HR & Culture / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Lucy Chisholm, HR Lead at Zeller

Lucy Chisholm is the HR Lead at Zeller, a company which allows for smarter payments for growing businesses.

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

I’m currently the HR Lead at Zeller, an exciting fintech based out of Melbourne, and the fastest-ever Australian company to reach ‘unicorn’ status. My current focus at Zeller is on building an incredible employee experience and culture for our team of over 200 worldwide.

Before working at Zeller I was the HR Lead for the APAC region at Eventbrite, and earlier in my career, I held HR roles in a variety of industries. Once I moved into tech, I quickly realised I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

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

I’m up by 6.30 am, and my kids aren’t too far behind me. My husband is out the door early so the kids get ready for the day and then we do our best to enjoy breakfast together (overnight oats are our go-to). Once the kids are ‘fed and watered’ we’re out the door for school and kinder drop-offs. 

If I’m working from the office I’ll head to the train station to commute into the city. This is the first proper chance to get back to any Slack messages or emails that have come in; if it’s quiet on that front then I’ll put on a podcast or playlist. 

I like to stack my in-office days with meetings – I love catching up face-to-face with the team and thoroughly enjoy the impromptu coffees and walking meetings. Post-work I’ll occasionally catch up with family or friends, and if it’s a Friday then you’ll very possibly find the team coming together late afternoon for a social catch-up.

My days working from home are great for ticking things off my ‘to-do’ list – be it policies, strategy, or planning fun events for the team. I also like to escape from my desk for a walk or workout at some point during the day.

My husband often picks up the kids and looks after the dinner and bath routine; I’ll be home in time for a book and bedtime cuddles with the kids and then we’ll enjoy dinner and unwind from the day together. 

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

Ahhh, balance. I do wonder nowadays if it’s more of a work-life blend. Simply put, for me, work-life balance (or blend!) is having the flexibility to be present and productive in both my home and work life. 

I achieve balance by knowing when I need to lean into or step back from certain things – I’m hyper-aware when things might be a little off-balance, and know that a quick reassessment of my priorities can get things back on track. 

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

Actually, yes. When limited to our homes during Melbourne’s lockdowns I often found myself mindlessly ‘doom scrolling’ – never good for one’s health and wellbeing.

I’ve since deleted social media apps from my phone, only checking in occasionally. I love catching up with friends and hearing their news first-hand, as opposed to seeing it on social media.

I’m also back at the gym and after a (far too lengthy) hiatus – it’s been a game changer. 

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

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I’m walking or on the train heading to the office. A current go-to is The Imperfects, with Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of The Resilience Project. I always manage to find an episode that resonates with what’s going on in my life – be it about kids, work, or life in general. 

Amantha Imber’s ‘How I Work’ podcast is another one on the list. Amantha is an organisational psychologist, and founder of Inventium, a recognised behavioural science consultancy. Amantha interviews people about their ‘habits, rituals and strategies for optimising their day’. There are some little gems in there. 

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

Jamila Rizvi seems to be doing a pretty good job at keeping on top of all that life has to throw her way. I am fortunate to be a member of Future Women, and her webinars and podcasts are awesome and empowering. 

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

Self-care is incredibly important. It took me a long time to realise that it’s only when I am at my best that I can do my best and be my best for others – be it at home or in the workplace. So finding something you enjoy, be it exercise, reading, or socialising – is key. 

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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.