Most recently my blog has focused on career and entrepreneurial stories but after scanning it I noticed a glaring oversight – the absence of the female genius. I didn’t have to look far to find an inspiring personality – Ruth Hartman. She has recently set out on a radical sabbatical to explore meaningful work in the best way she knows best.
1982 Born in Cape Town
2001 Starts first corporate job in financial services
2007 Moves to an investment firm as a client service consultant
2008 Internally transfers to the HR department as an HR Administrator
2009 Commences part-time studies through UNISA
2010 Promoted to HR Officer specializing in HRMIS, supporting recruitment
2010 Marries Jason Hartman
2011 Completes a fine arts course from the Ruth Prowse School of Art
2012 Promoted to HR Consultant specializing in general-, graduate recruitment and internships
2013 Graduates with a BCom degree in Organizational Psychology from UNISA
2014 Graduates with a PGDip in Business Administration from UCT Graduate School of Business
2014 Resigns as a full-time employee and continues to contract for the same company
2015 Starts the blog ruthclusivity.com
- Your work history shows experience in client relations and human resources. Would you describe your career story as a seamless entry into this kind of business environment? What did you enjoy most about that line of work?
Since I first started working, I have always fulfilled a client-service role, so my move to HR was a smooth transition. My biggest lesson though was that there’s no difference between external clients and internal clients (staff). As a client service consultant, my focus was mainly on the external client – moving to HR simply allowed me to apply my client-centric skills to support the internal organization. I am always cognizant that this comes full circle. Being supportive and reliable to the internal client enables them to be supportive and reliable to the external client. That was definitely one of the things I loved about my job. And then seeing those fresh, young graduates at our new-starter induction after a vigorous interview process always made my heart so happy and proud [beaming].
- You left full time employment at Allan Gray to enjoy a much simpler life. What influenced that move?
Since a kid I’ve always possessed a creative flare, and the desire to release that passion. I guess growing up you’re eventually molded into something society expects you to be. Not continuing my acting lessons because I listened to others who said there is no future in acting and it’s for the best that I get a full-time desk job, was the worst disservice I could have done to myself. Many people will testify that “suddenly one day they realized they are not living up to all they can be”. For me, it wasn’t a case of suddenly coming to this insight, it was more of a nagging inner voice. Imagine living with that voice that just won’t shut up for so many years! But habits die hard, and working from 9-5 was all I knew. So leaving full-time employment was not an easy decision, and one that took a long time to come to fruition. But I just couldn’t ignore that voice any longer – I shut my eyes, and took a leap of faith. My motto is always: “If God planted the seed in my heart, He intended for it to grow”.
- You describe your lifestyle blog as “aimed to inspire the avid foodie, traveler, fashionista, creative and everyone who lives life intentionally”. What inspired you to start this blog and how does it connect with living your own life intentionally?
My blog doesn’t focus on only one aspect. If you read my “about” page you’d know that for a long time I’ve always tried to figure out the “one thing” I am good at, the “one thing” I love, the “one thing” that will fulfill me. Only now have I realized that I shouldn’t limit my view on life. Many people pray for a revelation of their purpose, and I do too. But I want people to remember that we are complex, dynamic individuals with a variety of interests and things we are passionate about – and therefore we have an almost endless means to fulfill our life’s purpose. My blog aims to inspire everyone to embrace all there is that life can offer, and in turn use it to inspire others. That is living with intention.
- Share with us some of your ideas on next steps. Where to from here?
First Step: Well, first things first – getting the basics right as a lifestyle blogger. Core competencies such as great content to keep my readers interested and entertained; usability of the site; and updated, relevant information are just some of the things that lay the foundation that sets you apart. And that’s what I am trying to get to the T.
Next Steps: Since starting this blog, I’ve not only learnt to become a WordPress guru [laughs] but I’m also learning to be more confident to give more of myself to the world out there. I’ve been experimenting with different arts and crafts, like decoupage, mosaics, chalk pastel and charcoal sketching in the past, but haven’t had the courage to put it out there just yet. So my next steps are to eventually introduce my craft projects and creations to my portfolio.
More importantly, I would like to add more content about local entrepreneurs who are making a name for themselves, while giving back to the community. I’ve always been involved in social responsibility projects, through work or personally, so I want to give exposure to local businesses owners who support this, especially the SMEs.
Don’t forget to check out my blog.