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 new series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life balance. For this installment, we chatted with Carrie MacPherson, Regional Social Media Coordinator at Holt Renfrew Montreal and the Founder and Chief Editor at Zurbaines.
Can you describe what you do?
My day job is Holt Renfrew. I do their social media in Montreal, so I manage the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts and take care of their sister store in Brossard, HR2. It’s a great job because I get to work from home and make my own schedule and I only go to the store when I need to take pictures or for special events. It’s perfect for me because it gives me the time to work on Zurbaines, my blog. I started Zurbaines nine years ago with two other women, a journalist and a graphic designer. My background is in photography. With Zurbaines I try to promote local Montreal content, new restaurants and boutiques, bars and gyms for women. It’s really a lifestyle magazine for women in Montreal.
What does a typical day look like for you starting from the moment you wake up?
Usually I get up super early and I either jog or walk 4km with my dog and then I start working on Holts first. I usually work for Holts for three or four hours in the morning and then in the afternoon and evening I write and post for Zurbaines and go to events for Zurbaines. I go to a lot of events, most of my evenings are usually spent at events!
What are some challenges you face as a career woman?
Basically just managing my time. I think because social media is very demanding, you're always “on”, it’s finding time to disconnect. Trying to schedule everything because, you know, my schedule is so flexible and it has to be because of the blog and social media, that’s just the way it is. I have to be very fluid and adapt. And I have adapted over the years. You know, not that long social media didn't exist, nobody knew what that was. It’s funny to me because I studied photography and I never would have dreamed that I’d be working in social media and fashion. But it all ties in and it just sort of happened that way, it’s funny how that developed. So my main challenges are organizing my day, most days don’t resemble one another, it’s constantly changing!
How do you overcome these challenges?
When I’m writing an article, I will for example put my phone on airplane mode (laughing), that’s what I find works the best for me. I tell myself I’m giving myself one or two hours to write an article and then when I’m done I go back to Holts mode. I manage four different Instagram accounts, and I’m always switching back and forth from one thing to the other, so I find when I shut my phone I can really focus and get it done.
How do you juggle work-life balance?
I just came back from a wellness retreat. It was a press trip but it was in a monastery in Quebec City and it was great because I turned off my phone a lot, did a lot of meditation and yoga. It’s nice to do those tiny things for yourself to keep your sanity. It’s good for your body and your soul.
How do you like to unwind?
Sometimes in the middle of the day I’ll have a bath! (laughing) and I’ll watch Netflix for an hour in the tub. Because I work nights so just finding the time to disconnect for a bit, you know.
Choose one: wine or cocktails? Why?
Do you have a favorite cocktail spot in the city?
The Ritz is right across from Holts so sometimes I’ll grab a friend after work and we’ll go to Maison Boulud and I’ll get the Oriental Cosmo…it’s white cranberry juice instead of red and it has a giant ice ball in the middle with a real orchid inside the ice ball. It’s really good, it’s my special treat!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Just to learn how to say no. It’s really one of the most challenging things but I find that more and more I’m getting better and better at doing it.
This article has been edited and condensed. Do you know someone we should feature in this segment? Send an email to [email protected]