Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Emily Lam, Marketing Manager at ShopBack

Emily Lam is the Marketing Manager at cashback platform, ShopBack, where she is spearheading the company’s influencer, social media and ATL marketing efforts.

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

I studied Media and Law with the full expectation to go into law but fell in love with marketing by accident. My first job in marketing was at Western Sydney University where I had a couple of roles in PR and digital communications.

I was then offered a role at Carousell, a startup I knew little about at the time but is actually known to be one of Singapore’s ‘unicorns’. This role honed my work ethics, drive and experience in the tech/e-commerce space.

Just over two and half years ago I was offered the first marketing role at ShopBack Australia.

Since then it’s been a hell of a ride – from launching ShopBack in Australia to it now being the leading cashback platform in Oceania. I’m currently ShopBack Australia’s Marketing Manager, spearheading our influencer, social media and ATL marketing.

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

No day is the same when working at ShopBack. We’re required to be very agile as we partner with over 1300 merchants locally and often create and execute ad hoc campaigns when reacting to retail and social trends.

However, I always start my day by getting changed (yes, even with the work from home situation!) and a coffee. My team and I communicate with hundreds of influencers, agencies and media partners in a week so a large portion of my day is allocated to this.

Prior to COVID-19, you could often catch me at TV and radio networks too.

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

Definitely, working at a startup has always meant there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to personal commitments. As long as I get my work done, ShopBack is very flexible and supportive of other commitments. This has translated well into the current WFH situation too.

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

I struggled with a work-life balance at the start of COVID-19 in Australia. It was hard to separate work and life with the lack of physical boundaries between your ‘office’ and leisure space at home. I spent lots of nights answering work emails at midnight and not being able to switch off.

What helped me a lot was having a defined workspace, even if that was just a particular place at the dining table. I switched off work notifications (emails and Slack) past a certain time and made sure I had at least a few hours before bed time to really wind down and switch off.

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

On top of what I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve started doing daily yoga in the last six months and it’s helped me immensely to switch off before bed.

I’ve felt a big change in my mental state with regular exercise and highly recommend squeezing in even 30 minutes of daily exercise (YouTube workouts are great!).

I used to feel like I was too busy for a regular commitment such as this, but these small bouts of exercise can really improve your productivity!

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

These are Instagram accounts, but I find so much value in following @shityoushouldcareabout and @dietprada.

It’s so easy to be in your own little bubble – your friends might have similar interests, views and might consume similar content to you.

I think it’s really important to make sure you’re constantly learning more about what has and is going on outside your bubble.

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

Am I allowed to say the ShopBack app? I know I work there but I genuinely love and use the ShopBack app – I’ve saved $4500+ on my online purchases since in the last two and a half years! I’ve also loved using Headspace for meditation and PictureThis for identifying plants.

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

I’m in so much awe of those out there who can juggle a full-time job, a side hustle(s) and being a parent!

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

It’s so important to have a good work-life balance. I used to think success meant dedicating all, if not the majority, of my time towards my career. I now see that it’s important to have that balance in life between friends, family, side hustles, hobbies and 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.