Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Cat Prestipino, Chief Marketing Officer at Employment Hero

Cat Prestipino is the Chief Marketing Officer at Employment Hero, an Australian HR software company which provides employers and employees an all-in-one HR, payroll and benefits platform.

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

I fell into my marketing career because of Facebook. I was the only person in the office with a Facebook account and the Director of Marketing thought this was going to be “a thing”. Little did she know how right she was.

I was moved into her team and began my career as a marketer doing brand, PR and events.

Social was always a big part of what I did but I really saw the power of digital marketing during my time at McCann Erickson. I loved being able to add measurability and science to the awesome work marketing teams do.

I moved to work in the technology space and haven’t looked back since. I’ve made a bit of a career helping technology startups launch into new markets and scale up.

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

I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Employment Hero. Employment Hero helps businesses manage everything to do with their people – HR, payroll, employee engagement and benefits – so they can focus on growing their business.

I’m responsible for the strategic direction of Employment Hero’s marketing efforts. I manage an incredible team of eight marketers and the day-to-day execution of our vision.

I also sit on the Employment Hero leadership team. We work together to determine where the business should go. As a startup, we still have a fairly flat leadership hierarchy so there’s lots of opportunity to help guide where we’re going as a business.

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

It’s such a cliché but no two days are the same!

Employment Hero runs Rockefeller Habits so my day kicks off with our whole company 8:58 where we look at how we’re tracking to our quarterly targets. Next, it’s a quick WIP with my team for the day with a cup a coffee and then, it could be anything!

It could be drafting a blog post, working on our PR strategy or an event, creating a landing page for a new campaign, reviewing campaign performance from the last week, working with our product team on a new go-to-market strategy, coaching and mentoring with my team, business strategy with the leadership…

But this is why I love the startup and technology space! I’d get bored if I had to come in and have the exact same day every single day.

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

I use technology whenever I can to automate manual tasks. This shared ethos (automate the manual stuff so you can focus on the important stuff) was part of the reason I joined Employment Hero.

Apart from our own product, Asana is a lifesaver. When I feel overwhelmed with everything that’s happening, I will sit down and break the project down into Asana. This means that each day I have a list of things that I need to get done to get closer to my goals. Asana helps my team with transparency and collaboration as well as making sure nothing gets missed.

I’m even organising my wedding through Asana!

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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?

I’m a big believer in work life flow rather than work life balance. There will be times where I need to put in long hours at work to achieve a project and there will be other times where I’ll need to spend more time on myself or on other responsibilities. The important thing is to make sure the flow is working for you in the long-term.

6) What does work life balance mean to you?

To me, it’s about flexibility. It’s about having power to have my work and my non-work coexist together peacefully.

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?

Firstly, I’m not superwoman. I had (ok, probably still have) incredibly high standards that I hold myself to. Learning that I can’t be perfect at everything, learning to say no and learning to take time away have been some of the most difficult but also some of the most important lessons that I’ve learnt.

Secondly, get the basics right. I’ve been surprised how good diet, exercise and a good night’s sleep make me better across every area of my life.

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

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I’m one of those people who has to have a tidy environment to see clearly and this book helped me understand why. I’ve also stopped apologizing to people for my neat streak, which is a huge weight off!

I also love Remarkability by Lorraine Murphy. It’s full of really practical tips to help you be more productive.

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

Coffee evenly spaced through the day?

Actually, it’s going to the gym or yoga before work. I get up at 6am and head straight to work out. It wakes me up, clears my head and sets me up for success throughout the day.

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

Be kind to yourself. The world isn’t a perfect place and we’re not perfect either. If things go wrong, accept it, learn from it, forgive yourself and then move on. Don’t beat yourself up because of it.

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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.