Anne Russell manages the Marketing for APAC at Amdocs, a leading software and services provider to communications and media companies of all sizes.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I have almost 20 yrs experience in B2B Marketing, in the IT tech space, working for mid to large international vendors in a Marketing capacity at EMEA and APAC regional level.
In my current role, working for Amdocs, which is a very large Israeli-based vendor, I am part of the APAC field marketing team, providing marketing to our accounts, and since I’m based in Sydney I focus mostly on the ANZ region.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Our customers are the largest telecoms in the world. The company’s initial core business used to focus on OSS/BSS but now has branched out in many different areas to support today’s telecom’s needs such as digital, AI, customer experience, 4g/5G network rollout, content monetization, etc.
I am the liaison between the local account sales teams and the broader global marketing and product marketing teams to understand where we may have opportunities within our accounts, and some of the areas I would typically work on , would be planning, budgeting, writing some content, talking to different providers/agencies.
The business is Israeli and has international offices everywhere so there can be many late evening calls involved.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, I am part of a remote office and we work with a lot of remote colleagues. I have a fixed office I can go to but I’m not obliged to go there. I split my time between the current customer(s) sites and the office and I can also work from home if needed.
Since my manager is remote, it doesn’t really matter if I go to the office but I do need to see the sales team regularly so will go in on customer site frequently.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
It is important to understand what is important, versus what is urgent, critical and nice-to -have. Sometime the workload can really ramp up and it’s extremely busy. I treat my colleagues and management as my customers and will ensure that whatever needs to be done most urgently, I will address that first.
I think it’s important to understand who within the business needs to be kept happy; if we are at the end of financial year and the Finance teams are asking us for the accruals, this will be high priority. But if we have a customer facing event that’s happening in the next 3 days that is obviously the highest priority.
Keep in mind what is on your to-do list that will most your customers happy – whether it’s your direct manager, the sales team, the global marketing teams or the customers.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I don’t think there’s a magic wand when it comes to this term “work-life” balance.
I see many companies supposedly offering this and that and the other to their employees to tick a box under their corporate policies but at the end of the day, most businesses are there to make money and let’s not kid ourselves, they are not there to pay us massages and ping pong games.
I believe you need to create your own balance whatever that means to you. Some people are quiet and total couch potatoes and all they want is to be home, in peace after a hard day work, whilst others have high energy and need to go run a 25kms marathon . My mojo is to try and keep “ a healthy mind in a healthy body” and do my best to keep myself healthy.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Sometimes the business environment can get to you, become frustrating or stressful. In these fast work environments, everyone expects 24h/7 around the clock answers ASAP/ right now, and it’s important to slow down in order to not get overwhelmed.
If I need to spend more time to think about something in more details I am not afraid to set the timing expectation to be more realistic. I also think it’s OK to sometimes walk away/ take a breather if an issue gets frustrating. This allows to process, get a bit calmer and be in a better thinking mind frame to address it later.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I had read the One minute Manager which I thought was quite nifty and in general for my work, I read a lot of the industry updates. But personally, there are some French authors I like (since I’m half French) and one of my absolute favourites being Amelie Nothomb. So when she has a new book out, I just love to get absorbed into it. I completely disconnect from everything.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Having recently become a Mum, I need to spend more time attending to the baby’s needs so I get up earlier and ensure I have enough time to sort everything out.
If I work from home sometimes, I try to plan the calls around nap time but also warn my caller that I have the baby and it’s usually fine. But typically I check my work calendar and if there are meetings I need to prepare for, I’ll do that first then get to the other items.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’d say that everyone is different, and would have different life priorities. I ‘d say if you can, try to align the type of work environment that supports your work-life balance need.
If you are a person who needs strict routine and doesn’t like change then ensure your work environment is not going to change your position every 6 months but if on the contrary you hate a 9-5pm job then do your background research before getting hired and ensure their work culture supports your lifestyle.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!