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Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Belinda Pervan, Vice President, APJ Marketing at Veeam Software

Belinda Pervan is Vice President, APJ Marketing at Veeam Software and has years of marketing experience under her belt from leading technology companies like Salesforce, RSA Security, HP and EMC.

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

Tech has been a part of my professional life ever since I started coordinating events for the likes of Microsoft and Intel while completing my Communications degree – a long time ago!

Tech is an area of consistent fascination for me and seeing how the industry grows and innovates year-on-year plus the evolution of marketing keeps me motivated to do more and learn from those around me.

I am fortunate to have worked with leading technology companies like Salesforce, RSA Security, HP, EMC, and now Veeam Software.

In my current role at Veeam I lead teams to work together cross functionally and in collaboration with sales to develop the pipeline and elevate the Veeam brand. But underneath all of that, my main priority is to enable my team to be the best marketers and human beings possible. I define my success through their achievement and growth, as well as our business targets.

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

6:00am: Up and out of the house for some morning exercise to wake me up and get me ready for the day ahead. It isn’t something I plan for every morning, but I definitely try to fit it in as much as I can!

8.00am Once my son & husband are out the door, I start work addressing anything urgent that’s come up overnight. I have a few hours before my American colleagues log off for their day, so I try to get back to them where possible.

8.30am – 12.00pm With a lot of my team across Asia, I find my mornings less meeting intense, so if none with the Aussies I try to put my head down and work on big-ticket items that need my full attention. I also block daily “work time” chunks in my calendar 2 weeks in advance – else I think I’d sit in calls all day every day! 

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Lunch. I do my best to step away from my laptop for 30 minutes a day –I know it should be a must and some weeks are better than others. Worst case, I try to switch one sit down call for a walk-around-the-block meeting. It helps me break up the day and get some much-needed vitamin D!

12.30pm – 5:30pm: Time to connect with my team! Because my team is across APJ, a lot of my calls fall in the afternoon and evening. These meetings can focus on anything from business or project updates to coaching calls. I try to balance being in and on the business – but a lot of these hours I’m going where my team needs me. 

5:30-7:30pm: This is my most precious time slot of the day, blocked in my calendar for “Mum time”.  

7.30pm – TBD:  I log back on most nights once my son is in bed – sometimes just for an hour in front of the TV, other nights for a series of calls or work. These on-off weeks come in waves depending on the time of the quarter, so I just ride the wave!

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

Veeam has always offered very flexible working arrangements, even before the pandemic. Most of my team are scattered across APJ so it always made sense for me to work from home a couple of days a week.

Now that we’re in the ‘new normal’ (a phrase that’s becoming as overused as “Pivot!” and “unprecedented times”), the global business is working from home five days a week, but I’ve really enjoyed getting that time back from commuting – every extra bit of family time is a huge bonus to me! 

I really do miss those water cooler chats with colleagues, so will probably end up back in the office one to two days a week next year. I’m grateful to have been able to really tailor my personal and professional life from week to week because the two are ever changing. 

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

I try not to use the term “work-life balance” because I think it makes people feel like they have to be in a nirvana state of equilibrium, which isn’t realistic.

My life is more of a HIIT session than a yoga class! Some weeks I definitely work too many hours and others I feel like I get it “right”. I’m learning that right for me isn’t the same as right for others, so to make sure I’m doing right by myself, I have a few check boxes to tick:

  1.  Have I spent enough time with my family?  
  2. Have I done enough exercise to not feel like a blob? 
  3. What’s my general state of wellbeing / tiredness? 

So many factors impact how I answer these. An exciting project at work or a sick child up in the middle of the night can dramatically sway how I feel, so I try to be good to myself when I feel out of balance, give myself a bit of a talking to, and refocus for the next week.

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

This year, I have initiated a “Mum Time – please do not block over without asking me” recurring meeting in my calendar from 5.30 – 7.30pm.

This is strictly reserved for spending time with my son before I put him to bed. This is a sacred time to me.  The way I view it, there are not many things that are so urgent that they can’t wait until 7.30pm, but if so it’s the exception not the rule

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve also stopped working weekends (even the Sunday night email clean-up I was routinely doing prior). I made the decision very early on that if I was going to be working from home indefinitely, and now in my new role with more late night calls, I’d need to be more strict on creating boundaries between my personal and professional life.

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

I’m still taking books over podcasts– especially biographies, autobiographies & memoirs. Here’s a few of my favourites:

From a professional perspective, I’ve just started Brene Brown – Dare to Lead, which I’m loving. I particularly like the notion of vulnerability in leadership!

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

There are many, but I’ve whittled it down to my top three – they aren’t terribly exciting but rule my life!:

  1. Outlook Task list – I live my days by old school MS Outlook tasks. I can drag items from my inbox into tasks and use categories to group priorities so nothing falls through the cracks. I’ve tried many task apps but always come back to the Outlook native task lists.
  2. Spotify account – I always have music going while I work and I truly believe it has the power to shift your mood. If I need to focus or pump myself up, I know there is a playlist that will do the job! 

Google everything – at work we’re a Microsoft house, but for my personal life everything is Google.

Google Home all day every day, my endless lists and notes are in Google Keep, photos in Google Photos, files in Google Drive, emails in Gmail, I don’t carry a wallet anymore so pay everything with Gpay on my Google Pixel phone. So maybe not a product but a company I can’t live without! 

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

Honestly, not celebrities of any type, or anyone with a truck load of helpers to support them. I’m more interested in hearing from real-life people, especially female executives with kids, as I relate to them most. I also feel like they give the more tangible and genuine responses. 

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

As my Mum always says, “Be kind to yourself”. Some weeks are better than others, but as long as the scales aren’t tipped downwards permanently, you’re doing ok!

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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.