Jacob Errey is the Faculty Recruitment Officer at UNSW, where he is responsible for the Art & Design product portfolio, and connecting the right students with the right study option.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Currently I’m a Faculty Recruitment Officer at UNSW Sydney. It’s a product marketing role where I’m responsible for the Art & Design product portfolio, and connecting the right students with the right study option at one of the world’s best creative faculties. I’m also a creative myself with degrees in Fine Arts and Education.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m lucky I get to work between quite a few teams and with external stakeholders. Yesterday involved a few meetings to keep my big projects moving, some busy-work writing marketing content and a management brief, and then in the early evening facilitating a webinar 150+ of our education agents from around the world.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
UNSW has had some fantastic flexible working arrangements for a long time! Of course 2020 is different. We’re all working remotely. It’s posed plenty of challenges initially, but we’re overcoming them! Now we’ve proven that, I’m sure once we start (slowly) returning to normality there’ll be more remote working.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I was going to say that we need to make a level of sacrifice to our personal life for our work and vice versa, and that work-life balance means acknowledging and consistently managing that.
On reflection, it’s equally or more true that they (should) support rather than take away from each other. Harder to achieve, but maybe this is what work-life balance really means.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Maybe it’s one of my more masculte attributes; but don’t think multitasking is all it’s cracked up to be. Of course we need to do stacks of things in a day, but giving your whole presence to one person, or one task at a time is a great habit (and often, a great challenge).
A more nerdy practical one: good old desk posture! It’s especially important to me now while pressing buttons replaces running around offices to speak with colleagues or produce events.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts are a staple. A dose of live music guaranteed not to include work or pandemic related talk. What more could you want?
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Like I said before, I try my best to give myself to one thing at a time. If I’m having a meal with someone, I’m with them. If I’m writing some content for work, that new email can wait a few minutes.
It can be easier said than done. Right now when work and the rest of life are all under one roof, it’s harder than ever, but I’m learning and I’ll take what I learn beyond this situation.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
What a great question! I sometimes have to remind myself that my work is not life-or-death, so I’d love to hear from someone whose work makes it more challenging to say that.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t give too much weight to what others say you should be doing to achieve whatever they think work-life balance is! By all means, read and take anything that resonates but self-care, what balance is and how you get there are all deeply individual and evolving things.
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