Anthea England, Content Manager for health fast food chain, SumoSalad, and health & wellness start-up, THR1VE (the two companies recently merged.
Balance the Grind spoke to Anthea about her broad content management role, juggling work, life and wedding planning, reframing what career success means, and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, so when I left school I did a degree in media and communications at Sydney University.
In the last year of my degree I did an internship at Next Media at a tween magazine. I fell in love with the work and landed a job as a writer there when I finished uni.
It was a fun few years and pushed me creatively. I wrote a lot of quizzes about Justin Bieber in my time there. If you need any Taylor Swift or One Direction trivia, I’m your girl.
Over the early years of my career, I developed an interest in health and wellbeing. Eventually I took a job as a sub-editor at Women’s Health magazine.
This was a dream job with a group of absolute legends, who are still my mates. I stayed there a few years, eventually becoming features writer and then a digital content editor.
I loved the stories I got to help tell there. About two years ago I moved over to the health and wellness company THR1VE to become their content manager.
Earlier this year, THR1VE was acquired by SumoSalad and my role expanded to look after the content for both Sumo and THR1VE.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I work as the content manager for SumoSalad and THR1VE. The scope of the role is pretty broad – essentially anything that needs words comes to my desk.
I look after the social media channels for the brands and write regular blog content. I also work on EDMs, PR content, SEO strategy and any copywriting that is needed for products or the websites.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My day starts at 5:45am. I go to the gym and either do a BodyPump class or spin. If I’m not up for that, I’ll take a walk to the harbour.
Then I walk to work with my partner – it’s a nice 30 minute walk from door to door. No day is ever the same, but it usually starts with checking all our social channels and reviewing our content calendar.
I’ll also sort through emails while I have brekkie at my desk. Then I review any content I’ve written the day before and send it live or schedule it.
There are always meetings scattered through the day – planning upcoming content projects or working on partnerships or campaigns for the brands.
I get outside for some fresh air at some point. In the arvo I like to do any writing – that’s often blog content, but could also be project work or copywriting for new products.
That way, I can review it with fresh eyes in the morning. It really depends on the day – last week I had a photoshoot with our nutritionist and then worked on blog content for the whole day.
Once I’m done, most days I walk home, eat some food and flop. My partner and I have just started planning our wedding, so that’s our evening activity of the moment!
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?
Usually, it’s pretty clear what’s a priority in my job. But, in general, I’m a big fan of a spreadsheet. Anything I can organise in a spreadsheet, I will.
It’s my attempt to order the creative chaos in my brain. Also, I’ve found it’s much more efficient to schedule in any breaks around tasks, rather than times. Sometimes that does mean I have lunch at 4pm though.
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
I’m not sure the whole “balance” thing can completely exist, really. We can’t just compartmentalise our lives – life is a bit more messy than that.
However, in general, I try to put everything in perspective where I can. I figure out what will matter in five minutes versus five months or five years and prioritise my responsibilities from there.
On my walk home, I let myself fuss over anything from the day and then try to let it go once I’ve stepped in the door. That is still very much a work in progress. Learning to say a firm no to things was also life changing.
6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?
Any opportunity to bail out of the city, I will. Long walks and fresh air are the best. I love baking and reading, too.
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?
This is going to sound like some serious self-help fluff, but I learned very early on to reframe what career success means to me. For me, it’s about creative and personal fulfilment.
It absolutely does not mean a specific title or place in a hierarchy. Those markers of success might be important to some people – but those people don’t have to turn up to my job every day.
I am the one who has to actually live it, so I have to love it. I don’t treat work like a competitive sport.
I strive to make positive contributions and connections every day – that is the best habit I have developed. In that way, success isn’t an elusive end point, it’s more like a daily practice.
8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?
I think books in general will give you some balance! There’s nothing like getting absorbed in a good book to get you out of work mode real quick.
9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I always take time to move every morning – even if it’s just a short walk around the block. It sets me up for the day and gets me in a better headspace.
If you’d like to have a conversation with Balance the Grind about how you manage work, life and balance, feel free to get in touch with us!