Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Liz McCarthy, Chief Customer Officer at OneTwo Home Loans

Liz McCarthy is the Chief Customer Officer at OneTwo Home Loans, a challenger lender offering a brand new kind of home loan.

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

I’ve worked in a variety of very interesting roles across Marketing, Customer, Product and Operational roles within the financial services and aviation industries, and have built and led teams for both big corporations and start-ups.  

I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled extensively across SE Asia during my 6 years spent at Jetstar, where I led Marketing and Customer Care teams.  My family had a three-year stint living in Tokyo which was incredible.    

I feel really lucky to have landed in my current role as CCO at OneTwo.  As a business, we were born and have grown in covid and our ways of working continue to be predominantly working from home.  I think we’ve managed to develop a great team culture despite not having spent much time together in person.  

I joined in mid-2020 and feel I’ve had a clean slate to truly influence the way the home loans work in Australia, leveraging a genuinely compelling product and experience.  Particularly now, people are reassessing their living costs and refinancing is proving to be a great solution for so many people, myself included!    

I’ve found my perfect combination of a great culture where I feel connected while working from home, a product and brand I’m really passionate about and I’m working alongside some super talented people.

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

I’m an early starter and working from home means I’m usually at my desk by about 7am to have some clear thinking and planning time before the Slacks and meetings kick off.     

I do fall victim to having a calendar full of video calls, but I try to limit meetings to be 20 mins, and then have longer sessions for think tanks etc.  I’m at my best in the morning so I use this time to work through our business and operational targets, customer communications, making customer calls or upcoming marketing campaigns. 

I try to fit in a lunchtime pilates class up the street a couple of times a week, which gets me out of the house and clears my head for the afternoon.  

I have a beautiful black labrador Tom so I make sure to head out and walk him for 30 minutes each day.  During our walk I usually use the time to listen and learn from recorded customer calls, or play back a meeting I might have missed, or listen to a podcast to keep up to speed with the industry.     

I usually use my afternoons to check in our sales, lending and operational teams along with external meetings with agencies or business partners.  The back end of the day is spent in a daily session with the rest of the leadership team usually right up till about 6pm.  

Then it’s off to get dinner sorted for the kids.  It’s important to me that I sit down with my two children at least 4 nights a week with a home cooked meal.  This time is precious.

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

I think about my life as a portfolio of commitments and passions.  Each day brings different priorities to juggle, but I know when I let slide the things that fill my cup, I’m not operating as my best self.  

I’m a sole parent to two teenagers, I have ageing parents, I have a large friendship network of both new and life long friends along with a social life that brings me great joy. I’m also planning a renovation and feel quite passionate about interior design, so I want to really enjoy the process. I’m someone that needs a good 7-8 hours of sleep a night, fresh air, lots of light and exercise each day to feel good.  I’m constantly juggling these priorities.  

My work can be demanding and certainly takes up a lot of time but it’s always interesting and I’m driven to make a difference.  I also make sure to take regular breaks throughout the year, whether it’s a week’s holiday or even a long weekend trip to have that mental break and refresh.  

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

I’ve always been active, but I’ve just gone back to a diet with intermittent fasting, something that I did consistently when I lived in Tokyo and had a very clean diet. It works for me to keep me feeling healthy and energised.   

My son got his driver’s licence recently which was a game changer. He can now drive himself and his sister to early morning and weekend sport commitments.  He can even pick me up from a friend’s place if I’ve had a few too many drinks.  What feels like a lifetime of taxi service has finally come back around for me!  

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

I love the design podcast, House of Style.  Interviews with some incredible designers, artists and furniture designers.

My favourite book at the moment is Principles of Style by Sarah Andrews and Athena Calderone’s Live Beautiful.

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

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

You’re the only one that can give yourself the time and self care you need.  Prioritise your wellbeing and the things that work for you to be your best and everything else will fall into place. Spend time with your family.

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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.