Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Isabelle Hahn, Content Marketing Manager at Qatalog

Isabelle Hahn is the Content Marketing Manager at Qatalog, a work hub startup connecting all the tools of modern collaboration — wikis, project management, team chat, and more.

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

Hi, of course! My career background really started in internships. I graduated from Northeastern University, which is well known for its co-op program, and did two full-time internships in social media marketing before my senior year. One of those was at Flocabulary, and one was with HubSpot’s social media team.  

After that, I got a summer internship with Toast’s content marketing team and then began working with them on a contract basis. I was with the Toast team for about a year and a half.

During that time, we launched two websites, I learned how to film and edit social videos, wrote copy for newsletters, social, and chatbots – I got to experience just about everything you can do as a B2B content creator. I also picked up a contract gig with Vimeo’s B2B team just before graduating, which brought me to the world of virtual events and community management. 

Now, I’m Qatalog’s content marketing manager and could not be more excited about growing our content output and brand. 

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

Mornings are usually pretty busy since half my team is located in London, so the first thing I do in the morning is check our work hub and Slack to see what everyone’s up to. We have a daily, 15-minute call with the whole company at 9 am my time, so usually my day starts around 7:30-8. 

After that, I’ll have the occasional project meeting or 1-on-1. Typically I don’t have many calls in the afternoon, so that’s when I like to get my deep work done.

I also have 11am-4pm blocked out on Wednesdays and Thursdays to give myself that deep work time. This week that’s involved freelancer outreach, copy editing, SEO research, blog outlining, and some social content creation. 

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

One of the things I was looking for in a full-time position was the ability to work remotely in the future. Right now, I’m not really settled anywhere location-wise, so being able to move and truly work from anywhere was extremely important.

Qatalog is distributed; we have team members worldwide, so everything we do has to be remote-friendly. We balance sync and async communication very well, so I always feel like I’m collaborating with my team in a way that doesn’t require an immediate response 100% of the time. 

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

Work-life balance means everything to me! At the beginning of quarantine, I was using work as a distraction and got really burnt out. Now I know how important it is to stay on top of that balance for my own mental health. 

To me, having a healthy work-life balance also means having a team that knows your work isn’t everything. I have hobbies, I have family and friends whom I want to spend time with – and that’s a priority for me.

If I need to take 2 hours out of the day to have lunch with my mom, I’m going to do it. Work will still get done, and when you have a balance in other facets of your life, it’s easier to be excited about the work you’re doing because it’s not pulling you away from anything. 

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

Oh, so many. 12 months ago, I was taking finals from my Boston apartment, so a lot has changed. 

I think the most important routines I’ve incorporated into my life involve spending more time outside. I started going on walks or even just eating lunch outside without bringing my laptop or phone. I try to prioritize a little bit of “outside time” every day, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour. 

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

I begin every day by listening to The Daily and Up First. I’ve also been a How I Built This listener for years. I loved Without Fail and The Cut on Tuesdays, which is now just The Cut. 

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

Social media is part of my job, so I’d definitely include every social media app here. Honestly, Qatalog’s work hub is a product I couldn’t live without – even if I had to leave Qatalog. It streamlines my workday every day. 

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

Probably Bozoma Saint John. She’s a huge idol of mine. 

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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.