Balancing the Grind with Dan Van Brunt, Brand Warrior at

Dan Van Brunt is the Brand Warrior at a startup job search and networking website, as well as an Assistant Recruiter for the parent recruiting agency, The Compliance Search Group.

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

I graduated from Wilkes University with three different concentrations in communication studies from Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, PA: Media Production, Multimedia Journalism & Strategic Communications.

My journalism professor connected me with the Times Leader newspaper there, and I worked as a Sports Clerk. It was interesting to work at a local newspaper company because very few still exist, plus the fact that Wilkes-Barre has two competing daily newspapers.

After college, I joined The Compliance Search Group, which is a highly respected recruiting firm working to recruit people who work in the compliance/legal space in the finance/banking industries.

I assist in helping out recruiters with administrative tasks, but I was hired more specifically to assist in the creation of our job search and networking startup website,

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

As a startup with a small team at, the typical day in the life at work changes a lot.

We have to constantly realign our goals with what works and what doesn’t in terms of how we are marketing and advertising, how to increase user retention but also how effective our website can be in assisting people in their respective job searches.

However, my title Brand Warrior reflects that I wear many hats, and shows how dynamic we all need to be to get work done that may be outside of the average skill sets.

On the other hand, my team and I are constantly researching the recent layoffs to find candidates to join our site by making profiles.

Once they have made a profile, they will have access to a variety of resources to aid their job search such as a recruiter directory to connect with recruiters, a candidate search to connect with others, career coaching, career articles & podcasts, a job board, forum as well as a book written by our CEO Jack Kelly about finding jobs in tough times.

Along with inviting job seekers to the platform, we also invite recruiters to join as well. Networking has amazing benefits compared to relentlessly applying to job listings.

Connecting with a recruiter can give you immediate details on the job market, and potentially can introduce you to a new role. Everything we do is in search for positive and useful ways to help job seekers who are stuck.

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

Our team has moved to completely remote due to the pandemic. Our CEO Jack Kelly has already managed recruiters working remotely, so video calls are no surprise to us. We start and end the day with video calls, and have calls for meetings whenever warranted.

My commute from my house to work is about 5 minutes, and it is only one town over. Even though my commute is very easy, I feel more energized after these few months of being at home. But, I didn’t feel that way at first.

Changing up your routine is tough at first, but ultimately rewarding to get a different change of pace, new scenery, etc.

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

I think your work-life balance should focus on if you have the time to do what you love. I believe the majority would agree that if you can set aside time to be with your friends, entertaining yourself and etc., you have achieved a balance.

The attributes of great workers are the ones who put in the longest hours, come in early and leave late, not calling in sick when sick, saving time doing tasks the hard way, being available off the clock, picking up slack for others, and favoring the job over family and friends.

It is your job to meet them along a work-life balance spectrum, either allocating more energy into your life or work. You must sacrifice a lot to have a good job, but never forfeit your life.

Achieving that goal for me means to not carry either one into the other. There are times that they will come in the way of each other like emails during non-work hours, or being away from work taking care of something else. However, I think the key is to stay organized in both elements so that one doesn’t affect the other in a negative way.

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

Since the pandemic has confined us to staying home in the US, I think spending time with family, catching up with old friends online and being relatively healthier has made life better.

My dad and I washed and waxed my car the other day. My college friends reached out to me and we caught up. And I now skip the daily Dunkin’ iced coffees.

Also, I’ve been taking often walks and stretching, and that helps a lot. Getting exercise and being outside helps a lot for keeping your mind clear.

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

Every morning I surf the internet for unique news. Good journalism is just about as good as any book. What better way is there to learn more about the world by reading what people have experienced first-hand?

Here is one very good, long-form article that really makes you stop and think about your life: Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think from The Atlantic. The article speaks to your accomplishments in both your life and work, and how that changes along the way.

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

Google Drive is truly amazing. I believe since I use my college email that I get unlimited storage. I have so many different folders and documents that it is hard to keep track of, but I can also search through them all by the document’s title. On top of that, you can work side by side with others in the same documents.

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

Elon Musk is the first person to come to mind because of how many different businesses he runs. Not only that, but his social media presence is a marketing masterpiece garnering an amount of activity comparable to the top social media accounts.

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

I think my view reflected in my answers here suggest that having the balance in your life is very desirable, but I can understand the other argument as well.

Forfeiting your life to achieve great success will have enormous rewards for you at the end of the road. Ultimately, success is determined by individuals and how to achieve that varies significantly.

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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.