Achieving true work-life balance can feel like an uphill battle. After all, attempting to fit work, self care, quality time with family and friends, a trip to the gym, and maybe eight hours of sleep all into the same 24-hour period is a tall order.
That’s why the best employers recognize that in order for an individual to excel in their career, they have to feel supported in their out-of-office life, too. At Informatica — a cloud data management company recommended by 100% of its female employees on Fairygodboss — that support comes in the form of flexible time off, commuter benefits and the option to work from home. Mercedez Hernandez, a recruiter at Informatica, says she’s seen firsthand how these benefits have yielded positive results, including “maximum productivity.”
“I have all the tools and resources I need for me to do my work away from the office if I choose to, but I’m also able to check out when I’m not at work, as well,” Hernandez, who’s worked at Informatica the past 12 years, said. Being able to switch up her routine and work from home, she added, helps keep her role feeling “fresh.”
Getting to work with “some amazing people” doesn’t hurt, either. The level of support she’s found in her career here is pretty remarkable — including from a prior boss who helped her recognize that a promotion from coordinator to recruiter was worth pursuing.
“I was terrified of the change and was comfortable with what I was doing,” Hernandez recalled. “But now, I’m thankful that they kept pushing and pushing until I caved in.”
Recently, she spoke to Fairygodboss about making intentional career moves, how she chooses to define work-life balance, and her No. 1 piece of advice for women who want to excel both at work and at home.
Tell me a bit about your current role. What are your priorities?
Currently, I source candidates by actively soliciting individuals qualified for positions that we have open. This includes reviewing candidates’ experiences and negotiating salaries, among many other things. I work very closely with hiring managers across our organization to figure out what they’re looking for in an applicant. In some instances, that might mean determining what they need from a candidate to be a good fit for their team, ranging from specific skill sets to required experience and salary range.
Paint a picture of a typical day for me. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
The first thing I do when I wake up is watch the morning news as I get ready for work. I also check my work emails and schedule to see what my day is going to be like. Once I get to work, I typically sift through emails (again) and then I start reviewing resumes of candidates who have come through our applicant tracking system. From there, I begin communicating with candidates, hiring managers, etc.
What does “balance” mean to you, and in what ways do you feel like you’ve achieved it?
For me, work-life balance means striking a satisfying balance between my work and personal life. I dedicate a chunk of my time every night to relaxing, unplugging and spending my time with family. This allows me to return to work rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day’s tasks with laser beam focus.
Also, being able to work from home once or twice a week really helps me achieve work-life balance and maximum productivity — especially because it alleviates my need to travel through heavy traffic in the SF/Bay Area.
Attaining work-life balance can’t be done solo. What people, resources and tools do you rely on to get it all done?
I think I manage my work-life balance pretty well. I have all the tools and resources I need for me to do my work away from the office if I choose to, but I’m also able to check out when I’m not at work, as well.
Let’s talk about your company’s culture. What’s your favorite aspect of it, and how does your employer aid you in achieving balance?
I’ve been with Informatica for almost 12 years and can truly say that what has made me stay (besides it being a great company) are the people I’ve worked with and for. I’ve met and worked with some amazing people during my time here who’ve helped me grow and learn, as well as pushed me to do more than what I thought I was capable of at times. For that, I’m genuinely appreciative.
Another aspect that makes Informatica a wonderful place to work is its commitment to work-life balance and allowing employees to work from home. Together, those reasons are what have kept me here for this long and I can say it has been a great ride!
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
As with most companies, there’s been a lot of change over the past 12 years that I’ve been here. I think change can sometimes scare people, but my advice is to just be prepared and ready to go for the ride. I do not regret staying here for as long as I have; it still feels great to be a part of this company and team!
What’s been your favorite career mistake?
Looking back on when I first moved into the recruiting coordinator role, I wish I would have jumped into a recruiter role when I was asked many times by my previous boss. I was terrified of the change and was comfortable with what I was doing. But now, I’m thankful that they kept pushing and pushing until I caved in and soon after I was trained. Needless to say, I regretted not making the move much sooner.
What’s the No. 1 piece of advice you would give to other women who want to excel professionally and personally?
The No. 1 piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid of change — be aggressive and intentional in your career moves, and don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities within your company. Make sure you do what makes you happy, and be very open and honest with yourself (and your boss) by letting them know what you want. Nothing can happen if you don’t speak up. Let them know what you want to learn and excel at so you can grow within your team and company.
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