Megan Booty is the Head of People & Culture at Komodo, a platform that enables schools to build the best wellbeing strategies, measure their effectiveness and create the best possible environment for students.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My background is not the most conventional for a HR Professional. I graduated University in the UK in 2014 and emigrated to New Zealand a couple of months later, I then started working as an Operations Manager for a manufacturer, moved into a General Manager for a Transport company, then moved into a supporting role for a Deputy Chief Executive People for a large government agency and from that role I really got to move into more true People & Culture roles which was an incredible stepping stone.
I then held a few People & Culture Lead roles / HR General Manager roles before moving onto my current role at Komodo as their Head of People & Culture. My current role is with an incredible startup that operates in the EdTech space and everyday we collectively work hard to ensure that students worldwide have access to wellbeing support they can trust and feel safe with.
Given I am the Head of People & Culture my role encompasses a little bit of everything but all to do with supporting our people and the growth of the company. It’s an incredibly versatile role that truly does not feel like work to me.
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My work days recently look very different from this time last year. I now have a 7 month old and started back to work when my daughter was 5 months old on part time hours. For now a typical work day starts with a 6am wake up from my daughter (6.30am if I am lucky!), and then its parent duty for the next hour!
Once we get to 7am, my husband takes over and I get ready for my work day – grab breakfast, pack my bag and then I head into the office for the morning. I try to be in the office a few hours on my work days as it’s much easier to talk with the team, jump into last minute meetings and ask a ton of questions to ensure I am set up for the rest of my work day/week.
By 12pm, I pack my stuff and head home for the afternoon and I spend the rest of the time between mum mode and work mode (online meetings, recruitment interviews, policy updates, 1-1 with my team, general HR admin, planning for future meetings and activities). Once I get to 5pm, I am very conscious to sign off for the day to spend time with my daughter and husband.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Over the years work-life balance has meant different things as I’ve had different priorities, as I’ve got a little older and have my own family now it means that when I’m not at work, I don’t think about work or do work.
I actually have time to spend with family and friends where I am 100% present and can enjoy quality time and fill my cup back up. I previously worked in the emergency response sector where some employee’s roles and decisions truly had a life and death outcome – so when I am doing my job I have that in mind, and think is this email, or decision life or death if it doesn’t happen tonight – more than likely it can always wait until the next day.
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I probably have become more focused on ensuring I have priority lists and planning in advance. Time moves incredibly quickly in the startup world (and parenthood), so ensuring that I am doing work at the right time when needed, but also planning for the future workload.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
In all honesty I have never been a huge reader of books and newsletters – but I do have the app ‘Medium’ and I read a ton on there! I much prefer watching/listening to TED talks, or interviews in the background of doing day to day things.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I don’t think I have a singular person in mind when it comes to this answer, but I love reading the interviews of anyone in c-suite roles, co-founders or anyone one that leads teams and / or departments. I love seeing a snapshot into how a bunch of incredibly busy, different people with demanding workloads manage their own work-life balance.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
That whatever your job, whatever the company, whatever your lifestyle – ensure you work hard to switch off once you leave the office for the day, the week or for your holidays. Your family and friends only have one version of you, but your job could replace you tomorrow – so don’t lose sight of that.
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