Jennifer Chandler is a Content Manager at Mindset Health, a company building hypnosis-based digital therapeutics for chronic health conditions like IBS, menopause and depression.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve always been a writer. I published my first newspaper aged 8 and never looked back. It’s been really exciting over the past 20 years watching ‘copywriting’ develop into a core business function that goes well beyond a snazzy headline and into content marketing.
I’m lucky to have had a career across many different industries: travel, finance, higher education, and agency-side. During that time I’ve discovered that it doesn’t really matter to me which industry I’m working in, as long as I feel like I’m contributing to something positive to the world. Purpose beyond profit.
I’ve just started a new role as the Content Manager at Mindset Health. They create mobile hypnotherapy apps to help people to improve their health without the use of drugs or diets. My main focus is on longform content, such as psycho-educational pieces that support our programs.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
It depends on whether we’re in or out of lockdown! I have two boys aged 11 and 9, and the past year has been pretty interesting juggling home school and work.
In fact I started my current role while homeschooling and my first few meetings were peppered with a side of long division and French work. In a ‘normal’ world I’m up before the family to get the fire going, feed the dog, make lunches and make sure everything is ready to go before the school bus arrives.
Work normally starts around 8am with some writing before a daily stand up at 10am. Because I’m new, and the business is growing and changing at such a fast rate, there’s usually some brainstorming sessions with product or marketing teams or a meeting to get to know our clinicians.
Later in the day I try to do some blog editing before the kids get home from school. I try to finish at 5pm and Mindset has been incredibly encouraging of their staff to work healthy hours.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’m incredibly lucky that I am able to work almost fully remotely. My family made the choice to leave Melbourne earlier this year.
We’ve moved to 20 acres, off grid, in the High Country. It’s heaven on Earth and each day I get to see kangaroos, cockatoos and the occasional echidna outside my office window.
Alex and Chris, Mindset’s Co-Founders, really encourage all their staff to make work fit into their life. They want us to be the best we can be and understand that that means a different combination of office, home, and work hours for everyone.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
In my 20s I worked crazy hours: late nights, early mornings, weekends. It took me a long time to realise that those hours weren’t making me any more fulfilled or getting me any further up the career ladder.
Once I had children it all came crashing down. There never seemed to be a right balance between making time for my family and making time for my career. I felt I had to always choose one or the other, not both.
That was one of the appealing parts of my current role (apart from the amazing product!). I really feel like I can be a parent, be available for my kids when they come home from school, look after my own health and wellbeing, and have a challenging and fulfilling career.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Commuting! No, seriously – the amount of quality time I have in my day without sitting in traffic every day is amazing. It gives me a chance to have meaningful conversations with my children when their school day is still fresh in their minds, I have time to make healthier meals, and I have time to decompress.
Probably most importantly it allows me more time to sleep, because I’m not getting up at 5.30am every morning to get a gym session in before work. Over time I’ve learnt getting enough sleep is absolutely key for my mental health.
And I gave up the gym too! Now I’m living the country life. My exercise involves cutting wood and fixing fences!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Daily Dad is a fantastic newsletter, even for Mums. Bite sized, helpful hints on how to be a decent parent and give your children the full you. When we’re juggling busy work it can be hard to be the parent you want to be and I find Daily Day is a wonderful coach in my inbox each day.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I try to fit in a short yoga session every day with Asana Rebel. I much prefer it to face to face classes as I can fit it in whenever I have a few minutes spare. Even just a quick 5 min stretch helps me reset my brain.
And Words with Friends – hardly groundbreaking, but during our long lockdown last year it was my main connection to my father who lives in a different state. When things were getting intense at home, it always brought some light relief, and helped me feel like I was still connected to the rest of the world.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Sally Johnson. An absolute legend of a woman. After an amazing career in marketing, and successful side-hustle as a photographer, she completely switched careers after motherhood.
Sally is now the master franchisee of We Rock the Spectrum. I would love to hear how she managed to build this incredible business, while balancing parenthood and navigating COVID-19.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t settle for a life that makes you unhappy. If you’re too tired, too stressed, too stretched – there is always another way. We can become accustomed to living in stressful work situations, thinking that the payoff (or the pay) makes it worthwhile, but really we’re just headed for burnout. If your work doesn’t value you enough to give you the hours or flexibility you need to feel like you’re winning in all areas of your life, then it’s time to move on.
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