Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Chloe Jeffers, Senior Marketing Communications Specialist

Chloe Jeffers is a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist who has worked across a number of areas, including partnerships, marketing, integration and strategy.

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

When I left school, I didn’t have a clear “I’m going to do this thing.” I travelled for a year, came back and did a double degree in Primary Education and Arts (Sociology), but was more inspired to push hard on a dream of working in radio.

So the teaching thing never evolved. I’ve been fortunate enough to set some pretty ambitious goals in my career, in terms of jobs, and actually get there. Most recently, I was in the role of Director of Partnerships and Experiences at a sports marketing agency and media business.

I found a “niche” that perfectly blends my passion with my experience. The role meant I could take a brief, turn it into a strategic partnership and then deliver it to achieve great results for a client or for our own business.

Prior to that role, I was doing more streamlined events and experiential marketing, and before that was a 10-year career in radio – the thing I thought I’d try instead of teaching. I was an announcer, producer, promotions manager, campaign specialist and much more.

I bloody LOVED radio, and it was very fulfilling, but also incredibly cutthroat and relentless, and when we wanted to start a family, a career move was the best option. As I mentioned, I have had my ‘dream job’ 3 times over, and always aim higher! Next dream? Contributing to something really meaningful for our community.

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

I’m either up for an early 6 am functional training class, or woken by my 3-year-old Hamish at 6:30 am, who demands we play! Breakfast, shower, childcare drop off and then into the office for a jam-packed day.

My most recent role could see me talking to stadium management or the AFL about activation rights, planning event setups with our builders and suppliers, sitting in on a creative session and contributing some new ideas, writing a press release and pitching to media, collaborating on content production or attending many meetings with clients and colleagues.

All of a sudden its 5:43 pm, and I’m racing out the door for the “dinner, bath, bed” routine, followed by sitting down on the couch with a glass of wine and dinner, asking my husband how his day was while watching Masterchef or an interior design show.

Checking some more emails and finishing off any work usually sees me into bed about 10:30 pm. Now that COVID is here, its all VERY different (I’m currently on a work hiatus) but expect things to ramp up again once the dust settles.

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

With the type of work I do, when we’re ‘on’, the work can start early and finish late. So when we’re not in ‘event mode’, there is definitely flexibility in the hours we keep. A bit of give and take is critical for a happy workplace, and I’ve always been one to avoid environments that are ‘clock watchers’.

Having a small child, sometimes things just implode at home in the morning, so it’s nice not to freak out and have to rush after that – otherwise, I find my anxiety is heightened for the rest of the day.

After all, if you get the work done to a high standard and don’t miss deadlines, then you’re doing your job. Plus, I’ve just set up a sweet little home office that I’m excited to use more frequently when work re-commences.

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

Is there a balance? This is such a hot topic, and I’m not sure where I sit with it. In one respect, I’ve been much better with prioritising family and fitness in the last 12 months than ever before.

I know that I’ll have to pull long hours when things get busy, so there is no point lamenting over it – I just accept its part of the industry I’ve chosen, and when you love the work and the environment you’re in, it’s fun anyway!

I must admit that I’ve seen less of my 3-year-old than I’d like too, but hey – COVID is making up for that! I think the main thing is to listen to your gut and see what it says. If you feel like you’re seriously overdoing it, you probably are.

Prioritise, and pull back where you need to. And ALWAYS find the time for things that make you smile (for me, its family time, footy and cooking dinner for my friends).

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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?

I love routine – Thrive on it. (Just like my son). So I try to keep some routine in the week through planning out the week ahead and trying to stick to it.

Scheduling in exercise to start the day, followed by making the bed (they are totally right when they say if you make the bed, you’ve already achieved something), and then breakfast and a cup of tea at home. I find the mornings where I can’t get that done makes for a manic day.

I like to plan social time for the weekend ahead, to have things to ‘look forward to’, and writing out what I need to achieve on a rolling ‘weekly’ to-do list, which gives a sense of accomplishment over the course of a whole week. (the daily to-do list doesn’t work for me).

I try to follow up with people in person or on the phone when I’ve emailed a task we need to achieve too. The personal touch is totally underrated and can soften a situation, or just build rapport rather than an email that blasts requests.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I’ve been a fan of Seth Godin for many years, and always appreciate his emails of marketing wisdom. Sometimes they are totally out of this world, and other times they are the perfect anecdote for a situation I’m dealing with.

I jump around from podcast to podcast, and I’m currently loving Sunny Side Up by Ash London, Your Dream Life by Kristina Karlsson or any true crime podcasts like Hunting Warhead or Serial. I listen to podcasts in 1.5 speed to get through them quicker!

It would be remiss of me not to mention my own podcast too! Mama Doesn’t Tell Lies came from my own experience with parenting, coupled with a desire to make radio again. Season one was really fun, and I’m about to record season two!

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

Hmmm, every single day is different, so take it as it comes, have a positive attitude and be nice to people. I find if you start with a sunny disposition then you are more likely to be successful!

Find time to fit in the things you enjoy, and be attuned to what makes you more effective – If you know you work best at 7 am, then get up every day and work then!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I look to those who seem to ‘have it all’, and wonder what support they have to make it look so effortless, and what they ‘outsource’ (one of lives greatest things is to let go and outsource!). Those who have young kids and a successful career that’s demanding – those in the TV or music industry, politics or professional sport.

Jacinta Ardern is certainly nailing life professionally at the moment, so I wonder what sacrifices are happening around that to keep NZ running so smoothly.

I have heard thoughts about the balance by people like Lisa Wilkinson, Janine Allis and Kristina Karlsson – all who have been powerhouse businesswomen while raising families. More of that, please!

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

If there is one thing that I’ve learned to embrace, its to live without judgement. Trying not to judge my own choices to work more, or choosing ‘me’ time over family time so I can get to the gym, and especially not judging other people who you work with! Cause you never know a person wholly.

Also, accepting help when its offered, outsourcing the things you can afford to outsource (like cleaning or meal kits like Marley Spoon) and finding time to follow a passion and then trying to turn it into your career!

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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.