Natasha Viceral is the Talent Acquisition Lead at Intellect, venture-backed mental health startup building an entirely new way for individuals and organizations to care for their mental health, wellbeing, and personal development.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Yes, of course! Hello, I’m Tasha and thanks so much for having me!
A few startups have started to come up here and there in Manila in 2016, and just the concept of a more flexible and less corporate environment was refreshing. I got an invitation to apply for one of the startups that had set up shop in Manila called Magic, Inc.
At first I was in the hiring process for an operations role, but eventually was offered a spot in their recruitment team as a Recruitment Associate. This is where my career in recruitment began. It was great to be able to work with colleagues that had come from all the way from San Francisco. I definitely learned a lot from them.
After a year, I worked up to a Recruitment Manager role and was in that position for almost 4 years. At that point, I was able to contribute in growing the company’s workforce from 80 employees to over 200.
My team and also I recruited over 1,000 contractors for the operations team and for special projects. I had quite a big team towards the tail end of my time with Magic and I am so grateful to have worked alongside such an amazing set of colleagues!
I almost hit the 5-year mark before I decided to join Intellect as their Talent Acquisition Lead. Intellect is a mental health tech company whose mission is to make mental healthcare & wellbeing support accessible for everyone.
I’m currently leading the Talent Acquisition team that drives hiring for the company across different departments. I work closely with internal stakeholders on roles that need to be filled. I joined in 2021 when the team was just about 20 something and now we’re over 100! It’s pretty cool to see how much the company has grown since then.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
There’s a lot of different things that go into my day!
I’m a huge breakfast person so I have to grab some before diving right into work. I sometimes go on a really quick walk around my neighbourhood when I can.
Once I log in, I would first go through emails and Slack messages then I’d review my schedule. I also check in with my team to share announcements or see if they need help with anything. Coordination with candidates on their applications and hiring managers on their open roles are also a part of my day.
I have meetings with my team, other teams, and leadership about major projects and the like. I’d usually do interviews towards the middle of the day. Sometimes, there are curveballs and ad hoc tasks that need to be done as well. Other hiring-related work is scattered across the hours.
I consider after work hours to be my “alone time”. To wind down, I like to have a nice meal and watch YouTube or TikTok videos. When I still have enough energy, I would play video games too.
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
These days, I think work and life is a little more integrated especially because of the work-from-home situation. I’ve only ever been employed with companies that offer hybrid work or remote work – and that has worked out wonderfully for me so far! Being pleased with the fusion of work life and personal life as a whole is something I consider as work-life balance.
I am comfortable in my home office set-up, but sometimes I also like to visit my dad who resides at least an hour away from where I live. My current company makes it easy for me to accomplish my tasks and at the same time make time for loved ones, mostly because of our hybrid/remote set-up and generous paid time off.
I love to travel and this actually helps with my mental health a lot. Being able to work from anywhere on a flexible schedule has been nothing short of amazing.I believe it’s not solely one person’s job to achieve work-life-balance, but for companies to aid that as well by offering flexibility, and genuinely caring about their employee’s well being.
However, I do work to achieve this goal by acknowledging my threshold when it comes to stress and burnout, and working through that when needed. I’m thankful for managers that empower our team to own our wellbeing, and encourage us to do what we need to do to get back to our 100%.
I don’t have Slack or my work email logged into my phone because it’s just an easier way for me to disconnect. I mostly attend to my tasks when I’m on my laptop and during our core work hours. This has pretty much helped me keep my mind off work while outside of work hours, during weekends and while I’m on any type of leave.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’m working on not being so hard on myself, especially for things that are not within my control. In relation to that, I’m trying to start to speak more kindly to myself. I realised that whether it’s negative or positive, your thoughts and words manifest into a reality.
I started going on more walks because I need to get some activity in my life since I stopped dancing with my group of friends (and in general).
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I was so fond of reading books back in high school. I don’t know what happened. Haha! This may be quite different from what everyone else that has done this interview recommended but, I love fantasy books so my favourite series would probably have to be Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan. If you’re a fan of vampires like I am, this would be a good recommendation.
As for podcasts, my cousin Hannah Pangilinan has a podcast out on Spotify called Pausecast. It’s a kind approach to well-being, and you can listen to guided “talk throughs” and explorative chats on all things that are you – body, mind and spirit. It’s a perfect companion for when the mind is free while the hands and eyes are busy. I definitely recommend it!
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
You know, I see all these amazing recruiters on LinkedIn and I always wonder what their work-life balance is like. I’d be so interested to read about a day in the life of different recruiters and HR professionals!
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Not everything will be rainbows and butterflies at work and in life. We all go through struggles in both at some point in our lives. Having access to an app like Intellect has helped me a lot especially when I’m going through it, as they say. Let’s face it, we all need a little help when the going gets tough.
I’ve found the rescue sessions and journaling features of the Intellect app to be tremendously helpful. On top of that, being able to speak to a behavioural help coach on the platform has been a great experience as well.
I’m personally still working on this, but setting boundaries and acknowledging when you’re close to reaching your limit really helps in achieving work-life balance. I’ve learned that there are situations where you can’t always be a yes man, and that is for your own good.
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