Biz Dev & Sales / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Angie Stavros, Group Sales Manager – PodcastOne at Southern Cross Austereo

Angie Stavros is the Group Sales Manager – PodcastOne at Southern Cross Austereo, an Australian media company operating 80 radio stations and 21 commercial television licenses.

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

Growing up, working in the advertising industry was always part of my life plan. I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant exactly, but I was determined to explore all avenues.

Straight after finishing high school, I studied film production and juggled freelance work as a production assistant working exclusively on TV commercials.

Keen to understand more about the business side of my chosen industry, I continued my studies at RMIT in Advertising and Media. All of a sudden, the advertising world was opened up to me and there were so many more areas in media for me to explore.

Still determined to work in production, I took my first “real” job at Channel 10, in the sales department. Getting a foot in the door at a TV station was all that mattered to me and I was going to progress to the production floors.

However, I loved the excitement and energy of sales so much, that I never left this side of the media. I have since enjoyed 25+ years in media sales and have worked amongst some incredible talent and organisations across a number of mediums and products.

My career was built within large organisations including Channel 10, ARN Radio, Time Inc, News Corporation, Pacific Magazines and SCA. I have been fortunate to have worked on some successful product launches and client campaigns and have sadly seen some products step aside to make way for the digital transformation.

Although the digital age has revolutionised the media landscape, the one thing that has remained constant in the industry is the importance of trusted relationships. I have developed some strong and stable relationships with clients and agencies that I have been able to leverage (and vice versa) within the businesses I am working with.

I am also a mother of a 16 and 14 year old, which is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had (and the most demanding bosses I’ve ever worked for!). Being a parent has taught me all about prioritising, discipline, balance and the need to find the fun in every day.

2. What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I am currently in the audio content industry, as the Melbourne Sales Manager for PodcastOne Australia, at SCA. PodcastOne are producers of Australia’s leading original content, commercial network.

The majority of my time is spent engaging with the Melbourne agency and direct market on the “so hot right now” platform and collaborating on integrated partnerships for their clients within our podcasts.

3. What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

As cliché as it sounds, every day is different. Although it is frowned upon by many, I always check my emails before I get out of bed in the morning. I find it’s important to help me prioritise my day and prepare for anything new that may change the course of my day.

Once I’m up, my morning is dedicated to calming (or at times contributing to) the chaos in the house – getting two teenagers off to two different schools on time has its challenges.

Driving into the office, I always listen to a podcast; sometimes one of our own, and other times one of our competitor’s.

Once I’m in the office, I review my day and do-to list. As a priority, I make sure I am fully prepared for meetings I have scheduled on the day. Following that, I check in with my colleagues, read trade press and tend to urgent email requests.

A regular day can look something like this: external meetings, internal meetings, proposal writing, schedule building, talking to clients and collaborating with radio sales team on a client’s integrated audio strategy.

In my “spare” time, I am usually re-evaluating my sales strategy and pipeline which needs to flexible depending on what the market dictates (i.e. reactive or pro-active).

My drive home is often in silence as I reflect on my day and mentally prepare for the evening ahead. Sometimes I use this time to call family and friends and get into a more relaxed headspace.

4. Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

  • Write things down – keep a to-do list and review it constantly. There is something very satisfying about completing something on your to-do list.
  • Schedule your day and week – even plan the “downtime”
  • Set aside tasks in “time buckets”. Respond to emails, pay bills, run errands, make phone calls etc.
  • Stay away from social media during work time – you will get lost in the vortex
  • Don’t leave things for later – “eat the frog”

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5. In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

If I am facing a particularly busy period that requires concentration, I plan a work-from-home day. Flexibility in the work place is vital for me – working from home enables me to be free from distractions, saves me valuable commute time and ensures I am not working ridiculous hours in the office, away from the family.

I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive husband who understands that we are in a “partnership” and for our household to run smoothly, we both need to contribute to shared responsibilities. As most working mums habitually do, I tend to carry the mental load but I am learning to delegate a lot more these days!

It’s important for our kids to understand that they are also integral in the management of the household. Building in age-appropriate chores ensures I am setting them up for adulthood and teaches them how to manage their time well.

Time is valuable – I don’t over commit my time or who I spend it with – where possible, I try not to plan more than one after work event per week. I also try to make sure I am surrounding myself with positive people that I enjoy spending time with.

6. What does work life balance mean to you?

Enjoy what you do but remember to switch off work mode and switch on life mode.

7. What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

  • Surround yourself with inspiring people that you can learn from
  • Know when it’s time to slow down. Recognise the signs that you are getting overwhelmed. Schedule in down time. Recharge. I plan short weekends away (during basketball and football off seasons!) where we do nothing. I binge watch my favourite shows, I take naps on the couch or spend time with friends.
  • Stay connected to friends – Hold on to friends that “get you”
  • Get enough sleep
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Find some time in the day to laugh

8. Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

9. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Reflect on my day. It’s a good reminder that even when you feel like you are running on the spot, not getting anywhere, you have actually accomplished a lot more than you thought.

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

I don’t claim to have the work/life balance formula worked out, as there are certainly many days I can’t keep up but I try to remind myself that it will pass and that I’m not alone in this “struggle”. Give yourself a break, reflect and be proud of what you have achieved.

“You are not your job”. Your reputation, skills and life experience you have accumulated over the years are more valuable than your job title. Aspire to be a kind person and expect nothing less in return.

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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.