my job like many others, my weekends are my time with family and friends.

6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

Beach, gym and family. These 3 things are my recharge and my happy places.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Work smarter, not harder. Everyone gets busy and everyone feels overwhelmed at times, but it’s how we manage this is what helps us to succeed and find balance and not let busy lead to unproductive

8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen Covey has been pivotal for me in achieving work-life balance. We cannot do everything on our own and need to trust those around us whether it’s personally or professionally, we need our support networks to succeed in life and trusting people is the key drive to achieve this.

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Jokingly it’s coffee like many others, but I go to gym 5 times a week and kick start my day at 3:45am. This is my time where I reflect on the day before and plan for the day ahead and allows me to start a brand new day with a fresh perspective no matter the challenges ahead.

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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.