Business: Juggling, balance and the importance of doing more

Sometimes it’s all about balance - getting it right… getting it wrong… and trying again.
Rachel Storey outside Sheffield City HallRachel Storey outside Sheffield City Hall
Rachel Storey outside Sheffield City Hall

Let me introduce myself. I’m Rachel Storey and I’m sales and marketing manager and HR consultant at ProAktive – we provide integrated insurance, health and safety management, HR support and environment monitoring solutions. I’ve been with the company for 12 years now and every day is different.

Alongside my day job, I’m chair of council for Sheffield Chamber. I started to be involved with the Chamber five years ago and was introduced to the council by former chamber president and chairman Steve Manley and joined in 2019.

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I felt the Chamber council had a lot of potential and I wanted to do my bit to support its aspirations. I joined the nominations committee, became vice chair before becoming chair of Council in 2022.

I am also a member of the Sheffield Property Association. When I joined, I saw an opportunity for the group to be doing more to support its members. I initiated a scheme for member anagers – people who are allocated a group of members to assist and mentor. I represent these managers on a coordination group to make sure the SPA has its members at the heart of the organisation.

On top of this, I am currently half-way through an MBA at the Open University and mentoring a couple of work contacts. I see everything I do as a privilege in adding value to the people I’m working with, it’s hard work, but worth it.

Voluntary roles are often seen as the extracurricular activities of the corporate world – or something for those overachievers who have too much time on their hands – but this simply isn’t the case.

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Voluntary roles, to me at least, are hugely valuable ways to enhance your personal development, expand your networks whilst giving something back to the community that supports you. While important in our working lives, it can benefit our personal lives making us more rounded as we expose ourselves to new experiences.

Being able to help people and organisations is one of the most rewarding things I have found about putting myself out there.

I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t found it hard over the years to get the correct balance of being a mum/wife/friend alongside my work life. My family is everything to me but it’s important to me to have my own career and development.

I’m certainly not perfect but I’m very lucky to have a supportive family and employer that help me to make it work.

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Never stop trying to be a better you. Keep learning, developing, and growing. Help your office with the more-extracurricular activities, step up to be a board member or a non-executive director. Just give it a go and the balance will come in time, just try, and try again and enjoy the journey until then.