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Balancing the Grind with Marisa Bryan, Global VP Talent at Contentsquare

Marisa Bryan is the Global VP Talent at Contentsquare, an experience analytics platform founded in Paris in 2012.

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

Since relocating to Europe about 15 years ago, I have been leading Talent Teams in EMEA and more recently, globally. My career started in HR back in Sydney, always working in culture led, growing companies. I’ve since lived 8 years in Paris, and now live in the UK. I speak fluent French, and currently lead the Global Talent team for a French tech Unicorn, Contentsquare. 

All Contentsquare employees share one goal: To help brands create exceptional online experiences with our industry-leading digital experience analytics platform. Since our launch in Paris, France, in 2012, we have grown to 1000+ employees around the world.

In addition to building a category-defining analytics platform, we’ve launched a startup incubator, Atomic Labs by Contentsquare, acquired multiple complementary technology companies, and created a nonprofit foundation focused on digital accessibility. Our 2021 Series E fundraising round, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, is projected to create more than 1,500 roles over the next three years. 

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

I wake up every day and Facetime my mother in Sydney. Talking to her each day has been the anchor for me as we’ve navigated a very tough couple of years. I walk our dogs, we have 4, and then get to work.

Throughout the day I take time to ensure I move away from the screens, put down the devices and breathe. I often take meetings on the phone so I can walk, and I listen to music all day.

Spreadsheets are a little less taxing if I’m singing along to Ed Sheeran and Swiftie. I work at home, and my partner works outside, so having the dogs to keep me company is vital for my mental wellbeing, as is having an office at home, so I have physical boundaries too.  

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

There is no such thing as work life balance. It is about harmony. There will always be time when work dips into personal time, and vice versa. You need to make it work for you and your immediate family. If you have children, or care for someone else, you need to create a schedule that works for everyone. If your employer can’t be flexible for you, think about finding another job!

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

I’ve been doing it a little longer than 12 months, but I fall asleep every night to Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels. Listening to those stories is the perfect end to a busy day. 

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

I have always read for pleasure rather than for work, and novels are my go to for escapism. I reread 19th century novels over and over again. And now, increasingly, I listen to them, Austen and Dickens, all the stories that captured my imagination as a young woman. 

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

I worked for Apple for five years, so my house feels like an Apple store. But outside I can’t live without sunscreen. I’m Australian, it’s like house keys, never leave without it.

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

 I’d like to know how the partners of the biggest founders feel about work life balance. Being on the other side of the narrative. That would be interesting. 

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

Only that like an exercise routine, you have to do what feels right for you. Some people can sleep 2 hours a day, and others need 12. Some people meditate every morning, some run and some do something completely different. There is no quick win, only being true to your unique self. So you do you, and I’ll do me.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.