Colleen Cook is the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing, a marketing agency in Ashland, Ohio. Colleen loves her work and has risen to meet the challenges of growing a young company from small to mid-sized. “Being able to help our clients achieve their goals is incredibly energizing and exciting,” Colleen says. “It’s amazing to see our team grow…as we lead our clients forward to success.”
Work & Play
One of the reasons Colleen enjoys going to work everyday is that her company has embraced a fully-integrated work life. “We have fun together, we wear what we want to wear, we work on a schedule that’s ideal for us. So, when I’m at work, I don’t feel like it’s a grand departure from my whole self,” Colleen explains.
Practically speaking, that means that at the end of her workday, Colleen returns home energized, rather than depleted. She’s able to be present with her husband and children without the distractions of work crowding into her family time.
“We spend the majority of our life at work, so we should find ways to make it joyful,” Colleen says. The motto at Vinyl is “Work first, play second.”
The company offers an unlimited vacation policy, but they require a mandatory minimum of two weeks off per year for all of their employees. This policy, along with practices she’s established in her own life, helps Colleen to balance her work and personal life.
Balance & Boundaries
Because she enjoys her work and finds it energizing, it’s easy for Colleen to tip into workaholism. For example, Monday evenings her family is out of the house. Colleen often found herself using that free time to squeeze in more work. But she recently created some boundaries and decided that working late should be the exception on Mondays, not the rule.
In addition, “Saturdays are for rest and family,” Colleen states. She and her family don’t schedule activities on Saturday, although they do sometimes make spur-of-the-moment plans.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, Colleen looks forward to returning to some of the events that previously filled her social calendar. (Book club and girls’ nights top her list.) Having something to look forward to is another key to maintaining health and balance for her.
She Knows Her Super Powers
For Colleen, taking on her current job has increased her confidence in herself and her abilities. “Being a part of the team at Vinyl and being in this leadership role has dramatically increased my confidence and helped me to recognize my own superpowers.”
For Colleen, those superpowers include assessment, strategy, organization and productivity – making things happen.
“We need others who are mature in this self-understanding to hold a mirror up to us and help us to recognize our superpowers,” Collen says, “because here’s the sneaky thing about superpowers – we think everyone has what we have. A good way to recognize that something’s a superpower for you is when you find yourself frequently frustrated that everyone else isn’t doing something that you consider very easy”
Although she would have liked to have gained that confidence sooner, she believes that “Our life today is a product of all of those small decisions, lessons and mistakes, learned right when they were supposed to be.”