Balancing the Grind with Vueve ‘Wave’ Cross, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Zen Educate

Vueve ‘Wave’ Cross is the Talent Acquisition Specialist at Zen Educate, a company on a mission to change the world of education recruitment.

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

I have had the privilege of holding a wide array of positions over the years. From casting extras for music videos to teaching students aged 3 to 18 in various countries, I am now an internal recruiter for Zen Educate.

I love recruiting because it allows me to share my enthusiasm and passion for the company with others. I am proud to be part of a team that is helping to create a better future for students and schools alike.

As a result, I am confident our efforts will make a lasting difference in providing students with the resources they need to succeed. Knowing that our work is having a positive impact on the lives and futures of students is incredibly fulfilling.

Additionally, I have the opportunity to hear stories from people all over the world. As I have a genuine interest in people- it’s been a great place to find myself.

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

I have a pretty quiet start to the day. My first hour is focused time where I can respond to any urgent requests, do essential outreach and set a game plan for the day. After that, I have various interviews for different roles across the organisation, ranging from less experienced roles to highly technical ones. It’s a great position if you like wearing a lot of hats within one role.

In addition to staying up to date with other initiatives, I am actively involved in the Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging efforts of the People Team. We have introduced professional development for our staff, as well as other initiatives to ensure we create an atmosphere of respect and understanding. Furthermore, we have implemented strategies to monitor and improve the team’s progress, such as tracking and assessing the effectiveness of our initiatives.

As a Mental Health First Aider, I find the time to check in with my colleagues. I understand that I may not be able to fix every problem, but I am equipped to direct them to useful resources that can help.

Last year, we trained up a few people through MHFA England, and I highly recommend that any organisation have a few Mental Health First Aiders on hand. Without this safety net, many issues may go unnoticed or unresolved, and I believe it is an invaluable resource.

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

For me, the value of time has shifted dramatically since becoming a parent. Before, I was proud of always being able to commit to something and never breaking my promises. Now, I am more selective about who and what I say yes to. Having a child has made me realise just how precious time is.

With that said, there are some things that are worth saying yes to every time. I’m clearly still working on my balance!

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

I have started a daily gratitude list which I write in my notepad on my phone every morning on my way to work. Taking a few moments to reflect on three things I am grateful for helps me to start my day with a positive mindset.

Additionally, I capture my favourite quotes as I come across them. Recently, my favourite quote has been, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito.” – African Proverb.

Additionally, I have taken away push notifications for most of my apps and regularly avoid social media and the news for 1-2 days a week. I also avoid clickbait news, which is anything speculative.

If an article could be true, but hasn’t been proven, then I don’t tend to avoid wasting my time reading about it. This helps me to stay present and focused. To make sure that I remain fully engaged with my family and friends, I always keep my phone on silent or even switch it off during meals together.

I also have an analogue watch- which is pretty retro at this point.  If I’m looking at my wrist- it’s only to check the time and not respond to a message or track my steps.

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

I have subscribed to Masterclass for the past few years, and it has been a real treat! I have had the opportunity to take classes in philosophy with Cornel West, cooking with Roy Choi and Gordon Ramsey, as well as diplomacy with Condoleezza Rice and the late Madeleine Albright. Every day I try to listen to a portion of a new class, which allows me to learn from the best professionals in other industries.

Last year, I made it a goal to read a book a month, and some of my favourites were This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (which made me value the efforts of our NHS staff even more) and Roy Choi’s L.A. Son. I’ve made nearly all of the recipes from his book and felt quite nostalgic while reading about his time in L.A.

I have also enjoyed the professional books Talent by Tyler Cowan and Daniel Gross, and Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock. I was able to pull a few great methods for interviewing from each book and have been putting them into practice, although I’m still a work in progress!

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

I would look for someone with a similar background to me who has achieved success. By learning from them, I could gain insight into how they overcame similar challenges that I face and gain a better understanding of how I can apply their strategies to my own life.

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

One of my colleagues said something the other day that really resonated with me. He said’ work will always fill the space you give it- there’s always something that can be done.’ I realised that I was creating space that no one was asking me to fill during nights and weekends.

Sometimes I find myself working into the evening, but that’s generally because I am excited about a particular project. I need to remind myself that the time I am giving I have created myself- and that’s when I will shut my laptop and eat a sandwich.

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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.