Q&A with Valerie Sullivan: It’s Never Too Late to Start Your Wellness Journey
We’re all living in the age of wellness right now, whether we choose to wholly invest in it or not. If you’re tied up in the latest diet craze or simply feeling guilty that self-care isn’t at the top of your priority list, chances are, you’re thinking about it one way or another. Today we’re sitting down with our resident wellness expert who is also a Recruiter and Account Executive on our temporary division ー Valerie Sullivan! Val’s wellness journey has been long and, like everyone’s should be, ongoing. The reason we’re talking about it today with her is because she has worked hard to harness her own wellness outside the office to refocus her purpose and redirect her career ー which is how she ended up at Clarity! The results have been astounding and Val’s journey has been inspiring to not only Team Clarity, but those she counsels in holistic wellness ー she moonlights as a certified wellness counselor. This “side hustle” began as a passion in order to set her own course on the right track, but she has since been pulled by the universe to pay it forward! This has not only helped balance the wellness scales of her clients, but of her own life. Val is sitting down with us to share her story and some tips on how to start your wellness journey
Communications Team: We know that before you joined Clarity you had a long career in fashion ー tell us a bit about that and what caused you to explore a new path?
I fell into my career in fashion when I took a part-time job as a Sales Associate in high school. From there, I continued working in similar roles throughout college and found myself pursuing retail/fashion after graduation. I loved the blend of customer service and creativity that working in a store provided. I had majored in Fine Arts and didn’t see myself pursuing art full-time but knew that I had always enjoyed the people-centric environment of retail. Post-college I worked my way up the ranks in the store setting and eventually was fortunate enough to land roles on the other side of the business in both merchandising and wholesale account management. I had friends in the staffing industry who had nudged me for years to look into it recruiting based on my transferable skills and personality. I finally looked into it and I’m so glad I took the leap and found Clarity in my search!
Communications Team: How did your wellness journey play into your decision to explore a new career?
Wellness is not all about the food you eat – it is so much more than that! Our careers play a major part in our overall well-being, especially considering that we often spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families. A major part of my decision to explore a new career was due to my unfulfilled desire to associate a real purpose with my day to day work, and I just wasn’t feeling it in the fashion/retail world. I wanted to be a true contributor the greater good. I had enjoyed my career in retail, but longed for something where I could make an impact on peoples’ lives, and know I was helping someone that genuinely benefited from my efforts. I knew that regardless of the ups and downs, recruiting would be extremely rewarding for me both personally and professionally. Here at Clarity, we’re all about being true partners to our clients, and helping them build the best teams possible. On the candidate side, we’re helping people reach the next stage of their own professional growth which I find extremely rewarding ー we all need help climbing that ladder at some point in our lives!
Communications Team: Is there a correlation between your commitment to self-care and your happiness in the workplace?
Absolutely! Taking care of myself both inside and outside of the office allows me to bring my best self to work. Making sure to get enough sleep, eat right, and make time to unwind are key for me in order foster great relationships with colleagues and clients, stay organized, and remain focused at work. Not to mention – my meditation practices definitely helps me stay calm, cool and collected when stressful situations arise! It’s amazing how much a quick breathing exercise can help chill you out – even from the comfort of your desk 😊. Wellness has always been a passion ー you can read more specific here in my last Watercooler post! ーwhen I take care of myself, I’m best suited to take care of those around me whether colleagues, clients, candidates, friends, family, and last but certainly NOT least, my husband and dog, Miles!
Communications Team: How did becoming a certified wellness coach impact your ability to perform at your highest as a recruiter?
It started with curiosity and a desire to become a better and stronger version of myself. I knew I needed to make changes to find a more fulfilling career, so I also took some extra time to really study what wellness was all about and be become better suited to help myself and others. I then learned that holding others accountable for their own health and well-being pushes me to hold myself accountable. I am constantly reminding myself to practice what I preach to better myself both in and outside the office. In addition, being a certified wellness coach has taught me a lot about time management. Juggling a full-time job and side-hustle in addition to taking care of a puppy, doing my best to be a good wife, friend, family member + co-worker has really taught me the art of prioritizing and multi-tasking which comes in handy on the job! As a recruiter, you are accountable for the candidates you represent, and you are a master of your own fate. I run my own desk here, so I’m essentially running a small business within Clarity. I love the power it grants me to have control of my own success, and I’m also grateful for my stellar team and the collaboration I get to engage in every day. It’s the best of both worlds, and my self-care rituals and wellness coaching help keep me grounded on even the most stressful days in the office!
Communications Team: Here at Clarity we are lucky that we can count on you to recommend a form of meditation or new supplement to optimize health! What are some of your favorite game-changers that have helped you feel great during the workday? How do you remind yourself to stay true to your wellness journey with so much temptation to stray from it all around you?
There are a few game-changers that seem obvious but really make a huge impact if you focus on them daily. Lots of water, plenty of sleep, and less processed food! Avoiding processed food can be tough in this age of food delivery apps and instant gratification – but if you come to work prepared with healthy options, you’ll notice a shift in your energy levels. If you don’t have the time to prep healthy meals in advance – always be aware of where you can grab a healthy bite around your office so you don’t face that dreaded 3pm slump.
A few of my favorite go-to spots in the midtown area are:
In addition to your diet, focus on all aspects of your life outside of just your diet – relationships, career, exercise, spirituality, and more. Having a fulfilling life outside of the office will make your time at work that much more productive and rewarding.
It can be hard to resist temptation, so my #1 rule is that I don’t always resist it! If there are tempting snacks in the office or if the team is going out for a drink after work – I’ll indulge if I feel like it! Putting too much pressure on yourself will only add more anxiety to celebrations and times that are supposed to be enjoyable. It is all about having a healthy balance and choosing not feeling to feel guilty for when I do veer off course a bit. I feel my best when I am making healthy choices, but it doesn’t hurt to have a warm chocolate chip cookie every now and then 😊!
Communications Team: Thank you, Val!
Shoot Val an email for more wellness tips! Valerie@claritystaffing.com