Myriem Slater is the founder of Purposeek, a life and career coaching program to help people find their purpose and their true career path.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am a career and life coach and the founder of Purposeek, a unique and innovative life and career coaching program to help people find their purpose and their true career path.
Back in 2020 I moved on from a finance director role in the corporate world to become an entrepreneur and business founder. Since then, I’ve set up three different businesses: NC Slater Joinery – a joinery & carpentry business; MSDF Consulting – a digital finance start-up; and Purposeek.
The finance start-up is a natural extension to my experience skill set, the joinery business is a collaboration opportunity that turned out to be profitable, while Purposeek is a true passion of mine. While all 3 businesses are very different, they work concurrently, with the first two giving me the flexibility and freedom to explore my passion.
More importantly, I am the happy wife of a handsome Aussie man and the grateful mother of 2 beautiful kids.
I started my career in management consulting. I worked for more than 15 years for consulting firms such as Accenture, EY and Deloitte, primarily in roles focussed on finance transformation and solutions design.
I am very grateful for my experience in the corporate world as I learnt a lot in a fast-paced and high-performance environment. However somehow, despite all my career achievements, I wasn’t really happy and I couldn’t understand why, so I kept pushing things along until my body shut down.
This was a wakeup call for me and the trigger to start my purpose seeking journey, hoping to clarify my vision and find some answers. What a life changing experience for me! Finding my purpose has led me to find my true career path (or paths!), as well as my happiness and success. Now my priority is to help others to do the same!
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I start my day around 7am by doing my prayer and preparing my kids for school and day-care. Then after school drop-offs, my husband and I go grab our favourite coffee and/or breaky while talking about our day, our plans for the week and for the future.
Then I am ready to start my workday around 9:30am. I usually work on the Joinery and Finance Businesses in the morning and go through all prioritised tasks. I work from home full-time, however I will occasionally go to the city to attend client meetings. I also like to fit in a quick walk with my sister or an F45 session here and there with my husband if time permits!
I usually make a quick sandwich for lunch and start working on my favourite subject, the Purposeek program around 2pm. I will either write articles about life and career change, prepare my coaching sessions, promote the program, or prepare content for the website, newsletter and social media.
I will usually stop working around 4pm to prepare dinner for my family as I love cooking, especially French and Moroccan food, while my husband goes to pick up the kids. We all have dinner and play together until bedtime.
Once the kids are asleep, I will either watch a movie with my husband or start my second working day. Lately, I have been working most evenings preparing my upcoming podcast series called “PurposeCast”, a podcast designed for participants to share stories about their purpose-seeking journey, the obstacles and challenges they have faced to make the change they needed, and how they are progressing towards living a happy and fulfilled life.
I must say, I love grabbing a cup of tea and a madeleine (a French pastry) cooked by my beautiful sister, then go to my home office to prepare my podcast and pretend that hundreds of people are listening to me! As they say, dream big, act small!
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me work-life balance is really about loving what you do, creating the best work environment for yourself and connecting with people around you!
I remember that when I used to work long hours in the consulting world, I felt really exhausted and even when I was on the bench (a consulting industry term when you are not assigned to an active project), therefore working reasonable hours or from home, I still couldn’t find my peace of mind or lower my stress level, so I didn’t really feel the benefits of having a work-life balance!
Today, I can work more than 12 hours a day when I have to prepare proposals for my businesses or do long hours of research for the Purposeek program and I very rarely feel tired or drained. I wake up every morning happy, energised and ready to take on whatever challenges I face, simply because I just love what I do.
I also believe that the work environment is very important and plays a big part in promoting or preventing work-life balance. Work-life balance is simply not possible in a toxic environment. Since I have been able to create my own healthy work environment with the flexibility that I need to enjoy my personal and family time, I’ve really felt the benefits of achieving my own type of work-life balance.
Finally, connecting with people, friends, colleagues, new connections, is what gives purpose and meaning to our life and consequently, a new perspective on how we perceive things. Hearing from inspiring people about a topic such as work-life balance, will influence our outlook on it and motivate us to take actions to implement it in our life.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have worked on my mindset in particular over the past two years, however I have also decided to focus on my physical health more recently after the birth of my baby girl in 2021.
I have tried to improve my diet by getting the help of a nutritionist who recommended that I stop eating French pastries for breakfast every day. Which I did! I also decided to go back to playing tennis, my favourite sport.
At last, I started to take time for myself, at least twice a week, to do things that I love such as painting and writing. I used to love painting when I was a kid. It takes me back to very nice childhood memories.
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love to read or listen to Brene Brown who talks about vulnerability, amongst other things. I recommend her TED Talk “The power of vulnerability”. Many people are struggling with work-life balance like I used to, and I think that vulnerability is essential to realise that we are not the only ones struggling with it, there is a lot to learn from it and there is certainly a happy ending to it. We just have to open up about it, share our struggles and ask for help when needed.
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I would love to hear from my favourite actor Idris Elba who is also a DJ and a music producer. I would love to learn more about how he juggles between all his work and still find the time for his political and humanitarian engagements.
Idris has addressed the UK Parliament regarding the concern of the lack of diversity on screen, stating, ‘Change is coming but it’s taking its sweet time’! What an inspiration for all of us!
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Work-life balance is a must have for all of us! However, it is certainly more achievable when we love what we do, we connect with people, and we evolve in a healthy work environment.
Despite running three businesses at the same time, I am finally feeling the benefits of work-life balance. So my advice to anyone would ultimately be to find your purpose and what you love to do, then don’t be afraid to go for it!! It is worth it.
I highly recommend to learn about the “state of flow” that enables you to increase your work productivity so you can find more time for yourself to do whatever you feel like, cooking, painting, reading, sport activities, listening to music, you name it!
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