Géraldine Herinckx is the Sales & Operations Lead at Simple, a marketing operations software company that delivers tools to help marketing and brand teams manage campaigns.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I studied Law at University and achieved top of my class before moving from the UK to Australia and then New Zealand working in a mix of casual jobs before moving back to Australia into a Sales role at Simple.io – a marketing operations software company that delivers tools to help marketing and brand teams manage campaigns. At Simple I work alongside our Chief Revenue Officer, Peter De Moor to manage all aspects of the sales operations.
I love working in the technology space and the diversity of working in a small agile team, no two days are ever the same. My priorities can range from qualifying new prospects, engaging with partners, building relationships with existing clients, optimising workflows and operations, contributing to marketing or educational content and more.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
A workday may look something like getting up, and ready for the day. When I’m being organised, this can involve an early morning gym class or a swim down the beach. Once back at my desk, it’ll see me checking my emails, delivering on anything that may have been asked of me from the wider team, and picking up any leads which have come in from the website overnight.
Often it will then involve a discovery or a demo with a prospect, followed up by internal discussions to deliver on their requirements. We’ve also recently undergone some extensive strategy sessions, some output of which involves optimising workflows and building out strong account plans which I have been working on.
In the evening, I often find myself being more active and social during weekday evenings which then gives me more time to myself on the weekends to really relax.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Simple has been extremely accommodating in terms of flexibility. I actually started my role from the UK when I was unable to fly back to Australia during Covid, and managed my time on an English-Australian time hybrid.
Since being back in Australia, while favouring a good work and team culture and making an effort to socialise and share team lunches on days when we did come into the office, there has never been any pressure for that to happen should people feel uncomfortable coming into the office.
To top that off, while I am currently dealing with many prospects from the US, and working on projects that can be completed outside of the 9-5 day, I have been able to come back to see my family in the UK / Belgium while working remotely.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance to me means not sacrificing your whole life for a job that doesn’t bring you joy and means re-adjusting your notion of success to not purely rely on money, and titles.
It means working towards a balance and a goal where you can look back and not resent all the time you have spent sat behind a desk or all the opportunities you have given up in order to confirm what is increasingly an out-dated expectations of how the workforce should behave (i.e. working consistently 12 hour days with no compensation).
But it frustrates me when people confuse wanting a balanced life with being lazy. I still believe you can work incredibly hard but do so in an efficient and effective manner which doesn’t involve sacrificing all your time to working.
For me, achieving the balance has always been to (a) take the opportunities available to me to experience new things while working (e.g I moved to Hong Kong for 10 months while I was studying law and I moved to Australia to work after graduating) (b) it means being transparent with my boss about what’s important to me and working hard to support them which allows them to support me in return and (c) it means trying to (and this is very much a work in process) sit down and think about what I want from everyday and optimise time before work as well as after it – and this extends to ensuring that I have genuine hobbies and spend time pursuing things I enjoy.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
It would be a stretch to call them a “routine” or a “habit” as they’re very much still forming but I have started trying to incorporate exercise into my day before work. I go to Virgin Active and find I always feel amazing after doing a class and it sets me up for the day perfectly, but the hardest part is always getting there.
On sunny days, me and my partner also try to get up and down to the beach for a swim before work. I find that doing these small things helps me feel like I’ve had an entire day, and work has been a part of that day, but hasn’t consumed the entirety of it. Even pencilling out half an hour and going for a walk at lunch in the sun can make a big difference.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
They’re not so in keeping with the work-life balance theme but 3 books that I’ve read recently which really made an impression on me – The Invisible Women (exploring the historical data gap on women), Dear Zari (Hidden Stories from the Women of Afghanistan) and Gogo Mama (profiles of the lives of 12 African women).
Each really opens your eyes to the way some women live, and includes some really harsh realities that I think it’s important to be aware of. The Invisible Women isn’t as heart wrenching as the second two but it’s so interesting to explore how seemingly ‘little things’ can have a whole series of consequences.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Nothing springs to mind that I couldn’t live without, although, I am ashamed to admit I rely on my phone far more than I should. I’ve also recently become obsessed with my DJI drone, my Sony camera and am getting into the Adobe creative suite of products for editing.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
It’s not so much one specific individual but I would love to hear genuine insights from anyone who’s either (a) made a successful and profitable living off a true passion (my current obsession is travel photographers and videographers) or (b) someone who has made it to the top of their game in the sales / tech space and managed to prioritise their time with family, friends, hobbies and outings at the same time, and what that looks like for them.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think it’s important to take a step back and reassess what’s important. This can 100% be your job, but if it is, ask yourself if you’re really enjoying this particular job? Is it helping you towards a particular goal? Will that goal help you feel fulfilled? Or are you working 12 hour days for no discernible cause and will you be expected to continue that way for another 10 years? Are you jealous of your friends? Do you often wish you were elsewhere? Do you worry you’re not living your life in the best way and will you look back and regret your decisions?
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