Belinda Smith is the Group General Manager at Helping Hand Group, a leading company in fundraising and auctions for charity and fundraising, where she manages a team of 30 people in multiple locations.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I was 22 when I decided to quit my job and study, attending Martin College to do a Diploma in Event Management.
A previous colleague of mine recommended I get in touch with her brother’s girlfriend as they regularly use casuals for event work, and that’s how I started working with Helping Hand Group as an Event & Auction Assistant, over 9 years ago!
I’m now the Group General Manager (since Dec 2017) and manage a team of about 30 staff in multiple locations. It’s been a wonderful experience to work in the fundraising event industry and help support great causes.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
An early gym class before work (F45 fanatic) and then once in the office, a crazy balance of emails/phone calls from staff and clients. Usually, I feel like my work gets started after 5pm when a lot of the staff finish their day.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I regularly visit our staff in other offices to assist with events and client meetings. Being away from home regularly means that around these times, I make sure I work from home so I have enough time to spend with my partner and our dog!
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Outlook Calendar and folders – I try to keep an empty inbox and file emails as they’re actioned! Being organised and keeping a To-Do list also keeps me on track with daily tasks.
5) What does work life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
The work will still be there tomorrow! Knowing this, I make sure I’m switching off when I leave the office. Whilst it’s great to be in a time where we’re able to work remotely when I leave the office, I try to leave my work at the office (outside of our events of course!)
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Taking care of yourself first means you can focus and perform better at work.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
My book choices are usually a bit mindless – a great way to switch off in the evening or relax on weekends!
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
A good night’s sleep! I’m a terrible grouch if I stay up too late
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Achieving that perfect work-life balance can sometimes be a source of its own imbalance. By that I mean, let go of the idea of having the ‘perfect balance’ – it’s better to be realistic than burning yourself out trying to fit in activities as an attempt to gain work-life balance.
There are times where you’ll be busier in certain aspects of your life and that’s okay. As long as you know what your top priorities are and you can still find moments to yourself, then you’re doing great. In essence, go easy on yourself. Everyone is trying to figure out their own way and do things differently. Find what works for you.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!