Balancing the Grind with Tanya Martin, Head of Partnerships – ANZ at GoCardless

Tanya Martin is the Head of Partnerships – ANZ at GoCardless, a leading fintech for bank-to-bank payments on a mission to take the pain out of getting paid for businesses with recurring revenue.

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

I started out in FMCG at Procter & Gamble, which gave me a great background in sales and relationship management, and I was fortunate that when I made the move to financial services.

I was hired by a leader who considered my soft skills completely transferable and knew I could learn the payments side – and I haven’t looked back.

I spent ten years in the world of credit cards at both American Express and Visa managing relationships with some of Australia’s largest merchants and then moved on to bank partnerships. I joined GoCardless in March 2020 as the first hire for Partnerships in the region.

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

Most of my time at GoCardless has been spent working from home in locked down Melbourne. I start my day catching up on emails while I have my breakfast and coffee (being a UK based company, even if I empty my inbox the day before, it’s guaranteed to fill up again overnight).

The Partnerships team is global, so I will often have calls with the US in the morning, then move into local meetings with both existing and prospective partners throughout the day, and calls with the UK at the end of the day and into the evening.

I love to run, so I make sure I fit one in at some point during the day, whenever the schedule allows.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My role, and GoCardless, allow me to work both flexibly and remotely.

Given we’re a global company which often results in taking calls outside standard business hours, I feel supported to take time out during business hours for personal reasons where I need to.

I’ve been lucky to have leaders throughout most of my career who value output and results and not time spent at your desk during business hours, and this is very important to me.

On top of this, the company has recently implemented its ‘Adaptive Working’ policy, which means we have the freedom to choose how often we work in the office, as well as the option to work from anywhere in the world for 90 days per year.

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

It means not having to compromise on things I want to do personally, because of work.

I’ve always been good at time management and planning which helps. I will block time in my calendar for a run to make sure I fit it in.

The team know I’m flexible with this and can move it for a meeting, but having it in my calendar means, more often than not, the time is cleared and I can fit it in around my work commitments.

I’m more than happy to work outside normal business hours to meet the demands of the job, knowing that I have the flexibility to also achieve my personal goals.

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

We’ve been locked down, hasn’t everyone!? Like everyone, I started cycling – although this was more out of necessity as I was injured and unable to run, but it was important to me to still have a physical outlet to help keep me sane during the pandemic.

With the increased amount of working from home, I realised I needed something at the end of the day to define the end of work and the start of personal time, which wasn’t always a glass of wine. So I started switching off the laptop and reading or doing a puzzle for a bit, which was a great way to clear my mind and wind down.

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

I love any true crime podcast (The Sure Thing is my most recent favourite) and a good read of fiction. I love that feeling of getting so into a book that you don’t want to do anything else until you’ve finished it.

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

On a practical level, my phone, because with the exception of a few things, I can access everything I need on there. On a more indulgent level, my KitchenAid stand mixer which gets a heavy workout most weekends.

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

Sinead Diver, who started running at the age of 32 and 12 years later has qualified to represent Australia in the marathon at the upcoming Olympics – whilst simultaneously managing a career in IT and a family.

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

Balance means different things to different people so there’s no one size fits all approach. You have to decide what it means to you and take control of it, as no one else can do it for you.

This might be hard or uncomfortable to start with, but making time for yourself will make you happier, which will likely make you more productive in the workplace so ultimately everyone wins.

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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.