Ben Testa is a San Francisco-based Senior Enterprise Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn, joining the company in 2017. Previously he worked at Twitter for 1.5 years.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last 5 years in tech sales. I started at Twitter and stayed there for 1.5 years and then joined LinkedIn in 2017.
Currently in my role I help my clients with their LinkedIn advertising strategy, setting up measurement to prove ROI and ensuring clients investments are effectively being utilized. I get the opportunity to really dive deep and understand where I can drive efficiencies to create additional opportunities for my clients.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
As you can imagine, mine and just about everyone else’s day as completely changed these past few months. However, its caused me to make some positive changes. I now wake up on the earlier side and get to start my day with a workout.
I usually get back and kick off my working day around 8.30-9am. That’s typically the plan but not always the outcome and I think it’s key to remember that whilst routine is important, you shouldn’t get down on yourself if you slip on occasion.
A recent workday for me was jumping on a few client calls during the morning, a meeting with product to understand what new LinkedIn products/features are coming soon then putting together a presentation in the afternoon.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My current role does allow for both flexibility and working from home which allows me to feel like I have autonomy and control over my day. Being able to create my own schedule allows me to work when I am most productive and have a more balanced day.
The dream is once we’re back to normalcy to split the working week between the office and home for greater work life balance.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work doesn’t consume your life. It’s important to find a company that understands and respects that you’ve got a life outside of work.
From my perspective, how you work to achieve work-life balance is very much based on the company you’re at and the cultures/values that reside at your company. I’m lucky to be at a business and have management who understand work is important but shouldn’t come at the expense of missing out on life events or important occasions.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Due to gyms shutting mid-March and still being shut here in San Francisco I’ve been forced to get back into running. It’s been a game changer for me as it’s not only improved my physical health, but I find I have increased mental clarity in the mornings which bodes well for productivity.
If you are like me and find it hard to get motivated for cardio training, I recommend watching this TED talk to help you rethink the way you approach endurance training.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m a big fan of Freakonomics radio. It’s a podcast authored by Steven Levitt and Stephen J Dubner. Levitt is a leading behavioural economist and Dubner is a journalist who also hosts the show – this combination lends itself to a highly unique perspective on topical matters. Also now a fan of Balance The Grind (editor’s note: thanks Ben).
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Strava hands down has been an app I can’t live without since March. I’ve never been on a platform where I’ve seen so many positive and supportive interactions between users.
I moved to the US last June and had no idea how much I would miss Australian beer; Stone and Wood, Carlton Draught and James Squire are products I’m struggling to live without.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Although I never thought the job was easy, I have a completely new outlook and respect for working parents during COVID. I’ve seen and heard stories from colleagues who are part-time teaching kids whilst also getting on with day to day work.
With that in mind, I’d have to go with Melinda Gates. Co-founded the world’s largest private charitable organization whilst also raising a family – I think Melinda would have interesting and valuable insight into how to work-life balance.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Find a good daily routine to create that perfect and at times elusive balance between life and work – be open to trialling different routines.
Does working out in the morning work better for you compared to post work? Does working form the office 2 days a week afford you more freedom to get life tasks done? It took a pandemic for me to find mine, but I’ve certainly noticed the positive impact it’s had on all aspects of my life.
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