Catherine Rewha is the Head Of Digital at Bolster Group, a digital & creative agency specialising in music, events and entertainment, with a presence in Melbourne, Sydney and New York.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m the Head of Digital at Bolster. We’re a digital agency that works in the music, events and youth culture space.
My career in digital has always been in the performance marketing arm. However, over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to evolve my career into a more data, digital strategy and leadership position.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’ve got a morning routine down that goes like this: Wake up, go for a run, meditate, eat breakfast and listen to The Globalist podcast on Monocle and then catch up on the latest in digital news while I ride the bus to work.
When I get to work its emails, smashing out as many things as possible on my to do list in half an hour and then do code training for another half hour.
After that I do meetings until lunch time. I try and do all my meetings in the morning because that’s when I am better at making decisions.
After lunch I am in deep work mode working on decks, data management, operation models and team delivery frameworks. But this part changes every day.
The music and events industry switches all the time so I try to leave my afternoons as open as possible for change. You never know when a festival line-up is going to get signed off and we need to go live – so I’ve learned to stay open.
After work I have a roster of sorts to fit in my out of work activities. I’m either working on the Creative Women’s Circle board, doing some work for mates with their own business’, preparing my subscriber list send out, writing, going to a gig or catching up with mates.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely. I am doing this interview from Thailand where I worked remote last week. As long as you get your work done and organise your hours so that you can have enough face to face time for meetings, then it’s possible to work remote.
In saying that though, I do prefer to be in office. Being in a leadership role, it’s important for me to be around and be available to support my team face to face. I am also someone that thrives off collaborative environments and banter.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I often say that I like to keep a separation between the church and the state. This means never bringing my work home and vice-versa.
When I’m at work, I am there giving it 200%. I am focused, rarely check my phone and power on through until the end of the day. When I leave, I leave my laptop at work to prevent me from checking or doing any work when I get home. I also log out of emails and Slack for the day.
Outside of work, I am present in whatever I have chosen to do. Being strict on this allows me to break from work and re-energise my brain by taking in other experiences.
Work and life complement each other, which is what work-life balance is for me.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
My role involves a lot of critical thinking and emotional intelligence so my brain needs consistent and sustained energy. I make sure that its fuelled through the holy trinity of eight hours of sleep, eating healthy meals and exercising daily.
This natural fuel also helps me remain a lot more calmer than I used to be. I have experienced burnout and anxiety attacks at work but that was a time of more coffee, more Uber Eats, more wine and no exercise routine at all. Now I do no coffee, no Uber Eats, no wine and all of the exercise.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
For sure. I find a lot of lessons in autobiographies by women in music. Female and multiplicity in gender in the music industry is improving but the pathways that women have pioneered over the years inspires me. They’ve taught me a lot about how to stand your ground whilst navigating the intersection of creativity, emotion and business.
- Kim Gordon – Girl In A Band
- Jessica Hopper – The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic
- Grace Jones – I’ll Never Write My Memoirs
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I joke around a lot with my workmates because it’s good to get some solid laughs into the day. It brings the mood up and sometimes when you’re in something quite stressful, it takes you out of it and allows you to see the situation for what it is.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Georgia Taglietti. She’s the Communications and Art Director for Sónar festival and a Director for shesaid.so; a global network for women in the music industry. I follow her on Instagram and for a very, very busy human she seems to have the work-life balance thing figured out pretty well.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think it’s important to remain true to who you are.
People really value authenticity today. Maybe that’s because we’re deep in aspirational Instagram feeds or algorithms that unconsciously favour fake news but either way, it’s good to have a unique way of thinking, a unique way of sharing and unique ideas to build upon.
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