We've had the pleasure of welcoming some incredible women to our WLB team. We have Emma who works out of the US, and Chantelle, Anna and Danica who are based right here in Raglan.
Who would have thought? Certainly not me.
Earlier this year, when the cyclone hit, the WLB business pipeline almost dried up. I had this scary feeling of isolation, exacerbated by the fact the main road was washed away!
I couldn't help but wonder if I was naive to think I could follow my gut and move to this cool little surf town, and still count on a steady stream of business.
Then, to my relief, things picked up and I had a feeling this trend was going to continue. I assumed I'd recruit back in Tauranga since Raglan, with its population of under 5,000, was unlikely to hold the talent I need.
But on a whim I decided to give it a shot.
To my surprise, I received an avalanche of applicants from my advert on the local noticeboard. Handling this influx was quite the administrative exercise, especially because I didn't want to upset anyone in my tiny new town!!
Initially my recruitment strategy was 'let's meet for coffee’, but I didn’t have time for that many coffees, so I made up a new strategy on the fly starting with an introductory zoom call.
I narrowed the candidate pool to nine, and had each of them call Tracy Donovan, my colleague in Tauranga who has been with WLB since its inception.
The task was to interview Tracy, to ask anything they liked, absolutely everything was on the table. The only rule was that Tracy had to answer honestly. If they asked about my shortcomings, I wanted them to know upfront, to understand what they were getting in to!
After that call the applicants wrote up transcripts of their conversations and sent them to me – highly amusing!
Tracy is the most thoughtful, likable, and efficient team/almost-family member, yet she had a cute moment of doubt and asked "What if they don't like me and then they don’t want to work with us?" To which I replied, "If they don't like you, Trace, we don't want them!"
The team we've assembled is truly amazing – a group of like-minded individuals with diverse skills who embody the WLB ethos, just like Tracy. And of course they adore her.
You can read more about our WLB superstars here, and we're shining the spotlight on Chantelle who has been an incredible gift for WLB and me. The timing couldn't have been better!
Introducing: Chantelle Rodrigo
It’s been nearly 8 years since I made the move from Canada to New Zealand. Having grown up in the massive city of Toronto (which fits the entire population of NZ), I wanted to move somewhere a bit more laid-back, where I could make an impact while having a life-work balance.
I’m love a good problem and figuring out how things work. I was that nerdy kid who would take old electronics apart to see what was inside and then carefully put it back together (with Star Trek on tv in the background).
Working in the tech and retail industry for years, I was able to create systems and processes to solve various problems.
But I lacked the life-work balance I craved.
In 2021, my partner and I had a baby and going back to work made creating the life-work balance a necessity. While dealing with this conundrum, earlier this year I was laid off. My first feeling? Relief! And then very quickly after, mild panic.
I decided to give things time, to assess my options. I live in Raglan and had been employed by a large international tech company, and I thought, what are the chances that a great new opportunity is going to crop up? I thought it might take 6 months to a year at least.
That’s when Ange and WLB came into the picture – two weeks later. We met and clicked right away.
I started working on WLB projects and have been amazed to meet one incredibly motivated customer team after another, all striving to improve and I really started to see the value of WLB’s approach.
It’s a collaborative experience where we’re trusted to talk to a business’s customers, to pull insights and create an action plan that helps them not just strengthen those relationships but problem solve in creative ways.
It’s not just impactful, it's inspiring.
So here I am, continuing to do what I love in yet another way, but this time, with that life-work balance.
It was a huge risk, leaving behind a life of stability in Toronto for the unknown here in New Zealand, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Yey, Chantelle - we are stoked to have you!