Meg MacCune, Director of Customer Success, US
This past year I was working towards a promotion to Director. Several of my fellow TWIL colleagues were the first to encourage me to push myself to earn the promotion. They reassured me all along the way that I had it in me and deserved it.
These fellow TWIL members provided amazing advice and guidance to help make the promotion happen. I cannot thank them enough for all their encouragement, advice, and support through the process. Thank you ladies (you know who you are)!
Allyse Slocum, Director of Product Marketing
This story is pretty personal, but I think it is important in my self-discovery and growth.
Overnight, I found myself with a full time job, and being a housekeeper, cook, virtual learning facilitator, and more. It happened so suddenly that I didn't even have time to process it all. Those first few weeks are a blur, but I remember feeling like I was on a weird dystopian vacation. My husband and I would balance work and the kids, then by 5-6pm, we'd slowly unwind our work day with a glass of wine.
The mommy culture also fed into this and to me – I was just a mom coping with a little lubrication each day! Soon I found myself drinking almost every single evening. I wouldn't say I had a problem, but what began as a temporary crutch soon felt like the norm and after a month and a half, I knew I needed to channel my angst towards a better form of self-care.
I've been seeing a therapist for almost ten years now, but it didn't seem like enough. I've always tried to find time for exercise, but by mid-May I had gained 15 pounds and was feeling generally crappy about myself.
My Peloton was the best thing I invested in last year. Instead of capping my day with wine, I do a cycling or strength class. It gives me the energy I need, physical AND mental strength, and provides me with a moment every day that is dedicated to no one but ME.
I still enjoy wine, but I find myself drinking far less than when the pandemic started. And the most important thing is that I've normalized self-care and well-being for my two daughters, who never say mommy is exercising to lose weight or be skinny, but to be super strong! And little do they know how amazing that makes me feel. I do feel stronger than ever!
Rhea Visavadia, Senior Content Integrity Agent, UK
For me, a challenge I've faced this year was being 'glued' to, or hunched over, my laptop since the pandemic began.
I've found I take less breaks than I did in the office, and can spend hours staring at my screen. I think this comes from having to bring our professional lives into our personal spaces and trying to adjust to this.
Utilising the TWIL yoga sessions have really helped with this, because it gives me one hour a week where I can really switch off, relax and get a really good stretch.
Thank you TWIL!
Caroline Sullivan, Manager, Customer Success, UK
The biggest challenge in the past year has been personal. Living at home with a partner is of course wonderful during a pandemic, because you are not alone, but it is also difficult because not only does work require attention from you, but so does your partner.
I have often found myself struggling to balance when it is okay to take a break and enjoy a conversation with my fiancé and when it is more important to pick up the call that has come through at the same time.
Mentally, I have tried to tell myself that work is my #1 priority between 9-5, though I have needed constant reminders that it is OK to take a break to enjoy little moments throughout the day, as you would in the office.
Through this challenge that has been ongoing (and still is today) I have relied on people in similar situations as me to hear what they are experiencing and how they are handling living and working at home with a partner. I have also communicated with my partner that if I need to focus, or if I need space, I will be stepping away from the common area of our apartment, as it is unfair for me to expect him not to interrupt when we are in the same living space. It hasn't always been easy, and it's still not perfect, but I am working towards balance.
Outside of this, I have also had to work a lot on balancing expectations of myself and what I can do as a manager. It’s sometimes necessary for others to answer questions themselves, rather than relying on me for all questions that might arise!
Sianne Hussey, CX Manager
I have had many challenges since March last year – the office closing, leadership change overs, my team changing (people leaving and joining), but, one of the biggest challenges was probably when lockdown broke me – and I had no idea!
I found myself getting more and more tired. I mean, I fell asleep on my chair only 5 meters away from my bed and couldn't move. I couldn't figure it out. I am an introvert and am totally fine with being alone. Hell, I live alone by choice!
My days were good and I always had something to do – but somewhere along the line my psyche just went ‘NO MORE’! So I knew something was wrong, and I finally had to go to the doctor’s (which I hate doing)
Whilst this was happening, I was still trying to be a full time CSM, a manager, an office coordinator, a liaison for multiple internal departments, a people-leader for Australia (and a friend, daughter) – most of which required creative or extended hours.
The thing that got me through it was as simple as using my voice and talking about it. I am extremely lucky to have a people partner and manager who I could easily just go to and say: "I am broken and I don't know what to do” and let them support me in any way possible.
They listened, they cared, and enforced that I put myself first. We put in place some measures, such as taking time off and working part time, to help me recalibrate. I learnt how to say NO to things and focus on the immediate whilst I "rebuilt" myself. They didn't preach or try and fix me – they just offered support that they seemed to know I needed, even if I didn't know it myself at the time.
12 months before, I would have not been brave enough to do this. I would have kept suffering until I broke and shaved off my eyebrows in a moment of particular craziness!
I was always scared and thought to myself “a real manager would never be like this,” “you are weak,” "you just can't do your job,” or “you're faking it." The thoughts would have plagued me and scared me into silence.
The support I got helped me through the bulk of lockdown, and got me enough energy and power so that I could organize a new team, events and our office reopening – plus a whole lot of incredibly fun things along the way!
Trustpilot is on a mission to upgrade the world, and that includes providing better leadership and career opportunities for our team of Trusties. If you're interested in upgrading your career with us, take a look at our current openings.