Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance

Knowing Your Real Value can Vastly Improve your Quality of Work and Life with Rebecca Beare

March 18, 2024 Judith Bowtell | Career Development for Achieving Work-Life Balance Episode 12
Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance
Knowing Your Real Value can Vastly Improve your Quality of Work and Life with Rebecca Beare
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this insightful episode of the Aligned and Thriving podcast, host Judith Bowtell, a career coach helping professionals align their work with core values, interviews her former client Rebecca Beare. Rebecca is a creative leader with a diverse background spanning community organizations, the arts, and local government. They first connected when Rebecca sought Judith's career coaching after a challenging stint as a community radio station's general manager during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Their conversation explores Rebecca's journey of discovering and upholding deeply held personal values like wisdom, authenticity, ethics, creativity, and achieving a healthy work-life balance. It delves into how her unique upbringing and experiences shaped her strong work ethic, desire for impact, and eventual need to set boundaries. They discuss the importance of family support, navigating leadership in under-resourced sectors, prioritizing rest, and Rebecca's vision for future creative roles aligned with her values.



Summary:

  • Rebecca's early life shaped her strong work ethic from her parents' contrasting approaches - her dad's "work hard, play hard" mentality and her mom running her own clothing business
  • She consciously took a career break to explore creativity through an arts degree, discovering her passion for writing
  • Defining personal values like experience, wisdom, authenticity helped her realign after an emotionally draining role during COVID
  • A powerful deathbed conversation with her dad motivated her to set better boundaries and find roles matching her worth
  • She prioritizes work-life balance now, like weekly "hump day river crawls" to get steps in while enjoying nature
  • Values give her a "red flag" feeling when situations oppose them, motivating her to speak up or find alternative solutions
  • Having a supportive family has been key, enabling her career changes and further education
  • She plans to relocate for an empty nest creative leadership role with continued work-life balance


Connect with Rebecca in LinkedIn


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[00:00:00] So hello everyone. It's Judith Bowtell the host of Aligned and Thriving, coming to you on a beautiful Sydney day. And I am very pleased to say I have a great guest for us today. And that is Rebecca Beare-Bath And let's say hello. Hello, Rebecca.

[00:00:26] Hi Judith Thank you for having me today.

[00:00:29] Thank you for being here. It is a beautiful afternoon. Have you had a chance to get out and enjoy it?

[00:00:35] Very briefly, when I went and got some mail from the letterbox, but I did promise my dog to have him for a walkå later, so I will get out later.

[00:00:43] Yeah, yeah, when it cools down. Too hot for dogs at the moment. Oh, that's great. I like to walk my dog at the end of the day too. I'd like to introduce Rebecca to the audience now. So here's a little bit about her work history and her approach to life. So Rebecca has worked in community focused roles and some of those have included being the general manager at Fine Music Sydney, which is a community radio station, a very large community radio station here in Sydney. She's been the head of fundraising and marketing at Sydney Dogs. And cat's home, which, , for me, sounds like a dream job, but I'm sure had many, many, many challenges. She's currently the business manager for Kids Early Learning Services in Blacktown City Council, which is a huge city council here in Sydney. For those of you who are coming from other parts of the world and understand you're working in a team of about 300 people.

[00:01:39] That's correct. Yeah, the role is actually Senior Coordinator of Business Services, but yeah, you're correct.

[00:01:43] So that's a massive massive job and a huge community project. So congratulations on being in that role. Rebecca, like many of us has mixed background. She's been a preschool and kindergarten teacher herself, which must be a valuable experience in the role she has now. She's also been an artist and a creative director and also has been a manager in marketing communications. So she's had many diverse roles. However, she has found that they still connect to undergraduate and postgraduate studies in visual arts and communications, respectively. She has a unique combination of skills. I think that is a unique combination of skills, and it sounds like what you're doing now has really brought all that together. And the experience of community, communications and operations and the leadership roles that she's taken on as well. She describes herself as driven, creative and instinctive leader with a passion for industry based research and strategic planning. And I'm just going to quote Rebecca from her recent profile. "I enjoy a challenging environment which enables me to use the full extent of both my qualifications and experience. I'm a humanitarian who embraces diversity, cultural and artistic experiences. I take pride and pleasure in cultivating collaborative projects and partnerships while nurturing engaged and motivated workplaces." So thank you for sharing your time with us and being willing to explore how values can underpin a positive approach to work life balance.

[00:03:22] Thank you for inviting me, which is a great opportunity.

[00:03:25] Yeah, I mean that last statement, there's so much values led language there that I think we're going to learn quite a lot from you today about how you can be true and authentic to those values even in the most intensive of work experiences. Because don't kid yourself anybody, working in community is hard.

[00:03:48] I agree

[00:03:50] You're dealing with real people, real people's lives, real problems at a very high level of visibility and a very close level of accountability to the people who are running these community organisations, including in Council. A friend of mine once told me that because I'd moved from working for the Commonwealth Government to the State Government. And she said, Oh, yeah, working in Commonwealth Government, you feel like you've got a bit of arm's distance, , particularly if you're in an agency based in Sydney. Doesn't feel so close. But working for the State Government, it's like you've been chopped off at the elbow. And so I said to her, so what about local government? She said, Oh, down to the wrist.

[00:04:29] So, there is that , as you get closer and closer to knowing your community, to being available to your community, I think that does intensify the experiences. So that's what we're going to talk about today is what it's like to be working in quite an intensive job. And as your rest of your life is also getting more intense when you have kids, when you're dealing with other issues, when you may be trying to study or develop skills of your own, how in all of that. Do you keep your eye on what's most important to you and how you maybe have to recalibrate sometimes to ensure you're getting that work life balance. But let's kick off with what I ask everybody. What have you done lately Rebecca, to improve your own work life balance?

[00:05:11] I like this question. So I'm currently recovering from a unexpected emergency abdominal surgery over the Christmas holidays, which I'm surprised. Yeah, I'm like the Princess. The surgery the healing process is pretty brutal on my body and like things have definitely changed. So it's made me focus more on my health and wellbeing. So I've been trying to put some fun ways in place to help me get to 10, 000 steps a day. That's what I'm aiming for. An incidental exercise. So one of the things that I've been doing, my husband's helping me embrace this is we've been going for what we're calling a hump day river crawl each week. So it involves a nice early evening stroll across the Nepean River from Barra da Barra. Where we get some small pilots and drink some mock tails, not cocktails, as the sun goes down every Wednesday, that's just one example of how I'm increasing my exercise and doing it gently as I recover, so

[00:06:09] yeah.

[00:06:10] I'm enjoying that. It's better than being in bed by 7. 30, which is what I found myself doing before the Christmas holidays and after the Christmas holidays, I was in bed. In my pyjamas by 7. 30 right now, so, yeah.

[00:06:24] Oh, that's fantastic. So you're out in nature. You've got a specific where you're going, you've got it all organised and you take yourself a little a reward, a treat for the, the end of it. And you get to spend time with your husband. That's, that's great. Yeah. Can the dog join you in that or is it a bit much for.

[00:06:41] Sometimes, we haven't been joining us at night time, but you can join us, and I want to go for brunch on Saturday morning, so, yeah.

[00:06:48] Yeah. I like it. It's also a hump day thing. I was talking to another colleague and she had a hump day routine, which was more takeaway food. 

[00:06:56] I think Wednesdays is, I love Hump Day, I think Wednesdays is a tricky day, like a, the halfway mark for the work week, and it's important to embrace it if you can, I think, yeah.

[00:07:06] yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Use that time to break it up. Reconnect with the things that are important to you. So, you seem to have a good grip on how to live a values led life. We're getting a sense that this has evolved for you. But I'd like to know how it started. How did your family or early experiences shape your understanding of working life?

[00:07:31] My parents split when I was very young. So like most kids on the divorce, I grew up in a two family and home situation where I spent lots of time between both. My dad's family immigrated to Australia in the fifties with 10 pound bums and my mom's family came here as eastern block refugees. These two families and homes were like chalk and cheese in so many ways, except for a very strong work ethic and lots of hugs. It's a very different way.

[00:07:58] Laughter.

[00:07:59] My dad was certainly in the lead work at work camp and he was a work hard, play even harder kind of guy. He worked in the construction industry, mainly as a machine operator. He believed weekends were always for fun and adventure and they were filled with camping trips, beaches, motorbikes, boats, fishing, farms, carnivals, festivals, that kind of thing. But my mum was a professional musician, or is, and she was a self made entrepreneur. She built and ran her own clothing factory when I was a kid. Quite big, quite large, had a lot of contracts. She worked around the clock every day of the week. If we weren't at school, we were in the factory, sewing buttons on, ironing hems, order on tour, then watching them perform from the sidelines. And with even occasional face to face cocktails, me and my sister completed matching outfits, tangerines, you name it. Mainly in pubs, but different music festivals as well. That was throughout my childhood. So yeah, that was what my early experience of work was. It's two contradictions in a way, but yeah,

[00:09:02] Yeah. So strong work ethics, there was a distinction between two, between fun and work, like work hard, play hard. I had an intern from the US and I said, what do you think about Australian work culture? And she said, well, you work really hard, but when it stops, you stop. And yeah, and I thought, well, that's good. But then you've got a mother who is. Who's running her own business and so constantly aware of what's going on and using the resources that she had, which are you and your sister, it sounds like.

[00:09:31] I wouldn't say she paid us, so we're getting money from a very early age which is different to other kids my own age.

[00:09:37] So they do say that when you children of entrepreneurs do get a much better understanding of money and a much better understanding of how you can make wealth and things that if you are a child of employees, you may not have that same experience. So yeah, so some really great life experiences you had with both your parents there. I'm sure the the fancy outfits have maybe recurred somewhere in a 21st birthday.

[00:10:06] Oh, I don't think we've bitten to them these days, but every now and then I see pictures of us, so it's always matching outfits, which is very prominent in the country, the girls music thing, , family, matching outfits, yeah. 

[00:10:16] laughter. So how did that support you when you started your own independent working life away from your parents? How did those values support you? 

[00:10:26] A really interesting question. I think before today, I've never really considered this. But my first thought is, I will sleep when I'm dead. laughter. Yeah. And I got a memory that associated with that, that was on repeat several times a week for my entire childhood. And that's as a child I would often lay awake at night with a pillow over my head and my fingers in my ear, listening in our sleep, because I'd be listening to my mom and my stepdad, maybe an entire band, rehearse the same song over and over again until like first light. So , that's maybe a bit of a night out. As I got older, I would just stop reading when I'd be distracted by that. But yeah, so I think it's not, possibly not a healthy. I'm not sure what to have, or instinct to have, but yeah. Yeah. Been shaped at the beginning of my careers. 

[00:11:14] Yeah, so there's always opportunity to do things. There's always opportunity to create. There's always opportunity to can be used to do the things that I guess are important to you. Music was important to your mum and your stepdad. So, yeah, so you picked that up. But what I guess might have been challenging in some of those beliefs? What maybe did you rub up against when you started working as well.

[00:11:36] It's not something that I really came to realise until about my 30s, but in my early 20s, I changed careers with an education for arts. And probably have a undiagnosed ADHD upon the fact that I'm older and I see what, as that's becoming more and more prominent in the media and like people are being exposed to what that looks like for a woman. But I think that pretty much until my late 30s, I believe that any time doing nothing was wasted time, like driving to and from work and traffic wasted time. I could be doing so much during this time. So on the train. I'm going to end my email, do some research that kind of thing. So, and it's really hard, the challenge was I wasn't really self aware until about my late thirties that rest time is valuable, you need rest in downtime, and I like to occupy every waking moment with stuff that needed to be done.

[00:12:30] Yeah. That's really relatable. My mum was definitely somebody like that. And I was probably like that too, until I met my husband and he started to say, what about don't we just do nothing, just do nothing for a little while. We'll just hang out in the backyard and read and you can't do that. Or the big breakthrough was like, Oh, it's Sunday morning. I'm going to turn on the television. Like, you can't do that. It's your television doesn't get on until it's dark. Don't put it on in daylight. It's just looking at me like, what madhouse did you grow up in? And then I realised, yeah. That's a bit. But yeah, daylight was for doing things and getting things done. So yes, if you didn't have a huge to do list, you were failing. I've moved on from there a bit. I think I have to now. Yeah. So tell us about that moving on. You've changed careers. You have two children, three three. Three, yeah. got two boys and one girl, wow. Okay. So quite a big family. And you've had a lot of leadership roles as well, like quite high responsibility roles within organisations and that may not be the most over resourced organisations in the world, particularly in community. So how do you make sense of all of that? And what changed for you as you work in these more intense work and life experiences?

[00:13:51] Say to me, I think that you are an accidental leader and this was a few years ago. And I remember that phrase really sticking with me because as a recruiter or HR that will ask you about your career and explain how you've landed in roles. He was like, yeah, the ultimate accidental leader often opportunities will come to me or be presented. And I wouldn't have been thinking about them now I intentionally seek out my next roles, but like, often I'm not thinking about them, they're presented and I go, yeah, I'll take that challenge on, not even without a skip and just embrace them. So yeah, that's been interesting. I did deliberately take a move from the education sector to arts and that came about my husband is an environmental scientist and we got an opportunity to relocate from the Sunshine Coast where we're from to a Canberra program. In the late 2000s, around 2009, and he approached me with it and I said, no, I don't want to move my family. And then he, he struck up a deal. He's like, you can do whatever you want. I'll never complain. I'll support you while we're there. And I'm like, wait. Okay. I thought about it for about 24 hours. And when he came home and I said, I've enrolled in an arts degree, we're going. So how I made that change in education to arts. And the second time around with my second degree, I Decided to do an art degree and just pick things because I wanted to do them without thought about where they would lead me or how practical they were. And there was a lot of resistance from, particularly from my family about choosing that method and possibly wasting time, but it got me a variety of different roles that I probably would never have had if I'd never taken that leap, so. 

[00:15:36] Oh, fantastic. So that was a real conscious decision to put aside the work ethic maybe for a while all the work comes first and then you play to going I've got opportunities to play and to let my as you said, your instincts guide you in place. So was that for you internally?

[00:15:56] How you? Yeah. couple of years. It was a great three year period. I loved it. But I didn't work throughout that experience. But again, opportunities that just presented themselves. I loved it. And I'm glad I had that experience because it really. Allowed me to explore creativity in a way that I probably wouldn't have been able to if I should choose my career path as an educator. And I'm glad that I took it, but I'm very aware how privileged that position was there are plenty of people who couldn't have that luxury to do that, so yeah, it was a great period of my life.

[00:16:31] Yeah, fantastic. So you had no internal resistance to,

[00:16:35] No internal resistance, no resistance from my husband, which was important at the time. I definitely had some interesting feedback from the family about the perception of arts degrees and wasting time as well, so yeah. I went into that degree thinking I was going to be a painter professionally, but I really discovered within the first six months that I wasn't. Which was unknown to me, it revealed itself in the first six months, but I really loved writing, and that I was actually a writer instead of a painter . 

[00:17:02] Oh, wow. So that ability just to explore that insight. Yeah. That's very frustrating. The view people have about fine arts in particular, well arts degree of any sort but doing a fine arts degree is often where people it's not valued as it is. As some my parts of the community terms of what you learn, what you develop, the various complex skills you have to employ to participate in these processes where it takes you intellectually, et cetera, et cetera. I don't think any education is easy, but there's a particular flavour to creative arts practice which is fantastic. It a lot of courage and bravery as well as just hard work again. Yeah. 

[00:17:48] It's hard work. Artists can be artists. There's plenty of brilliant artists out there, but without having a really good agent behind you or exhibition you, project manager, good luck. I also think that it makes you that kind of degree makes you a really great creative problem solver and gives you really good critical thinking skills, well. I don't know if they in other degrees like that. So a lot of abstract concepts that you have to get your head around.

[00:18:20] I studied history. That was my undergraduate degree women's history, social history, and , ended up working in the public service as a policy officer. And a mentor of mine though who very sadly he's actually in palliative care at the moment. I remember him saying to me but history is a fantastic grounding for what you're doing because it's all about looking and investigating a whole lot of complex information making sense of it, synthesising it, and telling the story behind it, that other people can understand the issues and use that advice to make sensible decisions. Until he said that, I never made that connection between the two my undergraduate degree which I loved and had so much fun doing, but actually what I then did for a living. Yeah.

[00:19:09] By going into those degrees thinking you're going to work in politics, do you?

[00:19:13] No No I was work in a museum. Yeah. Yeah. I would have been bored within two seconds. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So in in the leadership, let's talk about that a little bit What role do values play in that for you? 

[00:19:33] So value wise although I've often participated in organisational value sessions throughout my career and understood their importance completely on strategy and development. I'd really never taken a deep dive into my own personal values and still engage the one to one career coaching sessions with you, actually.

[00:19:52] Yes, sorry.

[00:19:53] Oh, yes, we should have we had that bit of transparency up front. Rebecca has been a client of mine, a coaching client, and yes, we did look at personal values. Yeah. Okay. So what does that bring up for you?

[00:20:03] So I found it like really interesting, fun and surprising for me. So for me, I've got my list. I'm carrying around with me basically. So, values that are important to me were experience, wisdom, authenticity, ethics, leadership, creativity, collaboration, balance and love. These days, I think I have a strong red flag reaction whenever anything unfolds, personal or professional, that opposes those set of values. And not that I wasn't ever an outspoken person, but I definitely speak up in those situations and particularly personal. I'll be probably a little bit more aggressive with that but professionally, I will try to present an alternative solution that realigns with those for everybody involved. Yeah.

[00:20:52] Wow. I'm thrilled that those values are still resonating with you and still guiding your working life and your home life, I assume as well, your personal life and how you've also developed that. Felt that sense, that ability to just know when something's off when you're out of alignment,

[00:21:10] Always knew when something was asked before if it didn't align with me, but I think. Doing that work behind the scenes on myself like for professional and technical development, helped me to identify it rather than just like engaging with a feeling of resistance or rage or whatever, like going, Oh, that's this problem. That's this value is not aligning. So what can I do to make this an easier situation or something I can live with. 

[00:21:36] Great. So that should motivates you to make change. Yeah, so it motivates you and it gives you, I assume some resources and insights and that you can find an alternative and know that there's always going to be an alternative. Yeah, so that's really great to know. And how does it then support you to have. The sort of life that you want as well as with the tackles professionally.

[00:21:59] I think that it helps me. Each time I'm presented with a new opportunity or a difficult circumstance, it helps me align with what my next steps will be. To pick my battles as well, like, that's something I've definitely learned in my 40s that I wasn't so great at in my 30s. Like, every battle was fought. Now, I definitely have learned to pick my battles. What am I going to invest energy in here? An effort to change. Yeah.

[00:22:27] yeah, yeah, yeah. So being able to assess the situation, being able to know where you're going to put your energy into what are your priorities, I guess around that. Is there an example that perhaps you'd be willing to share with us around.

[00:22:40] Yeah so I'd like a defining moment when I knew that I have things had to be different for me. So my last year in that role that you discussed before like one of my most significant recent roles was General Manager, fine music Sydney for four years then of my career. It was the same year that my dad passed away from cancer, and it was also the same year that Covid hit us, like restriction. So I went visit often in that year, last year, and the last time I saw him was about two weeks before they shut the state orders and they actually passed away the day they did that. So it's pretty heavy. Anyway, while I was there, he was like drifting in and out of sleep all the time, and before he came out of his busy work, he looked up at me and said, Rebecca, are you working? And I go, thanks dad, I'm always working, pretty much. And then he goes, Rebecca, what do they pay you? He's never asked me that question before, I told him. And then he just like, looked me in the eyes and said, I don't know. This job is too much responsibility. The workload is too heavy. The toll it takes on you is too much. You are worth so much more. It's not enough. You can get a better job. And that was a pretty powerful conversation in itself, like anyone would have with their dad. But it was the last conversation I had with him. So, so, like I went home like, a couple of hours later I flew home to Sydney the last time I saw him. And so of course a really, really good time. And I think for me, even though I hadn't defined my own values yet, like into a specific list of words it was a changing moment for me. And then I pretty much after that experience, when he passed away, I made a decision that I was going to set further boundaries and make a change

[00:24:37] Right right.

[00:24:38] My work life balance..

[00:24:39] Yeah so what did you do? 

[00:24:41] So definitely sought some professional help. That was for sure. I can say I embraced my load tolerance for men behaving badly in the workplace and distracting drama. I was like, that's enough. Set some boundaries. By professional help, I intentionally set out to look for some career coaching advice. Resume writer, HR consultant, recruitment specialist to help me through the transition. And I think throughout that process. When I stopped focusing on what my next job title would be and I let go of the arts sector altogether for the time being and I started focusing on what I wanted my life to look and feel like every day, everything gets put into place really fast for me.

[00:25:24] It did click into place very fast. My experience, my memory of working with you was, we were working, through the process that I do with all my clients and we were doing this investigation work and it was sort of like, it was a bit of tension, but it was like clear. You've gotten great clarity about the stuff you didn't want to be doing anymore, which is part of the process, and the things you did want to focus on. And we'd also done the exercise of course to start things about what do you actually want your life to look like? And something that came up was how you'd like to be worth living back by the water. Yeah. And she's like, I don't know where that's come from but we've had it once and it was really lovely and I'd love to have that again some way down the path. And then Christmas came and obviously we all take breaks and I was sort of going, Oh, I wonder what Rebecca's up to, I should follow up and see where she's at. And the next thing I know I get an email from you saying, well, I've moved to the beach. And I was like, Oh. Good on you. Tell me more. And yes it was. I think COVID was still going on. So it was like such a great move. It seemed for you and your family to have that time in a more naturally , a beautiful natural part of the world. And you were able to still do work that was fine which still was using your skills, using the things you wanted to do. It may not have been the dream job, but it definitely created a lifestyle that you wanted. And then I guess that continuing commitment to your values has brought you to where you are now, which is almost like back full circle back into an education, but from a completely different angle. 

[00:26:59] The role that I took on after I think I set an intention for myself like I wanted to design write detailed market research and business development proposal yeah, and to avoid traffic. I want to live at the beach. I want to drink cocktails while I watch the sunset, take dog for a walk. And I just thought to myself over that Christmas period, I'm going to embrace the next opportunity that presents itself that allows me to do this. As long as it equals my worth and I see the value in that.

[00:27:26] Yeah. Like I said, I reached out to all those professionals and that job, which was in animal welfare, and I was there for almost a year, achieved so much. I loved almost every minute of it. I genuinely did. The people, the buyers, everything, and yeah, it was doing all those things on my list. It was great. Loved it. job. Of course, 

[00:27:55] The big question is, did you adopt a dog or a cat.

[00:27:58] No, but we did foster. We definitely fostered during that. So I have a dog who is 10 years old, and we also had a cat at that point. He was 17, loves that cat. My husband particularly loves that cat but she passed away on and that day, and of course because there's so many dogs at that time, everyone was like, yeah, have a cat. She was plenty of cats. But I think that we've made, we did do foster. We had a really cool cat with one eye for a long time. But, yeah, everyone goes, how did you walk away from Sydney Dogs & Cats Home without more animals? I don't think part of it an animal is such a huge commitment, and when you have a cat that lives to 17, and then you think about the next 17 to 20 years yeah, we decided not to. But, I just love having a cat in the house, that's

[00:28:47] Never say never.

[00:28:48] Yeah,

[00:28:50] But yeah, yeah, I would never work there. I can't even look at the brochures or the online sites. I start crying and I want to take them all.

[00:28:59] I know, I follow them all and every day I was saying things to my husband like, Mommy, can you go and get this what was like, long enough!

[00:29:09] I worried when my husband started to look at the roosters.

[00:29:12] I think it's in the inner city park.

[00:29:16] Yeah, in the middle of inner city the lower North Shore of Sydney, that would be so popular.

[00:29:22] I just would love.

[00:29:24] And then plans to say, no, no, no, we wouldn't keep them on our property, we'd just let them roam free. oh, no, no,

[00:29:31] Climbing high rise buildings. Yeah, that could be fun.

[00:29:33] No one would know where they came from. I'm like, I would get arrested for something, I'm sure. So anyway yeah, sorry. My husband plans it sometimes. Really shouldn't be being very patient.

[00:29:48] That sounds lovely. Sounds like lots of fun.

[00:29:51] As your husband does too so what's the value, I guess, in having a supportive family around you? What does that enable you to do.

[00:29:58] Yeah, I think I'm having a supportive family is really important. A part of how I've got this far, where I've gotten so far. I was a mom very young at 18, and I think without the support of mine and my husband's family to continue education in university and to support us through that, which neither of us would be in the careers that we're in now, so, yeah, and we definitely, what I feel that we do, is to just take that to our own terms, supporting them through GED now, yeah.

[00:30:26] Yeah. It's wonderful to be able to do that. Yeah,

[00:30:29] Fantastic. So is there anything you would have done differently if you had your time again?

[00:30:34] well, I think anything I would have done differently. I don't really have many regrets. I mean, the community broadcasting sector is incredibly passionate about that was fine. It's not the only role I had in the broadcasting.

[00:30:48] Yeah. Yes. 

[00:30:49] Yeah, I think I just realised that at that time during COVID, particularly, because. Probably for the arts sector and the community sector in so many ways, a sector that relies on sponsorship for funding and sponsorship where in particularly the sector where I was was mainly relying on arts events. The impact was huge, it was double the workload no matter what we did. We just were constantly scrambling to keep the money that we had, but then all of a sudden people needed to cancel their sponsorship promotions because they had no events to do, to deliver. So keep the business afloat, we just like double the work that we normally would and not only that but we had also the impact of the technology that was required to run. A radio station 24 7 mainly from home. All of a sudden was a huge gift and required 24 7 around of clock, management and support is exhausting. So, I don't particularly have. I don't have any major regrets. I don't know if I would have done anything differently. I'm glad that I've taken all the opportunities to get it to myself, but I don't know if I would sit anymore. I think my tolerance is much lower for those things I mentioned before, and I don't think I would sit in something for so long anymore.

[00:32:09] Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That's that having those early systems from yourself or people around you that tell you when it's time to perhaps move on, or as you said, to speak up and find solutions and work to get alternatives. Yes, that's experience kids. 

[00:32:25] laughter and just got to practice and develop those skills.

[00:32:30] So, Rebecca. Is there anything you had to let go of to have these changes occur in your life?

[00:32:37] I think passion. And that's an odd word to say for anyone in a position who's been in a lot of positions like mine, or worked in the non social community sector. And I think that that's because I realised at the time when I was having the most difficult year of my career, that the community broadcasting sector was always going to be full of emotionally invested people. If we don't compress ingredients. And a lot of tension that simply required too much of my soul, in a way, that's a big thing to say. But , it was a sector that I was really proud of and I've been really involved with for well over a decade. But I just thought at the time at that point in time in my career, it was just costing me too much, and I needed to re evaluate. What my worth was and find something that fits that better.

[00:33:30] Yeah, sometimes you need to accept that as passionate as you are about making change in a sector, that sometimes there just isn't the resources. Or it's either not the right time or it's not the right place for you due to other factors that have nothing really to do with you. They're due to how the system has set things up or how that organisation is set up. And so sometimes it's just you can't feel like you are the only one who is able to solve these problems.

[00:34:01] Well, I agree with that and something that I've working in the community or not for profit sector, particularly working with boards and incorporated associations, etc. Or co ops, cooperatives as well, which is the situation there is that I think that all the five year business plans are great. If they match the term of the board's time as well, because it takes time to develop a plan and then deliver it. But I do think that that sector comes with a turnover for a reason, because change management is difficult. And it leaves a lot of issues in its wake but it also inspires a lot of change and progress. And I think that, yeah, embracing that idea that if you work in those sectors, that that's how it works. It works on cycles. And sometimes it's best to step out when you've actually delivered a bunch of things that you were told that you needed to deliver Exit gracefully, and move on with the next opportunity. 

[00:34:59] yeah, and let somebody else have a go and support them in that too, because you never know what other people can bring that you hadn't seen or that you don't have the same skills, talents, knowledges, values as somebody else who may be the right person to take an organisation to the next step.

[00:35:16] Definitely. Different business development problems require different sets of skills. Yeah, I definitely agree with that. So, yeah.

[00:35:24] I think the problem in the small to medium community sector, not for profit arts sector all of that is that so small that the jobs are often very big. And so you need to find people who can do a lot of things and they may not have the opportunity always to do the things they do best really well. And that can impact on the development of an organisation as well. So sometimes you look at an organisation, you go, you need actually about three people at that CEO yeah, role. well, yeah, one person to carry all of that, it's a quite a complex thing for the boards who are responsible for governance and strategy for the setting direction for the organisation who don't have the skill set necessarily to also find that right level of partnership. So they're complex jobs really interesting jobs, as we've said. 

[00:36:18] Well, you become a consultant for the industry. Yeah. I definitely see that. That's been one of the biggest changes for me moving from that sector to perspective. Whether you like it or not, even if you're using consultancy firms to help you support through those processes when you work in the public sector, there's a person in the department for each of those things and that's been great. An interesting change and shift to embrace.

[00:36:39] yes, yes, yes, yes. Yeah, I remember two memories. One in the public sector during recruitment it went a bit haywire, grievance brought against me and having the support of a HR team who would basically ring me every day and checking I was okay and like that and letting me know and at no point blaming me just reassuring me that I've done all the right things. It was we'll get you through this. It really didn't even occupy much of my brain. I must admit, I really looking back it was like Oh, I really should have been worried about that. And wasn't I was worried about a lot of other things, but that one I felt so supported. It was great. But then when I was working in a very small community theatre, and we were about to put on a show and I went out to check the toilets as you do. And there was a rat dead rat the men's toilet. And I just came in and I went to the creative director of the show, the artistic director and said there's a dead rat outside the toilet. You're going to have to get rid of it. And he said, why are you asking me to do this on my opening night? And I said, because I cannot ask anybody else. I can't delegate this down. I can only push it up. Because I won't do it. So therefore you have to do it. And he was like, but, but, but, but my needs. And then I had a really lovely friend who was helping out stage management kind of stuff. And he just sort of came up and patted me on the shoulder and said, that's cool. Okay, I'm hiring. It was just, , opening night. The GM and the artistic director having a stand up fight about who's going to remove the jetpack. God. 

[00:38:13] Here we go. I've definitely experienced that in the not for profit. We'll think about it. When you're the CEO or the general manager, you'll take on a lot of responsibilities because that needs to be done when you're running a tight team. But upon reflection, and even at the time, when you run with a small staff team, you're really not. Way under qualified for their roles, not paid enough compared to other sectors for the same role. I can understand on reflection and probably at the time, the pushback on things that aren't within their job description. But when there's such a small team running a small organisation that actually has a lot of responsibility and tasks to perform. Things overlap, it's really different, but that's the other change in the public sector. People stick to their job descriptions.

[00:39:03] So what's next for Rebecca Beare Bath 

[00:39:06] Well, next where my family, or when I say my family, because my children are in their twenties now and don't see it in their own lives. I hope. The intention, I'm ready to be an empty nester. Finish supporting them through uni until their own careers are all established. Our intention is to relocate to Queensland back to our family. All of our family is in Queensland with the exception of our own family unit here with my husband and my three kids. So, I'm intending to move back to Queensland in 2025, and I'm like manifesting a new job out there, a new opportunity in South East Queensland that will allow me to focus more on creative and comm strategy, I think. That's what I'm hoping for. I definitely want the same kind of work life balance that's offered to me now, and I have to tell you that working in the public sector compared to the not for profit sector is so much easier. It's a huge shift when it comes to the focus on and commitment to workplace conditions. I mean, like that 35 hour work week, like yeah. Yeah. It's hard to go back to working 50 hours a week in a non profit organisation, which is very low pay yeah. Yes, take a step backwards, . Yes.

[00:40:23] There are some not-for-profits which are huge and have resources. Kathy Elliot Scott, who I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, she speaks of how she had some really high powering powerful jobs in the not-profit sector in the big orgs. But she found she preferred to be working as a consultant, but yes, I also think sometimes it's really hard to do things when you don't have the support and resources of an organisation behind you. When I was freelance producing, it was tough and working in community arts sector up to major events, but it was cause you had to get money in somehow, but it was tough. It was really hard. And so working in an organisation that at least had somebody who could fix your computer and they were facilities and there was training programs and all the things that, , make your add extra value to your professional experience can be, can be great.

[00:41:10] They have extra challenges, of course. yeah.

[00:41:13] I find that the public sector, the biggest challenge for me has been how slow things change. In the not for profit sector, you work with a tiny budget, small resources, but very passionate people and an urge to get things done quickly because time is money, basically. But in the public sector, things move a lot slower, but you need to adjust to negotiate and coordinate with so many other people in departments, external and internal, and it's just a whole other challenge. It's very, very different. But yeah, I think that there's definitely been trade offs, but the fact that you can usually, in a public sector, go home and sleep at night without having to worry about work problems is a nice thing. So,

[00:41:55] Being able to also implement things on a scale. also think it's something that public sector work is quite interesting in that what you're doing is normally has some scale and so the impact is often a lot more than you're ever going to do in a small project profit, or even a small business, you've got that scale, ability to scale up and ability to measure your impact and see change over time, like that slowness, but can result in something quite bigger. Another thing a mentor said to me, she said, you're always dealing with interesting problems in the public sector. Yeah, private sectors. 

[00:42:30] Unexpected one. We see that in the broadcast sector every day. I think in the broadcast sector, everything is urgent and an emergency, but only for 5 minutes once the time's passed like an announcement, a weather update, whatever blackout, but in the public sector, you are presented with really interesting problems. I actually like those wild card problems, they're my favourite. When you think you can have a really crazy calm day and get to work and then someone presents you with a problem you had no idea even existed.

[00:42:57] Yeah. Yeah. Where did that come from? And sometimes why me?

[00:43:02] Yeah, oh, okay, but I kind of like the challenge of pushing problems.

[00:43:08] I did like that too in my time in the public sector. I mean, people, my listeners will know that I have had lots of challenges, but I do remember one day, I'd been on leave, that's right, actually my father passed away and then we were taking a big chunk of leave, and I came back and my CEO was on leave, but she'd left me a present on my desk, which was basically a folder about an arts organisation a cultural organisation that was pretty much in crisis, and it was sort of the notebooks, can you just sort this out? I knew this organisation, I thought it sort of carried across with me from other jobs and I knew this organisation. I knew the problems and I just rang a colleague and said, I don't want this year just to be about sorting out. She was like, ah, yeah, but it is. Yeah, yeah, but you're going to have to do it.

[00:43:55] It's yours. I'm like, okay, so I'll help with everything I can, but, . Yeah. Yeah, and so yeah, love that.

[00:44:05] I like those, but not problems that are unsolvable that require years to fix. That's not always fun.

[00:44:12] Yeah. No, no, we weren't all. Might take a little bit, , a bit, , complex, have a lot of stakeholders, need some, , negotiation, there's a bit of, there's work to do, that's cool, but you've got to have some political interest and appetite for what you're doing, or else you're just going to linger around forever. Saying this is actually really important and it affects people's lives, but if it's not really on the agenda until that other thing happens, because you didn't fix that problem, then, yeah, so it is, there's many good reasons for me working there as well as, knowing you're serving your community. Yeah, yeah. Well, thanks so much for being with us today on Aligned and Thriving. You got final words for my, for the audience?

[00:45:02] My advice is to anyone who's experiencing a difficult period within their career is that there are other options out there. And sometimes it's really hard when you're stuck inside of a situation or a problem. To extract yourself from it, particularly if you are incredibly passionate or dedicated to whatever that may be, but it's really important every now and then to take a step back and get a sense of other. Within the industry sector or whatever is appropriate for you to see where you stand, you should know, work out what your worth and value is and make sure it's being met very often. Yeah. 

[00:45:43] Very very wise words. Very relatable words. Yeah. So have sometimes a reality check with a good friend or whatever. And if they look at you oddly, when you start to explain the situation or if after five minutes they're already saying, oh, no, you've got to leave, you've got to change all of that. That might mean something, So I'm going to let Rebecca get back to her incredibly interesting and incredible life. And we'll say goodbye for now, but I'm sure we'll meet up again soon.

[00:46:14] So thank you everyone for listening to Aligned and Thriving. I hope you've taken away some good pointers from today about valuing yourself and knowing what's most important to you and sometimes doing some manifesting. Have your checklist, know what you want and believe you can have that.

[00:46:32] Okay. Thanks very much, everyone. Bye bye. Bye, Rebecca. 

Discussion of Rebecca's diverse roles and experience
What Rebecca has done recently to improve work-life balance (river walks)
Rebecca's decision to study arts and explore creativity
How values guide Rebecca's leadership approach
Rebecca's career transition out of the broadcasting sector
Importance of a supportive family for Rebecca
What Rebecca had to "let go of" to make career changes
Rebecca's future goals to relocate and find new opportunities