Balancing the Grind with Laura Holcombe, Senior Talent Partner at Faculty

Laura Holcombe is the Senior Talent Partner at Faculty, a company that builds and deploys safe AI systems that combine the best of human and artificial intelligence.

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

My career was very hit and miss before I became a recruiter. I was in and out of roles that I just didn’t enjoy and didn’t feel inspired by. I did sales roles, marketing roles, customer service roles but never seemed to find the role that was the best fit for me.

Then, as most people do, I fell into recruitment. I can’t drive, so traditional recruitment agencies had never really been an option because most required a licence. I worked for a really small boutique recruitment agency as employee number 2.

I worked from home (progressive for 2019!) and absolutely fell in love with recruitment. In the nearly 3 years since then I’ve been so lucky to progress my career reasonably quickly. I’m now a Senior Talent Partner at an AI technology company called Faculty where I focus on hiring for our commercial teams – basically all non technical roles. 

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

I work from home most of the time and my company is super flexible which is so nice because I can structure my day in a way that suits me. Most days, I wake up and have breakfast which I usually wrap up by about 8:30am or 9am.

I love watching the news in the morning. I usually start my work day by sending out messages to candidates I’ve sourced the day before as well as responding to direct applicants. I block that time out in my calendar and usually finish at about 11.

Then my day is usually filled with candidate screening calls and meetings. I block out time to source towards the end of the day so I have a fresh crop of candidates to message the next morning.

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

I think it’s so important to remember that work is a part of life, not your whole life. It’s important for your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing to have time for yourself. Work-life balance to me means I work during work hours and set firm boundaries around that with the people that I work with.

I don’t want to be contacted outside of work hours, I don’t want to be contacted if I’m on annual leave. It might sound a bit harsh or brutal to some but I will simply ignore anything work related until the next time I am working. Again, I’m lucky to work for a company that respects this and does everything they can to promote a healthy work-life balance amongst the team.

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

Yes! I have deleted all of my social media (apart from LinkedIn, I deleted that from my phone but I use it for work.) I chronically compared myself to others and found that social media was making that much worse.

I know social media is a curated window into someone’s life but I still find it hard to consume it and not feel less than all the people I perceive to be more productive, more social, doing more, having more. As much as I love and miss TikTok, I’m self aware enough to realise it’s something that doesn’t serve me, so in the bin it went!

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

I must admit I’m not much of a podcast lover (I know, shocking!) but I do love an audiobook. If you’re a fan of history, I’d highly recommend anything by Ian Mortimer as his books are very easy to digest and so, so interesting. 

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

I am fascinated by people who maintain a strong work-life balance while holding down a full time job and a side hustle and having a family.

I think it’s probably quite easy to do if you’re rich and famous and have tons of help, but there’s a lot of people out there doing it who aren’t billionaires. I know I haven’t named a specific name, but I probably follow a few people on LinkedIn who I’d love to quiz on this!

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

I guess to remember that life is short, and while I have huge respect for the people out there grinding and hustling their way through it, I just don’t believe we were put on this earth solely to work, so remember: TAKE YOUR PTO! 

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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.