Balancing the Grind with Elizabeth Toohey, Account Manager at PodcastOne Australia

Elizabeth Toohey is an Account Manager at commercial podcast network, PodcastOne Australia, where she manages a portfolio of clients and podcast hosts.

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

Media has always been an interest of mine, but I never imagined it would become my career. From teen years, I would spend hours flicking through magazines and reading all the pages and admiring the work that went into creating the book.

I had so many subscriptions ranging from National Geographic to all the Harper’s BAZAAR. I began my studies with Marine Biology at University of Technology and then eventually transferred to Media Studies which was always capturing my interest.

After graduating, I pursued the creative side of media taking inspiration from the editorial work I had been following but as fate would have it, I took a job in a sales team at WIN and instantly fell in love with the energy and creativity of media sales.

After four years at WIN, I moved to SCA in The Studio team, where I worked with clients on some of the country’s most innovative and integrated audio campaigns across radio, digital, in-stream and podcasts. The ability to integrate and connect through audio still amazes me.

Once SCA launched the stand alone podcast division, PodcastOne Australia, I jumped at the chance to join the team and merge my love of audio, integration, digital & tech innovation and client interaction.

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

I am an early riser but not a morning person; so to kick start me into the day, I take a run around 5.30am and then get ready for my work day.

I am fortunate to work in a progressive team and business that practices flexible working, so my week is a combination of days working from home and days working in the office.

On my days in the office, I take advantage of my commute time on the bus by listening to podcasts (usually competitor titles to make sure I am aware of what the market is doing), checking emails and preparing for the day ahead of me – I’m also sipping a strong coffee at this point, too.

I start my work day reviewing my diary and do-to list in greater detail. I prepare for all my meetings and set aside time buckets in my diary for any pressing deadlines that require deeper attention. I always make sure I schedule in a 30 minute break from the screen to avoid “screen fatigue”, particularly if I have back to back Zoom meetings.

A regular day consists of a) external meetings with clients or podcast hosts and internal meetings with my team or colleagues in other departments, b) reactive and proactive proposal building, c) talking to clients, d) learning by reading trade press or taking part in some of the amazing webinars the “current climate” has given us access to.

The end of work day starts like the beginning of my work day – with exercise. I will either join an at home Pilates class or attend in an in-studio class. I use this time to unwind from the day and allow my mind to switch off by focussing on breathing and movement.

Before bed, I set aside 30 minutes of reading – I’m currently reading on Purpose by Jay Shetty.

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

I am very fortunate to work under the guidance of two incredible leaders who understand the importance of flexible and remote working. Grant Tothill (SCA Head of Podcasts) encourages our team to exercise our “non-negotiables” everyday.

This means we can give ourselves “guilt-free permission” to take time for ourselves by either attending a gym session at a time that works best for us, prioritise family commitments or even commit time to learning a new skill. By allocating time for our “non-negotiables” we are able to move into our growth mind-set we can achieve greater things as a team.

Although flexibility may be a new practice for many businesses as a result of COVID, Kim Norman (Sales Director of PodcastOne) has always allowed us, her sales team, to manage our time according to what works best for us as individuals.

The PodcastOne sales team is hugely supportive of one another and our foundation is built on motivation, encouragement and most importantly, on trust – there are no passengers!

As a result, we have proven to be more committed, more efficient and more successful as a business unit and have adjusted to the remote working conditions without any disruptions.

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

Making sure I switch off from work and to take the time to enjoy life doing the things that bring me joy.

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

When I get home I put my phone in a different room to “signify” a clear end to the work day (and to stop myself checking my emails) as well as to ensure I minimise screen time.

I have found working from home during COVID blurred the line between work and life, so I needed to make a definitive action. By adhering to this small adjustment, my screen time is lower but most importantly, my relationships have become stronger as I’m listening more and I’m more engaged in conversations.

By adding evening Pilates into my routine, I have discovered that I can focus for longer, I sleep better and I am more alert during the day.

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

Favourite books include: Principles by Ray Dalio, On Purpose by Jay Shetty, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Favourite podcasts include Hamish & Andy, Wilosophy with Will Anderson, She’s on the Money, Shameless and The Briefing. Like a true podcast listener, my audio of choice depends on the mood I’m in, but I am always guaranteed to have one to turn to.

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

AirPods, Spotify and Apple Watch + Apple Health.

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

I tend to find my work-life balance lessons from people around me – selecting or dismissing strategies that work best for me. Individual work-life balance looks different for everyone.

Not every hour needs to be “productive” – there is a real power in doing nothing. Resetting.

I think the freedom to use the hours in the day that make us happy, whether it is heavily work focussed or heavily personal focussed, will ultimately bring us balance.

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

Understand what your non-negotiables are and incorporate them into the day; it will make a world of difference.

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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.