Interviews / Operations

Balancing the Grind with Jamie Hancock, Business Operations Lead at Snap Inc.

Jamie Hancock is a Business Operations Lead at Snap Inc., where he is based in the UK. His previous experience includes working at Tubular Labs and YouTube/Google.

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

I am Jamie Hancock and lead business operations at Snap Inc in the UK. This means my team manages the troubleshooting and optimization of all of Snapchats international advertisers.

Previously I was at a social video measurement company called Tubular for 3 years and at Google for 6 years prior to that. I managed to get a lucky start into the ad industry as I started off my career doing recruitment but when hiring realised it was an area that really was interesting and had lots of potential.

Having studied sports science at university I didn’t really imagine it was a career I would get into.

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

My days are pretty busy at the moment as we are trying to hire quickly to help us scale internationally. That means lots of interviews!

We are still working from home and coming out of lockdown, so a lot of my day is coordinating the team and ensuring we are going in the right direction towards our northstar goal of providing premium service at scale.

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

I actually started my role the week that the pandemic really started to peak, so all my work has been remote and I have yet to make it into the London office! This has meant that late calls with LA are a lot more manageable without having to jump onto a lengthy commute afterwards.

I normally train with my Rugby team two days a week, so when normally in the office, having this deadline is really helpful in making sure I leave the office on time.

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

I really believe that you should work to live instead of living to work! This can mean that hitting your career goals may take slightly longer but you will be much happier when you get there because you have not missed out on the chance for life experiences on the way.

I lived in Sydney for a couple of years and this had a big impact on me, as there is a much more balanced work-life balance than in London.

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

One big thing I started doing was turning off email notifications on my phone. This really helped me switch off from work and only get updates on work when I actively checked.

Much like everyone else I am constantly on my phone, so in reality I rarely miss an email but ensures I am in the right mindset to check rather than them disturbing my down time.

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

I am a big fan of ‘That Peter Crouch podcast’ which is a bit of a casual football and entertainment podcast. I normally listen to that to switch off on the train home or on a run!

Work wise, I subscribe to Management Today which has some great articles on leadership and management theory. I also read my industry news on Digiday, The Drum and Campaign Live plus The Hustle and No Mercy/No Malice for more casual business news.

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

As I work for Snapchat I can’t pass on recommending that! Otherwise, I recently bought a Fitbit which has been great whilst working from home to remind me to stay active and stand up after back to back calls.

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

I think Bill Gates would be great to learn more about how he manages work-life balance. He seems to be one of the only billionaires that stopped being CEO early enough to use his wealth and experience to make a difference in the world away from tech.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

The only thing I would say is that nobody has the answer to work-life balance! I have worked with people that never stop working, but work is what they enjoy the most, so you could say they have mastered work-life balance!

Find time to do the things you love, if that is work, then that makes it a lot easier. If it’s outside of work, then make sure to allocate time for it. You don’t want to be on your deathbed regretting doing something you love when you didn’t have the chance.

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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.