Jack Ben-Harari is the Culture Architect at Keep Interacting, where he is helping the startup founders in developing a culture based purely through a people-centric lens.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I began my career in events and I loved working the freelance lifestyle because it allowed me to travel to 30+ countries and live in South America. I was fortunate to work in a variety of roles that built a unique skill set that I still use today.
I began to cultivate a global perspective the more I traveled and connected with people, and I found that this allowed me to help serve the people around me in a fuller capacity.
When I combined both my professional and personal experiences, I found my calling and decided to transition into the People and Culture realm.
I made the transition about 6 months ago as the Culture Architect for this startup called Keep Interacting.
My role was to understand who the founders are and what they were trying to cultivate and with that knowledge, build and design a company culture from the ground up.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
When COVID began, the company closed down and so my workday had completed shifted. These days, I focus on creating a sense of self and focusing on building new routines.
I usually start my day with a home-cooked meal and some easy goals to get the ball running. I’ll jump into the job search and research new ways to stay educated on COVID’s impact in the workplace.
I consult for this community that I am a core member of in Harlem called FED Social. We virtually come together to develop new strategies that allow the community to stay connected.
Currently, we have this Zoomcast called FEDBytes. The concept is getting to know your neighbor and they cook a meal that has some meaning for the guest while they talk.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
This new part of my life is all flexibility and I have focused on reigning in the free-for-all and creating those routines I mentioned.
What I did find important was maintaining mental and emotional flexibility, which allowed me time to feel the uncertainty of the pandemic but be able to bounce back and jump right back into my work.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance is everything to me! The funny thing is when I first joined the workforce it was more a life-work balance.
I saw so many people struggling to make money that they never enjoyed the fruits of their labor and have always worried about where the next paycheck came from.
This mindset allowed me to travel to 41 countries and now with my transition, I have focused on creating a space where that is balanced. The way that I achieve this goal is to make sure that whomever I work for/with have similar goals.
I strive to set boundaries with my colleagues that create a space for work and a space for myself. What’s the old saying “Work hard, play hard”?
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
It’s been all new routines actually, I never really had a routine before quarantine began and I didn’t see a need. The murkiness and uncertainty of the last few months, funnily enough, helped to clarify that building these healthy habits is pivotal in growing personally and professionally.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I found that IQPC was rich with content regarding my field, I would suggest signing on to the email list at www.IQPC.com. They are full of tools, webinars, and chock full of great content regarding the employee experience.
7) Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without?
I love my One Plus 7t cell phone. I started to use this app called Fabulous about a month or so ago. It’s a daily planner and self-care habit tracker. It’s engaging and highly customizable.
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I believe that we are coming to an age that we understand that life doesn’t only revolve around work. That life is complex and is made up of so much more.
I believe that with a little more balance in our lives, we will have stronger connections with ourselves, our family, and our community. Having balance will make us better people in relationships and the workplace.
Side effects include: successful, focused, motivated, and happy people and even more successful companies.
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