Writing Romance Novels Has Made Me a Better Employee — Here’s How

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Photo Courtesy of Qualtrics.

Photo Courtesy of Qualtrics.

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June 21, 2024 at 5:30AM UTC

Rosalyn Martin lives what you might call a double-life. By day, she’s managing the Qualtrics office in Dallas — planning parties, ordering swag and keeping everyone well-fed and hydrated, even in the Texas heat. But by night, she’s an author who pens novels, employs a social media manager and is planning to branch out across genres. 

Martin says her super cool side hustle is only made possible by the supportive environment built at Qualtrics — one that provides plenty of work-life balance and encourages Martin to bring her entire self to work. She says she finds her day job super fulfilling because she has a say in how she wants to grow as a professional, and because she is constantly reminded by her books that she’s capable of growing however she pleases. 

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We spoke to Martin about how she found a workplace she loves, how she balances writing and running an office, and how she would advise women looking to make their career exactly what they want.

 Tell us about your job. What are your main priorities at work? 

I’m an office manager for the Dallas office and I pitch in a bit with the Toronto office, as well. I do a lot of coordination work; I help ensure all new hires have a smooth onboarding experience, I make sure the team is well fed and hydrated, I’m in charge of office supplies, IT inventory, swag and other things. I’m also the event planner for our two big office parties.  

 What has your career path looked like? 

Before Qualtrics, I was an Office Administrator for a staffing company in DC. I was in a position that had very little opportunity for career growth — unless I wanted to change jobs within the organization. The promise that my future would be what I made it at Qualtrics was definitely a contributing factor in my decision to make a move.  

 What drew you to work at your current company? 

The culture. The growth opportunity. The city. All-in-all, Qualtrics was my best chance at redefining my work-life balance, and I couldn’t turn that down.  

 What’s your favorite thing about your job? 

I have a lot of say in what I do and do not want to take on in my role. Of course, like any job, there are things on my plate I may or may not like that fall under my jurisdiction; but as I grow in my role, I can reach for tasks or responsibilities I’d like to add to my repertoire. Even more, as I hone in on the direction I’d like my career path to take at Qualtrics, I can strategically carve my own way.   

 Tell us a bit about your side hustle. What do you do, how long have you been doing it, and how do you fit it into your schedule when you have a full-time job?  

I’m a self-published author on the side. I write mostly romance, but I’m starting to venture into different genres lately, which is pretty exciting. I published my debut novel in 2015, so I guess that’s when the craziness began. I’ve been writing for more than a decade, but selling and marketing my work is still a beast of a venture.  

As for how I find the time – I just do. On the marketing side, I have help. I hired a social media manager a year or so ago, and she helps maintain my presence within what I call the necessary evil of internet networking. As for the writing, I do what I can when I can. You make room in your schedule for the things that matter, you know? Sometimes that means no television or fewer happy hours; sometimes that means my apartment isn’t as clean as it could be or my meals aren’t super extravagant. Finding balance is far from easy, but setting boundaries has come to be a must for me.  

 Can you talk a bit about how your company is supportive of employees’ lives outside of work? What kind flexibility/support systems have you taken advantage of at your company? 

I’d say the respect Qualtrics has for my time away from the office is a big help. When I leave the office, I leave my day job behind. If I had to take it home with me, I wouldn’t be able to pursue my side hustle. I am human, after all, and there is only so much I have the energy and mental capacity to accomplish in one day. I’ve also taken advantage of the flexibility I have with my schedule. Every day doesn’t have to look the same, so long as I put in the appropriate amount of time and do what is expected of me. 

 Do you think that being able to pursue your side hustle makes you a better productive employee? If so, how? 

100%. Writing is my passion – but it doesn’t pay my rent. It might never be so lucrative, and that’s okay. If I was just in it for the money, it wouldn’t be much of a passion. Yet, knowing I haven’t given up on my dream of seeing my name in print, or sharing my stories with an audience, it makes me appreciative of the job I have that enables me to continue to pursue my side hustle. Also, knowing how hard I work on my side projects, it’s a reminder of all I’m capable of managing and all I’ve been able to overcome; it reminds me of what my brain and my heart are made of, and I can tap into that at work, too.  

 What’s your no. 1 tip for women who are job searching but are unsure about whether they’re pursuing roles that are “the perfect fit” for them? 

Sometimes you have to make “the perfect fit.” Sometimes what you think is “the perfect fit” isn’t. Rather than run away from an opportunity that seems just shy of what you’re hoping for, perhaps it’s worth it to give it a shot and put in the effort to reshape it into “the perfect fit.” Who knows, maybe you’ll realize perfect doesn’t look like you thought it did.  

 What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve ever received? 

No matter what anyone says, no one cares about your career progression as much as you do. Don’t abandon it into someone else’s hands.  


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