Balancing the Grind with Carly Shearman, Community Manager at Women In Digital

Carly Shearman is a Community Manager at Women In Digital, an international organisation offering events, mentoring and corporate services for organisations that value diversity and inclusion.

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

Sure! I studied a Bachelor of Media Communications majoring in Entrepreneurship and have had a few very different roles in my career.

I have managed cafes, worked in a marketing agency working my way up to General Manager and now I have two amazingly fulfilling roles; I am Technical Recruiter specialising in Software Engineering & Web Development at Digital Talent Co. and the Community Manager for the sister organisation, Women in Digital.

It can be hard to see what they all have in common so let me tell you… businesses. I love lifting up the bonnet of a business, seeing how it all works and finding ways to improve or optimise how it runs.

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

That is a hard question to answer. As cliche as it sounds, when you work in a SME or an agency environment, no two days are the same.

Usually I get into the office around 7:30am-8am and we all say good morning to each other and catch up on the day before. We are currently going through a porridge phase so we all go upstairs and make porridge together. Then we come down, open our laptops and the day gets underway.

What that looks like it really varied but usually includes talking to clients, headhunting & vetting candidates, meeting with potential new businesses, looking at the marketing that is going out for the different brands, working with the team, contracts and negotiations, planning events and right now we are full steam ahead planning the 2020 Women in Digital Awards.

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

Yes and no, there is a lot of flexibility in my role and I am empowered by my boss, Holly Tattersall, to run my days how I want. But I also really struggle to do my role remotely – half my role is community and partnership management and the other half is recruitment.

I find connecting with people is so much easier and more valuable when I am in the office meeting them face-to-face, obviously referring to non-COVID times. But in saying that, I probably work from home to have an ‘admin day’ once a fortnight.

I am also one of those people that thrive with structure and in an office environment so I love coming into work everyday. I find that when I am in the office, I feed off the energy and am much more motivated and effective than I would be sitting at home by myself.

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

For me and my personality type, I think work-life balance isn’t achievable and in all honestly, it isn’t something I really want.

What I aim for is work-life integration and I find that is much more feasible. My job is to connect with amazing, career-driven people so it is quite easy to make that ‘blend’ into your life.

Sure, there are days that I want to switch off from work entirely and I am learning that when I need to, I can walk away from the laptop but for the most part, Work Carly and Personal Carly are one and the same.

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

Oooh this is a great question. I feel like when you are in your 20s, no 12 months are the same. You are constantly tweaking and creating new routines and habits. Sometimes I get in a really good habit of food prepping but that only ever last a few weeks and then it is back to scrambling last minute for a bite to eat.

Something I really want to work on in the second half of this year is building in some strong habits again – I went through a Miracle Morning phase which worked wonders for my mental health as it created space in my morning before I went into work mode.

I think my favourite part of my daily routine, and I don’t know if this is symbolic of how boring my life is, but it is the train ride. I used to catch the bus and listen to daily news podcast and now I catch the train and read a fiction book and it is game changing!

The train is a much smoother trip and allows me to get into the zone and the fictional book allows me to disconnect from reality and just switch my brain off for that 30 minutes – I am gradually learning that not every minute has to be spent productively. Highly recommend!

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

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. Hands down, one of my favourite books ever. I wasn’t that big of a Melinda Gates fan before reading this book.

It wasn’t like I didn’t like her, I just hadn’t thought much about her beyond being Bill Gates’ wife and co-founder of their foundation but my goodness!

She is a woman to be reckoned with. And what I love about her book is the fact that she is amplifying the voices and stories of women across the globe.

If you want to learn more about the diversity gap and how bridging that gap and lifting women up will literally change the world – economically, environmentally, developmentally… read it!

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

Hands down my phone – that little guy has everything.

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

Unrealistically, Melinda Gates. I told you I was obsessed with her. I’d love to know how she does so many different things without constantly feeling pulled.

More realistically, the co-founder of Playbook, Chelsea Murphy. She hustles so hard on and in her businesses, gives back to the female entrepreneurial community, seems to always be abreast of the latest news and insights, is a doting mum to her two young kids and somehow ALWAYS manages to make time for me.

I don’t know why I have never asked her but I’d love to know how to does it all.

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

Make space in your week to do one completely unproductive, un-grind-like activity just because it makes you laugh or brings you joy. I am really trying to do that and the weeks where I do, I really notice the difference in my energy level and motivation.

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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.