Esha Thaper is a Content Marketing Manager at Ordermentum, a platform that connects venues to suppliers for easy ordering and payment.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve had a very varied career and actually started my career as a lawyer. I worked for about five years in different in-house roles, mainly working on contracts and assisting sales teams.
On the side I was doing a lot of freelance writing and ended up doing a bit of work for a friend’s content marketing agency. Eventually I took the leap and decided to leave law. I was lucky enough to get my first content role at Tyro Payments, before going to work at a start-up in Melbourne.
After that I did some freelancing for a year, and moved back to Sydney to work for the Fred Hollows Foundation as a digital producer, and then I worked at 1Cover Travel Insurance as their Content Lead, before moving to Stockspot to work as their PR and Comms Manager.
Now I’m working at Ordermentum part time as their Content Marketing Manager, a platform that connects venues to suppliers for easy ordering and payment. The rest of the time I’m doing freelance work and building my own ecommerce business.
I love the way things are at the moment, I have a really amazing mix of stability and the flexibility to explore other interests and build my skills.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Regardless of whether I go into the office or I’m at home, I tend to wake up pretty early, usually between 5.30am and 6am. I meditate as soon as I wake up, stretch a little bit, and sometimes do a bit of writing.
Then I get my runners on to either go for a run, or I go up and down some stairs leading down to the beach near my house. If I have time, I’ll go for a swim and get a coffee on my way back home. It depends on how much time I have. And yes, I have a green smoothie for breakfast because I really am that annoying.
It sounds like a lot for the morning but I love it. I always feel like I’ve had lots of time to myself before I start work, so I don’t get that frazzled when things are coming at me or when I have a long to-do list. Whether I’m in the office, I’ll always start the day by writing out the main things that have to get done that day.
Working in content means there’s generally quite a bit of continuity in my work, I’m usually working on bigger pieces of content or campaigns with longer timelines, so planning my day so I make progress on those things makes me feel like I have a handle on things.
I try to structure my day so that I’m balancing implementation and planning. Without proper planning and strategy, your content is always going to be sub-par, but if you don’t create and implement, you don’t hone your craft or get a good sense of what resonates and what doesn’t.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, my current role allows for a lot of flexibility, and I feel lucky to be working at a place that takes into account each individual’s personal goals. The culture is a unique mix of relaxed and aspirational, which is unusual and hard to achieve.
It’s a credit to the company leadership that they’ve been able to create that kind of environment where everyone works so well together but there’s a lack of ego and pressure. We can go into the office or work from home, and I prefer to mix it up.
At home, you can work without distraction, but if I can minimise zoom meetings and talk to my colleagues face to face, I’ll take that option.
I find, these days, going into the office feels like a pleasure because of the variety and flexibility of being able to work from home as well.
Right now my role is part-time which I wanted so that I could invest time in myself and some other dreams and interests I have. I don’t know if I’ll always be part-time and it could easily change in the future. But being able to do that right now and feel supported and included at my workplace is something I’m so grateful for and definitely don’t take for granted.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I think the phrase ‘work-life balance’ is a little outdated. Perhaps it should just be ‘balance.’ If you work on being a balanced person, being balanced at work and being able to set boundaries that allow you to focus on other areas in your life will come naturally.
Sometimes you’re going to have periods where work is intense or high-pressure, but you can minimise the impact this has on you by being self-aware. If you realise things are out of whack for a period of time, you can come back to the middle by being intentional about the energy you’re putting into other areas of your life.
I work to achieve balance by taking a lot of time for myself, usually in the morning. I’m a very extroverted person and I tend to pack a lot into my day, both professionally and personally. So for me, it’s all about making sure I have some uninterrupted time each day for myself, to do things I enjoy, or to just reflect on what’s happening in my life.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
The main difference in my routine is being able to swim more often. I had never lived by the beach prior to my current house, and now I completely understand the addiction. I’m not the best swimmer but being able to see the water or dive into it in the morning is soothing and exhilarating all at once.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
The Hustle is a great newsletter with short snippets on the latest in tech and stocks, as well as trends and scandals in the business world. It’s very US-centric but it’s written in a fun and engaging way and I always pick up something interesting.
I listened to A LOT of podcasts in 2020 and 2021. I love anything that helps me understand human nature a bit better. I think they are my favourite entertainment, and I’m so glad they’ve taken off. Some of my favourites are A Slight Change of Plans by Maya Shankar, Hidden Brain, and The Knowledge Project.
The Rich Roll Project also has some interesting guests, and I used to listen to Russel Brand’s podcast a lot when it was free. You can still listen to some of his earlier episodes in full and some of the interviews are incredible. I learned a lot and ended up reading a lot of books off the back of listening to his guests.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Spotify. It’s the app I use every single day. And Uber or other ride-sharing apps because they’ve made life so much more convenient. I also love my UE Boom and I love kitchen gadgets because I’m always cooking.
Besides that, I sometimes wish I could go back to my Nokia 3310 and do away with the constant distraction and addiction that is my phone.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’m just curious about how anyone who is very successful manages their life and what their routines are like. Is there a secret?! How and when people are productive is a mystery and I always wonder where I am on the spectrum because it’s almost impossible to compare or truly understand anyone else’s day to day life.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think we often forget that we produce our best work when we feel good about ourselves and our life. It’s strange that hustling and working crazy hours and always being busy has become a badge of honour, when being like that just leads to stress, and stress sucks. Good stress where you’re excited to finish something and can see the finish line is great, but bad stress where you’re always worried about work doesn’t benefit anyone.
I think it’s best to try and create a life you love, and work will fit within that.
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