Georgina Healy is the founder of Possum Playtime, a Sydney-based start-up providing outdoor play activities and ideas for parents.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career as a Chemical Engineer and worked for a few years as an engineer in Brisbane, but after moving to London in 2015, I decided to pursue management consulting – I loved the fast pace and the blend of technical and people skills it required and working with a wide range of people in all levels of the business.
During this time, I worked in the automotive industry which was amazing, especially working at Ford’s historic head office in Detroit and McLaren’s headquarters in the UK. When I came back to Australia however, I wanted to work in other industries as well, so I am now happily a management consultant at Accenture.
While on maternity leave in 2020 I created an app which locates and filters Sydney playgrounds – I imagined how helpful it would be to find the ‘right’ playground for your child based on age and interests. It was meant to be just a one-off project, but since then, Possum Playtime has evolved and I now share play and learning ideas for parents of young children on Instagram – it’s been really fun and rewarding.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I have a nearly 2-year-old little boy and a baby girl and while I am on maternity leave, 100% of my career focus is on scaling Possum Playtime.
On a day when my toddler is not in daycare, we will start the morning in the garden or going to one of the beautiful outdoor Sydney locations like Centennial Park.
I will take photos of what we get up to, then when he is napping, edit these images using Canva and schedule them using the Later app which posts them on Instagram for a time I choose in the future. At night when the little ones are sleeping I am active on social media, sharing and saving ideas from other mums that inspire me.
About once a week I will dive into the business analytics, seeing which posts and stories create the most traction and plan future posts accordingly. The Sydney startup community is amazing, and most days I have a call or chat with a software engineer / mentor / fellow entrepreneur which helps me refine and shape my ideas of what to do in the future.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
As a consultant, the client always comes first, so remote or flexible working generally requires to be pre-approved and considerate of what is in the client’s best interests.
I am lucky that Accenture has an incredibly supportive maternity leave policy which I have chosen to take advantage of while my children are little.
I have also realised how much we rely on amazing daycare educators, especially as we don’t have family nearby. I have my baby with me 24/7 and thankfully can juggle looking after her while managing Possum Playtime.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Like many people, balance for me is a blend of family time, time to recharge and socialise and also working on projects that inspire and motivate me.
The nature of my start up means spending a lot of time playing with my gorgeous children which is brilliant, but I am aware that some things like seeing friends, my full time career and going to dance classes can’t be at optimum levels while juggling other priorities.
I have learnt to be more relaxed about having the perfect quota of each category and instead consider balance to be evolving over time.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have a few hacks that have really made a difference this year, and generally they involve throwing money at the problem – something not sustainable long term but giving us sanity in the short term!
Online grocery shopping, a cleaner once a week, Hello Fresh meals 3 times a week, and using scheduling tools to save time on social media. I also love my AirPods to listen to podcasts while doing boring tasks like cooking, washing or cleaning.
To balance the chaos, I love being outdoors, walking, jogging and swimming! This year I have really gotten into ‘Forest Bathing’ – sitting in nature with no technology as a form of meditation and I do this at least 3 times a week – doing this in an actual forest would be awesome, but I find our little garden also works!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I recommend Lean Startup by Eric Reiss and Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies. I love a podcast as I need to be hands-free while running around and am obsessed with ‘Masters of Scale’ by Reid Hoffman and for some escapism, ‘Mamamia Out Loud’. ‘The Hustle’ is a great newsletter about the latest in business and tech.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I couldn’t live without Canva Pro, ‘Later’ social media scheduling tool and I used Wix to build the Possum Playtime website and soon to be released newsletter. I also rate WordPress for blogging, marvelapp.com for creating website prototypes for free and when I need tech talent for small tasks, I have used freelancer.com.au
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Christie Whitehill, the founder of Tech Ready Women.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” – Katharine Hepburn
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