Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Alex Dask, Digital Marketing Manager at Q-CTRL

Alex Dask is the Digital Marketing Manager at Q-CTRL, a company building infrastructure software to power quantum technology.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Throughout my decade-long digital marketing career, I have managed in excess of $10M paid media budgets across a number of channels with a breadth of experience ranging from agency-side to technology startups to large corporations. 

My current role is Digital Marketing Manager at Q-CTRL. Q-CTRL makes quantum technology useful through advanced, intuitive, and scalable quantum control engineering solutions. Prior to joining Q-CTRL, I worked at growth marketing agencies in New York City, with a heavy focus on paid media and conversion rate optimization.

I also have a side hustle which I launched late 2020. The business is Beam Clear Aligners. I am really passionate about positive disruption that creates value for the consumer. At Beam we straighten teeth from the comfort of the patient’s home.

We have partnered with one of the leading German manufacturers of clear aligners. As a result, we offer the highest quality aligners at a fraction of the cost of traditional braces. 

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I recently got a new dog – a puppy called Brooklyn. She’s a springer spaniel crossed with a standard poodle and is 5 months old. My morning’s now consist of being woken up quite early by her.

I then have a quick breakfast and head to the local park where there’s a great community of fellow dog owners. In this time of COVID lockdowns it’s been really nice still being able to connect with the community. It’s then a matter of enticing Brooklyn away from the park so I can start my work day. 

In terms of my workday I know this is kind of cliche – although no day is ever really the same. I’ll focus on today because like they say there is no time like the present. This morning I ran the bi-weekly marketing meeting which provides an overview of current digital marketing activities to key members of the team, including our CEO.

Shortly after I attended the equivalent sales meeting so I have an understanding of how leads are progressing through our sales funnel which can help inform and guide future marketing campaigns. Beyond that there were a couple of 1-1 alignment calls. 

Thankfully we’re not a meeting heavy company at Q-CTRL – we like to ensure we have time to focus and get things done. We’re currently planning for black friday and holiday campaigns for our new quantum learning platform, BLACK OPAL. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, Q-CTRL supports remote working. In fact with the recent COVID outbreak we have been almost entirely remote. Personally I enjoy remote working and found that it was an incredibly popular style of working while I was living in New York.

Thankfully, Australian companies now seem much more supportive of this working style than they were quite a few years ago. As an introvert I find I am generally happier and more productive working from home. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I think work life balance means different things to different people and even different things to the same person at different stages in their life.

For example, while I was working in New York, certain workplaces had a somewhat unhealthy hustle mentality. For example, coming into the office to work while you were sick was somewhat strangely glorified.

For me personally, I now view work-life balance as ensuring not one of my core responsibilities is dominating my time to such an extent that it starts negatively impacting the other responsibilities in my life. In the example above if you can’t take a day off when you’re really sick that to me isn’t balanced, as you are neglecting your health which is incredibly important.

I enjoy work and derive significant benefits from this activity, such as a sense of meaning and purpose. However, I also enjoy leisure time, physical activity and want to have time for these activities in my life as well. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Unfortunately this has not been by choice. The recent lockdown here in Sydney due to the delta variant COVID outbreak has meant gyms are closed. Unfortunately this meant I originally was exercising far less than usual.

However, I have managed to form a new habit which involves more body weight exercises at home and outdoor jogs so I still get some physical activity throughout the week while we are in lockdown here in Sydney.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Definitely! Business Wars by Wondery is a fantastic podcast! Highly recommend Amazon vs. Walmart. I have lots of books to recommend although a couple that have stood out to me were; Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harrari. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I am yet another Apple fanboy. I couldn’t live without my Macbook or my Airpods. While the quick battery drainage infuriates me with the airpods – overall the way they seamlessly integrate with all my tech is such good design! 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I would be really interested to hear Elon Musk’s thoughts on this topic. Mostly to hear what kind of an impact his 100 hour work weeks have on other parts of his life. 

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I am far from an expert on this topic, although in general I like to think I have a growth mindset so I am always looking for ways to better myself and that to me includes how you structure your work and life.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.