Without a supportive community and a holistic lifestyle that creates a life conducive for thriving, your efforts at work will be compromised.
I caught up with young professional Nothando Moleketi, head of marketing and operations for ReWare (certified pre-owned phones), to discuss how she does it.
1. With such a demanding schedule, how do you manage to get adequate rest?
It's all a work in progress, but I try to prioritise rest and ensure I get a minimum of six hours of sleep a night during the week.
At the end of the day, being able to operate at a high level of productivity is integral to our business, so I make a conscious effort of ending the work evening an hour before going to bed to allow time to unwind before getting into bed.
2. Do you prioritise investing time in hobbies or do you see hobbies as an non-essential?
I believe it's important to nurture the creative parts of yourself because it nurtures the ability to think out of the box. I do try and nurture my food hobbies over the weekend.
3. Do you plan your clothing the night before or do you wake up in the morning and decide based on how you feel?
Barack Obama said: “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinise yourself. You can't be going through the day distracted by trivia.” Since coming across this, I try to plan the evening before to minimise wasting the decision-making energy in the morning on an outfit. I have a general uniform for work and rotate between combinations.
4. How important is “an evolving/growing network” or do you rely heavily on a more established network?
It's a combination of both tapping into the people in my existing network at the relevant time, but also building on new relationships. We're very customer-centric so it's important to nurture existing and new relationships.
5. Is there a such thing as balance in your life?
I see balance as a pendulum.
6. Do you have mentors?
Yes. I am lucky to have mentors in my family that I rely on as advisers, supporters and general springboards. These are my parents, an uncle who is in the telecommunications space and my husband.
7. How important is ongoing education in your life?
I am a scholar of life thriving through on-the-job learning. Management consulting was a great foundation, it nurtures individuals who are analytical with the ability to grasp concepts quickly and this has held me in good stead. I definitely want to further my formal education and would look at something like an Executive MBA or the Owner President Management programme at HBS.
8. How much time do you spend integrating social media into your career?
I have not tapped into this as I should and it's definitely a development area of mine.
9. What do you see as critical to ensure you as a young professional are most prepared to thrive?
Pursuing excellence requires a commitment to continuous learning, and a strong work ethic - putting in the hours.
10. When you feel doubt, what do you do?
It's important to differentiate between gut feeling, which I do listen to, and doubt. If I have doubt I take a moment to check whether my decision-making process was sound and then stress-test the decision. If I'm still not satisfied with the outcome or have doubts I bounce it off others, like my business partner or mentors.
Take some time and consider your answers to these questions.
What's most important when you're building a career is knowing your work and life outside of work must support each other.
* Follow Timothy on Twitter @timothymaurice