We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Park and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jenny, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
We all think about work life balance and long for that perfect ratio; our tolerance to whatever that ratio varies wildly for the job and life we lead. With the pandemic and all of us suddenly challenged to blend work/life in the same physical space, I’ve thought about work/life balance way more than any other years in my career.

In the past, I was physically able to leave the office and separate myself from the conventional work hours. Without me actively making that separation mentally, working from home presented so many layers of complex thoughts about how I “live.” My husband was also doing the same in the living room and me in my office… We managed but definitely went thru lows and highs during 2020 into this new year with this new ways of working and living..

As companies pivot and think of different ways to extend capabilities of small teams, more work and pressure is put on each team member. I’ve definitely felt that last year. It was great to be safe at home and working but I also noticed that I was deteriorating daily by the way my work consumed quite literally everything. Without the physical separation, work was around all hours of the day and night and it definitely became too much to bear.

When I hit this wall is when I started to put me first. I started eating better, drinking water more and made sure I had my me time to start each day with meditation and workout. I made sure that I didn’t get up and logged on to VPN 3-4 hours ahead of work hours very first thing in the morning. After this structure was put in, I like myself better and it feels great to know that I’m doing this for me and my family’s well being.

We’re all humans before whatever title we hold at our jobs. It only makes sense that when we take care of the human side and grow awareness of how you feel and why you feel that way… Things start to look up and you feel more in control. 2020 and working from home has definitely open that awareness for me and I will continue to carry it into the vaccinated and possibly a work life that is back at the office.

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.
I graduated from college in 2009 at the absolute lowest point in the U.S. job market. After grueling months of applying for countless jobs and so much uncertainty, I landed a position as an in-house graphic designer for a chemical company based in Houston. From then on, I consistently have held different positions in a corporate environment to this day.

With my drawing and painting background on top of graphic design knowledge, I’m the most excited and happiest when I can combine all my skills. Learning to do thorough research in my work as I was training to be a designer has taught me a lot about what it takes to have good and bad designs. (Thank you for teaching me everything I know about design, Prof. Sperry!!) Getting to know a client and/or their brand always opens more doors for stories to be told in a more accurate and genuine way. I really dig that about graphic design; thorough research leading to a chance to tell a story in a visual way.

I remember my painting professor in my senior year in college mentioning that he felt bad for graphic design majors because they are doing art for others and commercial use…whereas what he did, fine art paintings, was from and for him. I couldn’t disagree more; I knew I could develop my design aesthetics and that could be my design identity. Also mixing the business side of things WITH design and art was very attractive to me as a designer in training. I still stand by my thoughts I had then.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Atlanta has a great food scene. Ramen & sushi in Midtown, Pho in Forrest Park, Mexican dishes in Grant Park, Thai also in Grant Park and I can’t forget about my own kitchen. My husband and I love cooking, making cocktails and entertaining at home. So a meal or two at my place are in order for sure. As for activities, we can go biking if our friend is into that idea. A nice hike a little outside of the city with our dog, Bienna would be fun as well.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents took me around the world when I was little and consciously/subconsciously exposed me to many different cultures. I honestly don’t think we knew how it would all add up inside little Jenny’s head but thinking back now… I am so very grateful for them and the experiences they gave me. And for them to just get up and move away from Korea and everything they knew to the States in 2000… The main reason was to give me better education and more exposure… I became interested in art and was fully supported to pursue my studies in drawing and painting and graphic design. I can tell you that wouldn’t have been the case had we stayed in Korea in a highly competitive educational space.

My parents are my best friends and we are very transparent about our feelings. Their nurturing and hard-working nature has definitely stayed with me and I’m proud to be Korean American with raw emotions and feelings and words to go with all of it! I was taught to be a decent person and I feel like that just goes such a long way in general but more so these days. I thank my parents for giving me the ability to see situations in other’s shoes and sound decision making skills. They are the best!

Website: www.jennypark.co

Instagram: @jennypark.co

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennypark1/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.