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Balancing the Grind with Christie Poulos, Client Director ANZ at Genero

Christie Poulos is the Client Director for ANZ at Genero, a creative technology platform connecting brands with creative talent across the globe.

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

My career path is a twisting and turning one. I literally fell into PR, which led me to 13 years working in action sports communications and content marketing, including 6 years at Red Bull in the UK. I’ve also run my own business, jumpshot, and worked in a leading content agency, King Content.

Right now, I’m Client Director ANZ for Genero, a creative technology platform disrupting the way brands create. We connect them directly with a global network of creative talent for fresh thinking, and faster, better, cheaper creative and content.

The common thread is content and stories – that’s always been there.

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

My role is a mix of business development, strategy, creative and project management. On any given day I’ll be managing live creative and production projects, reaching out to marketers in my network, writing creative briefs, reviewing creative and researching and writing content.

The best days bring new briefs for the Genero network to tackle. I get a lot of energy out of starting new things. I try to use my morning momentum to plan my day and tackle the tasks I may have been putting off, and things that need finishing. Then I can do the ‘fun stuff’ later when I might be flagging a bit.

I dedicate 15 minutes a day to keeping up with creative and marketing trends, particularly in the digital and social space. I’ll jump from blog to blog, half watch videos, and download many, many more pieces of content than I can actually consume.

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

Definitely. The Genero platform has been created to connect clients with creatives anywhere, anytime, and often they are working completely remotely, so our whole product is about flexible working and our team is no different. We all work at home and come together from time to time to chat.

COVID-19 pushed many creatives out of full time roles into the freelance world, many of them don’t want to go back. Genero helps clients discover, connect and collaborate with this talent.

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

When work is in balance – with family, friends and oneself – things feel light, and effortless, and there’s more energy to spare to put back into everything.

You have to keep adjusting things to stay balanced. Having control over your life, to make those adjustments, is key.

Working from home has allowed me to spend less time commuting and more time with my kids. This year I’m trying to spend a little more time volunteering at the school too. It’s usually hard for working parents to be involved in that way, working from home has allowed me to make those little adjustments to find my balance.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Well, I started baking sourdough bread during lockdown, my starter’s name is Brian. A couple of times a week you’ll find me feeding Brian and baking bread. We live near a trendy Sydney baker, Iggys, so it’s saved us money, and I love the feeling of creating something new every week and getting flour under my fingernails.

I use the Headspace app at bedtime to clear my mind and practice awareness of my thoughts and feelings – I often fall asleep before the punchline, but I guess it’s going into my subconscious.

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

I’m currently reading Everything You’ve Wanted To Know About Advertising & Media … But Were Too Afraid by Ben Shepherd. It’s a foundational read that helps you learn what you don’t know (yes, I might be too scared to ask), and join the dots with what you do.

I find the Blinkist app is a great way to read most professional and personal development books – it gives you the key takeouts in 15 minutes. I love a shortcut.

I love podcasts. I’ve just started Wind of Change – it’s about how the Scorpions’ song by the same name became the soundtrack to the end of the Cold War and whether or not the CIA were behind it. It’s one of those stories where the synopsis is so sticky, how can you not want to hear it? Plus, it’s an epic song and a masterclass in influencer marketing.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My Apple Watch lets me put my phone down sometimes. I would like to put my phone down more often.

I use the Genero app everyday to manage client projects – super handy if I’m not at my desk.

I spend (too much) time on social media, for the usual reasons, but also to make sure I’m seeing the latest and greatest social and digital content and creativity.

I suppose my kitchen scales are my most used gadget (besides my phone), an essential part of bread making.

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

I definitely gravitate towards people who are straight up and a little bit vulnerable about the hot mess that life can be.

My first instinct was to say Dolly Parton, but I suspect that she’s one of those superhuman people who just makes it all work. So I’m going to say Kristin Bell, because she’s made a career out of telling it like it is and I love her. She was brilliant in Frozen 2.

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

The advice I would give to myself when I was 25 would be something like: enjoy the freedom and energy, and build your network. Work hard, play hard.

The advice I give to my 44 year old self is: allocate your time wisely, be generous to yourself, and don’t take it all too seriously. Work smart, play daily.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.