We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Zaslansky Sheer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel, what makes you happy? Why?
It’s taken me until my 40’s to learn what truly makes me happy. It’s been a long and sometimes winding road to get here. I have always loved working and running my company, but at the same time, I never wanted my work to totally define me. I didn’t have my children until I was well into my career, so I definitely struggled with the balance for many years. I started The Grapevine in my 20’s so it didn’t occur to me that one day, in the future, I would have to allow the space for a family and everything that comes along with that. It was a big shift for me like so many other working moms. When I had my first child, it was just my partner Lori and myself and there was no blueprint as to how much time off for a maternity leave was appropriate. There was this constant feeling of guilt and an inability to make everyone happy. I took about a month off of work before the feeling of guilt became too overwhelming and I got back into work mode. Once I got back into work, I was then feeling guilty in the other direction for not being 100% present with my baby. It was a similar experience when I had my second baby. That overwhelming feeling of not being able to identify a healthy balance that worked for everyone. Finally over the past couple of years, I have figured out what makes me happiest and that is finding that sweet spot where I feel totally balanced in all areas of my life. I need to give time to my work, my family, my friendships and myself. I need my time where I have nothing at all scheduled and can get out of Boss mode and Mom mode and really let my mind wander and get back to myself, without being attached to a title. I need to move my body, laugh with friends and explore with no agenda at times and recharge. Only then can I be totally present and bring my best to whatever is in front of me.

I learned I work best with time blocks in order to get rid of that guilty feeling that I carried around for far too long. It allows me to be 100% focused on whatever is in front at me at that moment. I am now able to switch gears better, turn off my phone if I am enjoying time with my family, or tell my kids I have to take a work call when needed. I have given myself permission to have true balance in my life, without that guilt, which is true joy for me. You can’t multi task presence, and you can’t feel true joy if you are not in the moment.

What should our readers know about your business?
We founded The Grapevine Agency in 2005, in a time where it was much harder to access jobs. My partner and I see ourselves as job matchmakers more than recruiters. Prior to launching Grapevine, I had been working at CAA for one of the partners and had such a great experience. I got to form really solid relationships with my fellow assistants as well as the higher level executives at the company as well as the clients and other industry professionals. When it came time to look for a new job, I was at a loss of where to look. This was long before the days where you could go online and do a job search, so it was mostly word of mouth back then. I was always a connector at heart and it brought me joy when I made a match of any kind. When I started looking for work, I really felt lost and like there was a huge a void in the job search space, and an idea was sparked. From that lack of resources, the Grapevine was launched 18 years ago.

Something that really set us a part from the rest of the agencies at the time was the creation of a job blasts. We had the idea to collect every email address of our friends, families and co-workers to send our open jobs to. We decided to send this job blast out weekly and asked everyone to forward to their networks and it just sort of grew organically from there.

To this day, we still send out our job blasts a couple times a week and it has now become sort of a norm in our industry which we are really proud of. It was scrappy at the beginning but caught on into something quite remarkable over time.

We also have a very hands on approach to how we connect job seekers to employers looking to hire. We take a great deal of pride in bringing great undiscovered talent to our clients. Nothing feels quite as good as making that perfect match. We have always followed our instincts and it has lead us to where we are today. There is enough business out there for everyone so we aren’t overly competitive. It has worked really well for us. We have learned over time that we can’t force anything. If the placement is meant to be, it will be. We really want to make good long-term placements so all parties have to be equally invested and excited about each other or it won’t work out.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever people come visit for the first time I have a few staples on my list to give them a good sense of life here in LA. I am from NY originally so I feel like I was a tough critic at first. I want to show my friends LA in all its glory. A must on that list is a nice hike to get a lay of the land and see the city views at either Will Rogers or Mandeville Canyon followed by a brunch at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel for the McCarthy Salad. For anyone visiting with kids, I always make sure to bring them to the Anennberg beach club for a day of fun in the sand, splash pads and lunch with your feet in the sand. At night I love to go to Soho House malibu as the sun is setting and drink one of their famous Picante cocktails. I also love taking visitors to the malibu lumber yards for a day of shopping and some greek food at Taverna Tony’s. Farmer’s market in Santa Monica on Wednesdays is a must as well as the Brentwood Farmer’s market every Sunday.

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 give a shout out to my patient and extremely supportive husband, Noah Sheer. We met and started dating the very same month I founded The Grapevine and he has been my biggest cheerleader since day 1. He has a very big and busy career himself, in the music industry, and I am so grateful that he has been by my side all along. I have always used him as a sounding board and trust his instincts and advice like no other. I am feel so lucky to have a husband who fully supports my ambitions and desire to work and have my own passions.

Website: TheGrapevineAgency.com

Instagram: @Grapevineagency

Linkedin: LinkedIn.com/company/thegrapevineagency

Twitter: GrapevineGal

Facebook: The Grapevine Agency

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