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Gea Blumberg

Gea Blumberg

Gea Blumberg
Head of Business and Sales Strategy at WisdomTree Europe.

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Head of Business and Sales Strategy 

  • Company: WisdomTree Europe 

  • Sector: Asset Management - ETF issuer 

  • Degree: BA in Management & BA in Psychology from Webster University in Vienna (Austria)

How does your usual day look like?

I live with my husband and our 3 young kids, so plans can change swiftly. A good day starts before the kids wake up, to enjoy a coffee in peace. The morning kicks off by 6.30am and involves getting everyone ready and fed by 7.45am, when I head to work. On office days I usually squeeze in a workout at 6.00am. I am by no means a morning person but have learned that this is the most effective and efficient way for my sanity and our family of 5 to start the day.

At work, I stay organized by promptly triaging and addressing urgent emails, messages, and tasks. During challenging periods I focus on tough to-do’s first thing in the morning. To understand my workload you only need to check my inbox; it will host all unresolved items and reminders to myself. Everything else gets moved to subfolders once done.

During periods when work (and life) gets super hectic and challenging I apply the following techniques:

1) 5 a Day: I will block off 5 slots of 15 minutes, where I mute my messages and phone and tackle important projects. They may not get done in that time, but I can take a significant step in the right direction and map out the efforts needed for completion.

2) Write a list of my TOP 3 MUST DO’s and my TOP 3 NICE TO HAVE’s, this breaks the load down into manageable pieces and creates a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment upon completion.

Since “mom-guilt” is real, I will often apply the above also to my family life and create a ‘reset-button’ on stressful days where we all feel lost, agitated, or disconnected.

I finish work around 17.30, enjoying dinner with my family by 18.00. Once the kids are in bed my evenings are dedicated to either completing work tasks or household chores. My only downtime is during my workout or daily commute, which is always on the bike granting me some extra movement and peace away from the stuffy London underground.

What are the things you like the most about your job?

First of all, I like the people I work with and think very highly of them. I don’t believe you can enjoy work, if you don’t like spending 50 hours a week with the people around you. I also like working on various projects and solving new problems.

I like watching my team grow, understand the business a little more every day and generate new ideas and insights that are outside my remit. I like working with and sometimes influencing people to do things a certain way, or view them a certain way.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

I lean into the flow of my team and surrounding. This allows me to guide them naturally (at their own pace and in their unique style) towards the accomplishment of our priorities. When thinking about the business, I need to give control to my rational brain. When working with my colleagues, I need to listen to their words and my gut. These are very different skills and once combined can lead to outstanding results.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

I had so many happy days over the past 18 years and I am very grateful for that. The common denominator was when I felt appreciated and understood as my authentic self. I got more responsibility more money or a higher title because I applied my unique skills to a job, in a way that fit into my work-life balance.

In particular, WisdomTree has been immensely supportive and accommodating and our leadership and HR team keep paving the way for a more empathic setup in financial markets. I am proud to be part of that movement as I also want to empower young women in being brave and gracefully bold, in shooting for the stars and paving their own authentic way to the career they want.

Anything can be done if you have the right mindset and the right people cheering you on.

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

I think the toughest decision for me was every maternity leave after my first. I always knew I wanted to have more than 1 child, but it was hard announcing my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy. Whilst my boss was always very supportive, inside I felt like I was letting everyone down for the benefit of my own happiness. Equally, every time I returned to work after 8 months I felt like I was letting my children down for my own happiness. No career coaching or business development course prepares you for that saboteur voice inside your head.

I have now learned that I very much like and need being both – a successful female leader and a loving and caring mother. I pride myself in showing my 3 girls that by loving myself first, filling my bucket first, I have infinitely more love, joy, patience, and life to give to them.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Your inbox will never be empty and work will never be done!

You accept this and you can move to a new way of life – prioritising, delegating, renegotiating.

  1. Do what needs to be done by You and now.

  2. Delegate what needs to be done, but can be tackled by someone else, in the interest of time or for the benefit of their learning.

  3. Renegotiate the rest and tackle at another time in another way.

How did you get to become a Head of Business and Sales Strategy?

By being bold and asking for a role that was needed but didn’t exist. By being patient and negotiating said role with our European Head of Business over several months. By applying my strengths and bringing it to life in the early days and then by taking over new departments and turning something good into something great.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint – so every little step in the right direction counts.

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in following your footsteps?

Have a vision for where you want to be in X years, what you want to achieve personally and professionally and then write down how this makes you feel. Once you are clear on this, trust the process and lean into the flow. You will identify the right opportunities, because they will trigger the same empowering feelings as your initial vision. Your intuition will literally point out road signs if you are willing to listen.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

+ By allowing myself 10 minutes in the morning, by myself, to myself.

+ 5 a Day

+ Top 3 MUST Do & Top 3 NICE To Do

+ If all of the above fail: A box of chocolate, a killer workout and a hot shower will hit the reset button.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

After crossing 30 and having my second daughter, I finally understood who I was, what I was really good at and where I was lacking.
With that knowledge I went out and asked for more – a bigger job, more flexibility, more money, more support at home.
Guess what happened: I got most of these things and some more along the way. Knowing who you are and asking for what you want, that is #gracefullyBold.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

Our weekends are 100% family time. You will find me cycling the kids through London, picnicking at parks, climbing on playgrounds, cruising through museums or pretending to be royalty at one of the many castles. During holidays we are out visiting family in Germany, Austria or Croatia and naturally, we are outdoors exploring the flora and fauna of Europe.

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

Honestly, I am a strong believer in going with your gut. I took all my major life decisions based on gut feeling, and it has never failed me. So, when life gets tough, and it does get tough often, I trust my gut to point me to the nearest exit should I need to take it.

Otherwise, the mantra is #carryon and be #gracefullybold.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

I wanted to be an actress, so I could be someone new every couple of months. What I didn’t know is that I would end up changing so much during my normal life, essentially accomplishing that same feeling. Now I am in a place where I really enjoy being me, so I am truly happy with where I am at.

What's one of the last things you learnt?

Cruising is equally important as sprinting ahead. Sometimes you need to slow down, assess where you are, optimise the setup and just get ready for the next big move. I think this was my hardest lesson so far as patience is still a virtue I am trying to learn.

Who is a female professional that inspired you along your career journey?

I have met and spoken to many successful men and women along the way. It is hard to pinpoint even one or two, as the needs towards an inspiring figure will change depending on your current state.

When I was 26, young and hungry to grow, I was in need of very different advice then at 29 when I had my first daughter and my new boss tried to downplay my position because I was a working mom.

I have changed coaches and mentors over the years and I am incredibly grateful for all of them, as they have given me extremely valuable skills at the times I needed them.

If you could time-travel and meet any leader, who/where would that be?

I would want to meet my maternal great grandmother and great great grandmother. Generational guilt is real and I would love to understand where some of this pressure is coming from.

How do you manage "having it all"?

I have an amazing and very successful husband. We have 3 beautiful children and a house in central London and I have a great job and a career that moved in the fast lane, alongside 3 maternity leaves.

Face-value I “have it all”, and this creates a lot of pressure. In reality I have a support network which currently includes a cleaner, a nanny and soon an au pair. We don’t have family nearby and we might onboard a housekeeper. My husband and I are very conscious of how and where we spend our money, but we have become even more conscious of where and how we spend our time.

I quickly hit a point where I had to ask myself: Would I rather clean 2 hours or play with the kids. That’s a no brainer.

So having it all IS possible, but it DOES NOT mean you have to DO IT ALL. A realisation that I learned from the working dad’s around me and I think they might be onto something 😊.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • What's your superpower: Talking (people into and out of things)

  • Favourite restaurant: Too many, ever changing, try “Western Laundry”

  • Favourite fashion brand: bold and loud prints like Ganni, Stine Goya, etc.

  • Favourite beauty product: Facial oil from Sarah by London

  • Favourite perfume: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel (since nearly 20 years!)

  • Book recommendation: So many but I liked “She’s Back” by Deb Khan & Lisa Unwin, “Conscious Parenting” by Shefaly Tsabary and “The Virgin Way” by Richard Branson

  • Next holiday destination: Croatia to see my family

  • Your hobby: My kids and getting artsy or creative with them!

  • Who inspires you: My husband, he is always happy and content, he has much more patience at home and a much cooler head at work.

  • Tea or Coffee: Coffee, oat cappuccinos all day every day

  • Red wine or White wine: Red in the evenings, rose during the day

  • Morning bird or Night owl: Night owl turned morning bird for efficiency

  • Cat person or Dog person: Dogs, 100%

Thank you Gea for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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