HR & Culture / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Rashi Goel, People & Culture Manager at Block Earner

Rashi Goel is the People & Culture Manager at Block Earner, an Australia-based FinTech powered by blockchain technology.

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter

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

I’m degree qualified as a software engineer and while working at my first full-time gig at a multinational tech organisation, I had the opportunity to work closely with the HR team on an internal project, which made me appreciate the challenges and opportunities in talent management. This experience led me to pursue a career in HR and I went on to earn a MBA in human resources from one of India’s highly reputed business schools.

With over 12 years of experience in HR, I’ve worked in industries including FMCG, financial services and most recently within the energy sector in Singapore. A post-Covid move to Australia with my family gave me the time to rethink my career ambitions and I wanted to take on a new challenge.

I was drawn to the world of tech startups and intrigued by the crypto space. Having dabbled in trading myself, I recognised the opportunity to back one of the most important trends in the future of finance and decided to take on my current role as people and culture lead at Block Earner.

My time at Block Earner has been nothing short of exciting so far, and the team have made enormous strides since launching in March this year.

From a recruitment standpoint, my key focus is on attracting and retaining the best talent with an intentional push on building a more gender-balanced team. Over the past six months we’ve consciously increased our female headcount by almost 60% and we also have an incredibly culturally diverse team, with over 10 nationalities in our Aussie HQ. Something that I’m extremely proud of.

It has been awesome to see our creative and collaborative team come together and work in lockstep to pursue innovation and excellence in our less than one year of existence and I can’t wait to ride the wave as we head into our next phase of growth!

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

As you can imagine, no two days are the same and I’m often trying to find the balance between back-to-back meetings and deep work mode.

Here’s a snippet of a recent work day (from the office):

Night before: Meal prep for lunch, which I try to keep aligned with mindful eating, something I started practising a couple of years ago.

Work AM (focus time): I start my mornings with a strong coffee. Then I usually get into the office around 9am and set my agenda for the day, blocking out focus time for myself depending on the meetings I have scheduled for the day.

Call me old school but I still prefer my paper diary to take notes and write out my to-do list for the day. Being organised is key for me and I love to follow a process, so I also have a Trello board, which I use to prioritise my weeks and the months ahead while also collaborating with the wider team.

Lunchtime: I personally try to stick to the same set meal times every day. One thing I love about our team office days (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) — although they’re not set in stone — is that when we do come in, we all make the effort to have lunch as a team.

We have an hour blocked out for lunch in our calendars between 12–1pm and are pretty good at sticking to it. I’ve learned so much about the team over lunch, including uncovering some pretty epic hidden talents!

Meetings: Knowing I’m in the office two days a week, I tend to plan ahead and schedule most meetings to be in person as I believe there’s immense value in face-to-face interactions. This includes informal check-ins with my team, coffee catch ups with other colleagues, as well as candidate interviews (when we’re hiring).

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

Given most individuals have unique needs and circumstances, a “good” work-life balance means different things to different people. To me, work-life balance means having enough time to spend with my family, especially my daughter and, of course, finding some time for myself too.

As a working mum, I’ve made a conscious effort to be present during her formative years, and my husband and I both make sure we chalk out the time to celebrate not only the milestones in her life but also the little moments, like being able to take her to the park or beach after work.

A couple of days in the week, I work flexibly around my daughter’s needs. Often I’ll either log off work early and jump back online after she sleeps for late calls with our remote teams in different time zones, or I’ll start my days a little earlier, so I can log off at lunchtime and spend some quality time with her.

I’m a firm believer that you can only do justice to the relationships in your life if you have done justice to the relationship with yourself first. So, having some downtime for myself is really important to me. I keep my mental wellbeing in check and recharge my batteries by actively carving out “me time” during the week, or on weekends — whether its going for a 5km run, while tuning into a podcast, booking in a spa day or just curling up on the couch with a good read or a true crime binge on Netflix.

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Melanie Perkins, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

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

This year, I’ve re-directed a lot of my focus on my physical and mental health, especially as we’ve started going back to the office and working in a hybrid way. Post-pandemic I’ve also grown to become more appreciative of in person human interactions. Whenever I’m in the office, I try to be more present and absorb positive energy from the people around me.

I come into the office two days a week and on my office days, I meal-prep the night before, which I try to keep balanced — usually a healthy side of carbs like chickpea pasta with roasted veggies or a grainy buddha bowl! I’m a foodie and don’t like to restrict myself. I find balance by enjoying all food, while still practising mindful eating.

I like to start my day with two glasses of water on an empty stomach and usually catch up on the latest headlines first thing in the morning. Since having my daughter, who is a toddler now, I’ve worked hard to introduce a consistent fitness routine back into my life and squeeze in either an early morning yoga or pilates class (before 8am) at least three times a week.

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

A storyteller I am inspired by is Jay Shetty. His podcast On Purpose has become one of my top “listens” and helps keep me motivated.

As a former Hindu monk and life coach, he shares his wisdom through insightful conversations with his podcast guests covering topical wellbeing issues like mental health, communication in relationships and at work, self-reflection and growth. Listening to him allows me to periodically check in with my own state of mindfulness.

I also subscribe to videos and podcasts by Simon Sinek to gain inspiration on both life and workplace topics like personal development and thought leadership. I highly recommend his podcast A Bit of Optimism to anyone looking to gain a new perspective on key areas in life and find hope.

Another great read I recommend is Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming, which delves into her personal life and covers the notions of self-discovery. We know her as the gracious first lady but in her book she gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of ‘becoming’ her, as she talks about three different stages in her life: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More.

In Becoming Me, she opens up about her upbringing and background, humble beginnings and the grit and determination she had to show, all before she even met her husband. It’s inspirational to learn about the identity she’s managed to create for herself while taking on all the responsibilities that come with being a first lady.

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

There is always something to learn from a blog, article, or interview on work-life balance. After becoming a mother, I have become particularly interested in understanding how successful leaders who are also parents try to strike a balance between work and their life with kids.

I’d love to get Mark Zuckerberg’s take on work–life balance. Naturally, his level of influence demands an incredible level of dedication and being a father to two young kids, with a third one on the way there must be a constant juggle between his personal and professional life.

I’m also intrigued by one of Elon Musk’s quotes about having children, he says, “My children didn’t choose to be born. I chose to have children. They owe me nothing, I owe them everything.He’s notoriously known for his 80-hour work week and I would love to know how he walks the talk with this bold statement (Sorry Elon!).

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

In 2022, work and life are almost synonymous with each other. It’s near impossible for us to get away from our devices and effectively compartmentalise the two. Talking about balance then, which becomes more reflexive, and not necessarily 50-50.

Perhaps, a work-life balance is achieved when an individual feels fulfilled both at work and in life outside of work. The challenge for organisations remains, to define and measure a successful “work-life” policy.

To create an environment where your people feel empowered and have the autonomy to define what balance truly looks like to them is the secret sauce in my opinion.

With this as the starting point and a core effort on implementing even more inclusive people policies, you can be on the right path to create a workplace culture where everyone feels like they can bring their whole self to work and go home feeling proud!

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.