We had the good fortune of connecting with Chary Sathea and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chary, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In my early twenties, I thought about the hustle a lot. I have always been a work-consumed individual. When you’re a 20-somethings working in the fashion industry in New York City, there is no sense of “balance.” Especially when you are also trying to establish yourself as a young professional. However, as I have matured in my career and to protect my mental health, I have implemented boundaries. Not to mention, shifting industries as well has contributed to finding more balance in my life. Finding time to recover and re-charge, that is vital to continue long-term sustainability in my career and building a growing project like thecnnekt.com.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My background is in Communications. I have always loved telling stories, whether it was through Xanga as a middle-schooler to now as a professional using social media platforms to do so, and naturally building a platform to display stories such as thecnnekt.com. What makes me different is the well-verse background that I have. I have dabbled in fashion, account management work, to big Pharma, to now, not-for-profit. Because I have taken on different roles and have occupied in different industries, my lens are widen and I have a hodgepodge for different skills. Was it easy making these transitions? No. On paper, it looked like I jumped ship a lot and somehow subscribe to those Millennial traits of staying at companies for a year and leaving my role, but it wasn’t that. I left because I realized I wasn’t passionate about the work I was doing. I felt like I was on a mission to find my life’s purpose, and all the roles I took on, did not bring me joy. However, I do know that not everyone is built this way. Some folks are working to make a decent living, which is all good. Do you! But for me, I want to wake up and be in a role where I know I am making a difference in the world. So viola — working an organizations that do social impact was the best fit for me and building thecnnekt to share all these emerging voices who are agents of change in their communities. What I would have done differently is negotiate my salary. Always negotiate. I am smart and capable (and passionate), so why shouldn’t I be compensated as such?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Sorry, it’s been a minute since I’ve dine out in Los Angeles. But I would highly recommend supporting your local mom and pops shops. Due to COVID-19, a lot of business are struggling right now. Also, it goes without saying: as they are putting their lives at risk, tip more than 20%. Everyone is struggling right now so if we can all be kind to one another during these difficult times. But if you’re ever in New York, come find me. I got you.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to Marketing Twitter, y’all know who you are. Honestly, this has been a huge blessing during the pandemic because without IRL gatherings, I’ve been networking over Zoom with 1:1 sessions with marketers to learn more about who they are, why they do the work they do, and discussing the ever-changing social media and digital landscape. It has been so inspiring to connect to all kinds of folks. I also wanted to give another shout out to a life mentor, Cheryl Ann Lee. She’s based in D.C. and has been in the not-for-profit sector for some time, and she has always led with compassion and kindness. She is also freaking brilliant. As I continue to grow my career in the not-for-profit sector, tackling more advocacy work, and growing thecnnekt, I always ask her to be sounding board and making sure the moves I make for long-term impact.
Photos taken by Alyssa Kirsten