We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Harrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My typical day is a combination of a full-time marketing job at an association, part-time marketing job at a local theatre, writing a children’s book, taking real estate classes, and trying to not feel overwhelmed! But I love what I do and am constantly reminded that I’m thankful to be able to actively participate in my community. Sometimes I feel like my work and life are intertwined, which is why I find it’s so important to focus on mental health a few times each week. Whether it’s going for a walk, playing with my puppy, or doing something creative, I find it’s a necessity to find “me time.”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Getting to where I am today wasn’t easy. Not long after I moved to Houston in 2016, I was laid off from two different marketing jobs within one year. I was a recent college graduate and was ready to have a full-time career and start paying off my student loans. A layoff is always hard, particularly for a young professional in a first job. Even though I had experience through volunteer work, I felt like I wasn’t given a chance to really prove myself to the world. I placed a lot of my self-worth into these jobs, only to be let down twice.
So, in the middle of my joblessness, I started getting more creative. I explored photography, learned more about digital marketing, started a blog, and earned certifications. I wasn’t about to let these job losses defeat me. What sets me apart from others is my passion for growing. I cannot “sit still” and watch the world go by. A piece of advice: you have to grow through what you go through. I’ve learned along the way that doing something for vanity, self-worth, or recognition isn’t going to make you happy. You need to find something that furthers your passions. If something doesn’t work out, there’s always another way and there’s always another dream to chase.
Now, I work full-time as a director of marketing for a non-profit association, part-time as a marketing manager at a community theatre, and in my spare time, I write children’s books, write book reviews, and take photos! It’s never a dull moment and I’m never bored! I’m very thankful that I’ve been able to have a professional marketing career for the past 5 years, and am excited for where the future will take me.
One of my favorite quotes by Tom Hanks is, “if it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it, but it’s the hard that makes it great.” I think that quote applies to everything in life. Whether you’ve been laid off before or experienced something similar to me, know it’s not going to be easy, which is why the feeling of accomplishment is so rewarding.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s a great question, and there’s a lot we could fit in a week! My favorite spot in Houston is the Theatre District. We would go to a show (or two!) at the Alley Theatre, Wortham Theater, or Hobby Center, take a class at the Houston Ballet, tour the Downtown Aquarium, and spend an afternoon at Discovery Green for outdoor yoga. Of course, we wouldn’t forget the Museum of Fine Arts and an Astros game at Minute Maid Park! We’d visit the Red Lion British Pub for fish and chips, Little Woodrow’s for drinks, or if we’re feeling fancy, we’d drive over to Taste of Texas in Memorial District for an expensive treat! If we are craving some coffee and fun, we’d hang out at Tea + Victory for board games and beverages. That place is definitely one of my favorites.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to send a shout out to my family. My parents have always been supportive of me, no matter how crazy busy I am. They’ve always there for me and I am grateful to have their words of wisdom, love, and encouragement by my side. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them, so thank you, Mom and Dad!