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Balancing the Grind with Amalia Chilianis, Career Development Specialist & Author

Amalia Chilianis is a career & capability development expert, and author of Work-a-holistic: A practical guide to changing your career.

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

I have been in HR leadership roles for more than 20years with a number of large complex global and national corporations including IBM, PwC, General Motors Holden, Government and NAB.

A practitioner of Positive Psychology with deep expertise in career and capability development, organisational development, change management and learning. Currently, I’m an author and run my own coaching and consulting business helping teams and individuals develop and change careers.

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

My morning ritual starts with a coffee and a very small amount of me time, a short meditation or journaling. Then I’m nagging my teenage daughters to get out of bed and get ready for school. I find mornings are my most productive  and creative time for writing and developing content.

In the afternoon and some evenings, I’m coaching clients who want to make a career change and working with a range of organisations on career and capability projects. As some of my clients are based overseas, I can be on Zoom calls through the evening as well.

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

I have been fortunate to work flexibly for the last 20years, combining both remote working and in the office or on client sites.

It is a constant juggle between family life and work responsibilities, especially when I’m based in the city, as I live regionally. My experience has been that most clients and employers have been understanding, especially if I start the project or work setting boundaries (ever so politely).

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

For me work-life balance is about the choices I make working well with the priorities in my life. My family is my most important priority and my work enables that.

I enjoy work and get a great deal of satisfaction from it, however I know when it starts to impact my family life negatively that I need to make changes to address it. Setting boundaries, making compromises and having direct conversations with my clients helps me achieve the life I want.

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

I started meditating using the Insight timer app. I use a guided sleep meditation almost every night and decide what type of meditation I am in the mood for in the mornings.

I spent much of last year writing my book, Work-a-holistic, a practical guide to changing your career and undertaking a significant amount of research and hours of writing daily. I certainly needed perseverance and clear thinking and meditation really helped with that.

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

I’m a big fan of The Good Girl Confessional Podcast and the WB40 (Women Beyond 40) magazine as a regular read. I have a massive list of favourite books, but the ones I find I still put into practice most are Barbara Fredrickson’s Positivity and Carol’s Dweck Mindset.

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

Insight Timer is definitely an app that I highly recommend. I had to transcribe a lot of interviews for one piece of work and Otter Voice Notes were invaluable and saved me a tonne of time. It can convert voice into notes for any meetings or conversations and I found it to be pretty accurate. Visit otter.ai if you want more information. 

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

Jacinda Ardern is the first person who comes to mind. I’d love to know how she manages to do all that she does and maintain a healthy personal life.

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

Having worked in the corporate world for over 20years, I know first-hand the challenges that come with balancing work and life. I saw the impact that losing jobs had on the thousands of workers when GM Holden closed manufacturing.

Having helped over 80% of them secure gainful employment successfully, I researched what truly made the difference and hence was motivated to write my book Work-a-holistic: A practical guide to changing your career. Through my book I hope to help others get more of the life they want including satisfying work.

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.