Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Maria Galang, Creative Services Manager at MercerBell

Maria Galang is a communications professional with a background in marketing and advertising, currently working as the Creative Services Manager at MercerBell, Australia’s leading customer experience agency.

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

I started my career as a print rep working across Diageo at a printing firm called Lilyfield Printing. I learnt everything across offset & digital printing, but the biggest take away was how important it is to build strong honest professional relationships.

From there, I stepped into agency production and worked my way up to my current role – Head of Production at MercerBell. Here I manage a fantastic team of traffic managers and producers, working across the delivery of range of complex, integrated campaigns.

Essentially, it’s my responsibility to make sure all our completed jobs meet, and regularly exceed, the vision of our creative lead and our client’s expectations. My team and I work hard but we also have a lot of fun at the same time.

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

I like to start day with coffee and a good breakfast to fuel me through the busy day ahead. I then meet with my team and brief them on deliverables and key priorities.

Depending on what’s in the pipeline, my day could then involve taking new briefings, organising or attending shoots, meeting new artists, attending radio recordings, editing videos for social content or simply helping out my team with their own projects.

The pace is frenetic but I always try to maintain a fun environment with music always blasting in the background. My day wraps with a hardcore F45 session followed by dinner with the hubby.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

MercerBell strives towards flexibility, so I also encourage my team to work remotely whenever their projects or schedules allows them to. I believe when you give your team the trust, they will always be more accountable and there will be genuine mutual respect.

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

Lists are like my life. I write absolutely everything down, then prioritise. The trick to prioritising is that sometimes it just comes down to a process of elimination.

Also, I am a big believer in the importance of exercise, it keeps me level headed and better able to deal with my load pressures.

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5) What does work life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

We spend the majority of our lives at work so it’s crucial to enjoy what you do. For me work must be in balance with my personal life though. I adore my family and mates and spending time with them is paramount – to be able to do that I am smart with my time in the office, smashing out as much work as quickly as possible.

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?

Success for me means producing amazing work and working with a team of people who share this goal. The thing I guess I am known for, is the importance I have always placed on value of relationships.

We’re all different, and think differently, but I always maintain the same level of respect and positivity towards everyone. I look after my team and colleagues and am so proud to be able to call so many people across the industry my friends.

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

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is such a great read. It made me laugh and was totally relatable.

I’m currently reading he’s new book Everything is F*cked. And Winging it by Emma Issacs was also a great read.

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

I always have a good bloody laugh and don’t take things too seriously.

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

I can’t stress enough that when you make sure you enjoy what you do, in turn it’ll feel less like work. Don’t ever feel guilty for leaving work on time when you need to, it’s a balancing act. Most of all, make time for the people that matter to you, good mates are hard to come by.

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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.