Women across Canada are kicking butt in the workforce, all while maintaining their cool and doing the things in life they enjoy. “Motivation Monday: How she does it” is a news series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life balance. For this installment and in celebration of Picoum’s one year anniversary, we chatted with our fearless leader Isabelle Racicot - Picoum cofounder, and radio and tv personality.
Can you describe what you do?
I’m constantly running after time! That’s because I’m a mom of two boys aged 10 and 13 years old, and because I love to work. I’m a TV and radio personality. For the last three years, I’ve worked for RougeFM where I host the show En Première Classe every weekday, at noon. I also manage Picoum, which I launched with my colleagues last year. Once a week, I also host a TV show, Salut Bonjour, as well as a number of corporate events throughout the year. I just love being in contact with people, be it via the media, online or in real life.
What does a typical day look like for you starting from the moment you wake up?
What I love about my job is that everyday looks like the last, but they’re always different. In general, I wake up at 6 am to read the newspaper. My kids then wake up around 7 am and that’s when my morning craze really begins. I prepare breakfast, lunch boxes, I make sure the beds are made, their teeth are brush, you name it. Once the kids leave at 8:30 am, I start to prepare for my radio show. At 9 am, I have a skype with my Picoum colleague and my charming employees. Then I’m live on the air from 11:30 am to 1 pm. In the afternoon, I work on Picoum and my list of to-do’s is long: Taking care of product delivery, writing articles for the blog, researching products, answering clients, attending meetings, and the list goes on. It’s also in the afternoon that I’ll prepare my segments for Salut Bonjour. I’m always home on time to prepare supper and help my youngest son with his homework. Once the kids are in bed, often I’ll do some more work, reading comments from Picoum clients and starting research for my radio show.
What are some of the challenges you face as a career woman?
Do you have 30 minutes?! I think my biggest challenge is to be 100 percent present in the moment - I’ll explain. When I’m working, It’s hard for me not to think about the supper I have to make, the appointments I have to schedule for the kids and so on. Then on the other hand, when I’m helping my kids with their homework or when I’m at one of their football practices, it’s hard to not think about what I have to get done at work. It’s my intention to work on that during the next year. As a career woman, I also think it’s important to link up with other people and make new contacts. Women can often be shy, but I would like to meet more new people so I can hear their stories and learn from them, and in turn, share my own expertise. I really think that we’re all stronger when we work as a team. Last thing, I want to manage my stress better. I have a love-hate relationship with stress (laughs).
What are some of the ways that you juggle work-life balance? Do you have any tips?
I haven’t found the solution to the perfect work-life balance situation, but I live a life that is a little off balanced that suits me. A long time ago, I stopped trying to reach perfection in everything I do. It’s impossible. My kids have a mom who isn’t perfect and I own up to it. At work, I give 100 percent, but if it happens that I can’t get things done on time or if I feel like maybe I didn’t put on a good show, I say to myself that I will do better tomorrow. That’s all there is to it.
How do you like to unwind?
I have to say that I have a side of me that’s selfish so I have no problem taking a break without feeling guilty. I love going to the spa and I try to go once every two months. I also take a weekly dance class and I go to the gym when I can. I take a weekend trip with my girlfriends once a year and sometimes I even book myself a hotel so I can detach and regroup. Going to see my kids football games also helps me to escape and get away from work thoughts. My social life is very important to my mental health and I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many friends, and a husband who enjoys food and festive gatherings as much as I do. Oh yes, and our family vacations are sacred! Never would I let work get in the way of going away with my loves.
And would you choose wine or cocktails?
Both! Why make a choice? I love wine, but I also enjoy discovering new drinks. I’m in love with a good cucumber and mint gin. Cheers!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I don’t know if it’s the best advice, but I often have this saying in mind: “You teach other people how to treat you”. You can apply it in your personal life as much as your professional life.
How do you define success?
My definition of success is relative and pretty personal. What’s success for me, might seem like a failure to others. For me, success is measured by how accomplished and proud you feel. I really like the phrase, “sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some”. That’s how I feel with Picoum! This website is only 1 years old and we have tried so many different things. Sometimes the results were positive, sometimes they weren’t, but we always learned.
My ‘baby’ is 1 year old and we have so many more ideas to help it grow during the next year, and that really excites me!