Finding work-new parent life balance with Rachel Enstrom

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Reader’s note: This is a partial transcription from the first episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show. To hear the full episodes (it’s only about 10 minutes), click the podcast embed above.

Pop quiz: Who is the child and who is the pet, Henrik or Hank? Not only does Horizontal Talent’s Director of Global Marketing, Product and Technology manage the two, but she manages her work-life balance like a pro. Read Rachel Enstrom’s tips on work-life balance and the tech industry now.

How has your role adjusted since becoming a mother?

During the pregnancy, there were a lot of moments where I had to change my mindset, both personally and professionally. During that time and during maternity leave, I had to reinvent myself. Work will always be there, so you have to be able to decline a meeting that’s during daycare pickup. That first giggle or first rollover is really important, so I had to change my mindset and reprioritize a few things. I love this job and I love the challenges that it has, but being a mom also has challenges.

How has your day-to-day routine changed?

I work with a lot of technology developers in India and Malaysia, so my mornings have have always existed of early rising and lots of coffee. Closing the day around 3:30 to spend those priceless couple hours with Henrik (if you guessed Henrik is the child, you won!) before he goes to bed at 6:30 is new. I’m trying to set a culture within my team: Whether you’re a mother, father, stepfather or stepmother, you are taking priority of your family first. Overall, I’m definitely quicker to get things done because my time is shorter during the day. My involvement in meetings is really valuable, so the roadmap my team has established asks, “How do we get through those quick wins to really show the leadership and the business?” A lot of those behaviors are applicable to my personal life, too.

How has product and tech in the staffing world changed over the last 5-10 years?

Our team is primarily focused on managing the tech stack that our users need on a day-to-day basis. A lot of what we’re doing is keeping up with the market and industry. What’s changing? What does digital transformation look like for our organization? When we’re going through that evaluation, we may decide we’re going to buy something out-of-the-box or build it on our own. That’s where the tech team comes into play. Something we’re working on that is really exciting is our Talent Board. Talent Board essentially allows our clients and hiring managers to source and search talent on our website. Instead of the white glove service we offer, we also offer this digital experience. When you’re up late at night and you’re trying to find that UX designer to present to the hiring manager tomorrow, you can search, save candidates and request an interview. We’re currently working on the next iteration to match candidates to open recs. So, if you do have that job description and you’re looking to match candidates based off of skill sets or requirements, you’ll be able to do that with the AI we’re building. It’s very exciting.

What does the future of tech and product look like?

My first job was designing classified ads for newspapers. Try to explain that to my son! From submitting your resume to a front desk receptionist, to online social media profiles like LinkedIn, the world really has changed. Now you can Google “product manager in Minneapolis” and get hundreds of results. I think the future of tech for our children will include chat bots, AI and the Metaverse. There will probably be a virtual reality of interviewing and describing your skillsets in a 3D world. I’m excited to see what the future entails, and I’m excited to be a part of the journey!

What does the job description of a mom look like?

A highly organized leader with experience in managing high growth products (children) from conception to delivery and post launch operations, leading to 0% churn rate across all line of “products”.


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