Nicole Brooky

Head of Global Sales, Swipedon

Nicole Brooky, Head of Global Sales at SwipedOn, grew up in Wellington before spending five years in London where her sales career flourished and was named #1 UK SaaS Sales Leader in 2019. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Nicole moved back to Aotearoa to be closer to family.

Since then, Nicole joined SwipedOn as the Head of Global Sales, bought her first home and became a mother. We spoke to Nicole to find out how life in London compares to Tauranga, and the all-important subject of how to balance a career with motherhood.

Can you give us a brief overview of your professional background?

In my early career I did a bit of everything – hospitality, events, sales and customer service. When I moved to London I joined Receipt Bank (Dext) as an early SaaS startup and was a part of their hyper-growth through three funding rounds. As the company grew, I quickly progressed from business development through numerous sales leadership roles. Early in 2019 I was appointed the General Manager for the U.K, responsible for leading a team of 40 across marketing, sales and customer success.

How does Tauranga compare to London?

It’s very different. London is competitive and there is a fast-paced, ‘growth at all costs’ mindset that often causes burnout. The businesses here have a different priority which leans on work life balance and valuing people in and outside of work. It can be quite a culture shock and took a while to adjust to!

London is the epitome of city living, which I absolutely loved while there, but being back in NZ is very comforting, and Tauranga provides the perfect mix of beach and city life. You still have good restaurants and bars, but you can go for a walk along the beach no matter where you are – and that’s simply not something you can do in London.

Within two years of returning to NZ, you bought a house and had a baby. How do you balance your career with motherhood?

Ha! Good question… I feel like I’m still figuring it out. Even when my son was a newborn I found myself craving that mental stimulation. That was a big reason I returned to work so early – I enjoy having that professional element in my life and think it’s important to still do things that challenge and excite you, even while being a new mum. You’ve got to show up for yourself – in whatever form that may be. For some people it could be creativity and art, for some it might be fitness, but it shouldn’t be about choosing, it’s about ‘how do I be a better version of myself to show up for my kids?’. Having family, friends and work that support you is important too, and surrounding yourself with people who encourage your goals.

What would you say to the people out there who might disagree that you can have a successful career and be a great mum?

Before I became a mother all I ever heard was that you need to choose – kids or your career. It’s such a stigma that needs to be broken down and I feel it often detracts career driven women from having kids because we’re told you can’t do both. I was determined to show people you can if you want to.

How do you cope with the mum guilt of coming to work full time?

It was hard initially but I’ve always wanted my kids to be independent and confident in themselves, and we chose a daycare where we knew he would be safe and loved just like he would be at home. Knowing that he constantly has new experiences, gets to play with different toys, and engages with a wide range of kids is a proud moment rather than feeling like I’ve failed him. I also make sure the time I spend with my son is focused quality time, which helps me to be completely present and not feel like I am trading one for the other.

What’s the secret to success with balancing a career with motherhood?

Do something you love. If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like a chore. I don’t think the balance will ever be easy, but having passion and purpose in your career helps with that balance and removes the idea that work is the draining part of your week. This energy will be seen by my kids and hopefully passed onto how they view work and their career in the future.

And finally… What do you love most about working at SwipedOn?

It has to be the work life balance along with valuing the people within the organisation.

Published by BOP Business Publications
Published by BOP Business Publications
Publisher: Bay of Plenty Business Publications Limited, PO Box 155, Tauranga 3144 info@bopbusinessnews.co.nz, www.bopbusinessnews.co.nz

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