Sixer Spotlight With Rakshinda Aslam
Meet Rakshinda Aslam
After a decade of working in the corporate world, Rakshinda Aslam shares her journey to finding purposeful work and work-life balance. Find out how Agile Six’s commitment to self-management and personal wholeness sparked her interest and how this career move has changed her life.
"I was not only looking for purposeful work but also better work-life balance."
Q. How long have you been at Agile Six, and what brought you here?
I have been working at Agile Six for five months now. After working for over a decade for a large financial institution, I was feeling restless and looking for a change. This time, I wanted to find a place where I could make a difference, a bigger impact to the community and people while continuing to earn a living. In addition, working remotely for a couple of years during the pandemic showed that there is a better way of working and maybe even being more productive, while maintaining a greater work-life balance. Remote work improved my physical and mental health, and overall helped me achieve a better sense of well-being. So I set out to look for a place like that.
Q. How did you find Agile Six?
For me, finding Agile Six was a fortunate stroke of serendipity. After working for large corporations for the majority of my career, I was looking for either a small company or a non-profit charitable organization like Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. But most large organizations were either asking to relocate or were in banking or a similar domain.
While looking through companies with open jobs, I noticed “Teal organization” within Agile Six’s description and the project involved building products for CDC to make it pandemic ready. Teal organization has been my “unicorn” since I learnt about the term a few years ago. That, and the opportunity to make a difference in our public health space, motivated me to reach out to learn more about the organization and this role.
Q. What do you do at Agile Six?
I work as a Product Owner for a project called PRIME, which is sponsored by the CDC to get us ready for the next pandemic.
We are creating a free product that allows anybody who's testing for COVID-19–like labs, hospitals, schools, over the counter–to be able to send data to public health departments for free. We plug the gaps and make sure that we reach all segments for people testing this data so that all communities are served, not just the communities that can pay to send data.
Our team is evolving, working together better, and setting up processes that help us to be more cohesive, agile, and quick to respond to the changes and needs in the public health space. All of that keeps me motivated and happy to be here.
Q. What is it like working for a fully-remote, self-managed organization vs. corporate?
The corporate world is fundamentally different, with a top-down hierarchy, and the management tends to flow in that direction. Agile Six is almost completely self-managed by people in their roles.
"Agile Six is a completely open and safe place where people are just supported and celebrated for being exactly who they are. We're lucky to work in a place where you can bring your whole self to work."
As professional adults, I think we are perfectly capable of managing our work and lives, and being responsible citizens and employees. Each of us has the autonomy to work in ways that fit our work-life balance while being productive and contributing to our work. There is no prescribed right way of doing things and no management in place to insist on or monitor policy conformance around working hours/location, etc. We manage our work around the needs of the team and work and life. The result has been a much less stressful and more fulfilling life, and I have time to stop and smell the roses on the way!
Q. Has this career move made a difference in your family's life?
This career change has been transformative in all our lives. For me, personally, I have been able to replace a ninety minute daily commute with a five mile walk every day. Not only does this add in daily exercise, sixty minutes outdoors is a great way to lower stress and connect with nature. In addition, the nature of this work and workstyle has removed a lot of clutter from my mind, and I find myself more able to be present and in the moment. In my interactions with my kids, for example, it's great to listen to all their stories about schools and friends without thinking about prepping for meetings or getting a slide deck ready for something else.
I feel comfortable prioritizing my family or myself over work without any guilt as Agile Six puts being whole above everything else. It all comes back to self-management.
Q. What surprised you the most about Agile Six?
One of the things that surprised me the most was how open everything is at Agile Six. Everybody is completely transparent about everything that's going on. Everything and anything is open for discussion including policies, contracts, recruitment, etc. The culture and company is a work in progress and everyone from the CEO to the newest employee is invited along to help with the evolution.
Agile Six is a completely open and safe place where people are just supported and celebrated for being exactly who they are. We're lucky to work in a place where you can bring your whole self to work.
Q. What core value resonates most with you – Purpose, Wholeness, Trust, Self-Management, Inclusion?
It's hard to pick because I think one without the other would be unbalanced.
I feel so glad to have found a place where all these core values are equal pillars to what we do, where we want to be, and how we want to do business.
Agile Six embodies the core values and the culture from the top. You see that every time anyone talks about them. You can see it is true to them, and therefore, it is true to us.
Q. What would you say to someone considering a career at Agile Six?
Do it, do it now! If you want to work for purpose and have a balanced life, there's not even any thinking involved.
"I feel comfortable prioritizing my family or myself over work without any guilt as Agile Six puts being whole above everything else. It all comes back to self-management."
Agile Six is the right fit for people looking for a self-managed environment to work in who don't need management to organize their work and life.
For me, having purposeful work and having a self-managed work-life are two really important parts.
Agile Six is the perfect place to be right now for me. I think we all are looking for different things based on where we are in our life and career, and present and past experiences. I had a traditional career path via large corporations following a traditional definition of success. At this point in life, having a great work-life balance, doing purposeful work, and making a difference is what I was looking for and doing this at Agile Six makes me happy.
Sixer Spotlight is an ongoing series to share the stories of our team. If Rakshinda’s story piqued your interest in a career with Agile Six, explore our open roles.