Balancing the Grind with Gorgia Brewer, Content & Strategy Director at Resolve Content

Gorgia Brewer is the Content & Strategy Director at project agency, Resolve Content, where she manages a team of innovators, strategists, and content curators.

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

Originally I started working at a small media agency and springboarded into a sales role at Pacific Magazines (now Bauer) for a short time.

I actually landed my dream job by chance – I had worked at Pacific Magazines and met one of my now best friends, who recommended me for a role at Starcom Australia working within the LiquidThread team.

I’m still convinced the only reason I got the role was my side hustle – a beauty YouTube channel – which meant I knew how to shoot and edit my own content. Therefore I could get my hands on the tools and help improve our margins!

LiquidThread really helped stretch my breadth of knowledge and push me into a strategic role as the team grew. We evolved into Publicis Content, which meant I worked on every client and every agency we engaged with.

It sounds like a big job and it was exactly that. We had to know each account back to front to make sure we could be proactive, showcase our thinking, and win incremental revenue for each agency.

I really grew up there – it was a lot of parties, a lot of stress, but a huge amount of growth that I don’t believe I’d ever have been able to achieve anywhere else at the time.

Our Head of Content, Patrick Whitnall, really helped shape my career whether I knew it at the time or not. He would sit with me for hours and talk me through how to tell a story, and when I got there told me where I needed to build.

We would spend hours working on a client that had a smaller budget, just to help me understand things like the importance of including data in your research so you weren’t biased and put forward ideas you wanted to work on.

It was there I learned that advertising wasn’t split between media, content, and creative, it was all the same thing that needed attention holistically, not separately which is happening all too often these days.

Looking back, the clients I worked on really pushed me to think differently. Clients like Samsung, Suncorp, and Citibank were all as challenging as they were rewarding at the end of each campaign.

I was promoted, became one of the most trusted members of the team, and then my ambition had me chasing dreams elsewhere. I moved to Vamp, an influencer marketing startup, and then found myself at the projects* where I ran accounts like Marks & Spencer and my beloved Samsung all over again.

For nearly two years I’ve been the Content & Strategy Director at Resolve Content, a division of The Media Precinct, which is an indie agency in Sydney.

We look after clients end-to-end, which means getting in early and identifying their biggest opportunities within the market. I’m really hands-on, and we have been able to grow the team, so I am really proud of where we are now.

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

Each day is so different, which is such a cliche. I think that is my favorite part about working at an agency – no client is going to want to talk to you about the same type of project or have the same request which always keeps me on my toes.

Like everyone as soon as they become client-facing, most of my 9-5 hours consist of meetings talking about new projects, pitches, or escalations from the team. I’m often leading presentations to clients, so most of my day is taken up presenting.

My favorite conversations are those with a new client, where we get to absorb every inch of their business and find a journey to the outcome they are looking for.

More recently, new business has become an evolving conversation that relies on relationship building so we are working really hard on being proactive with any new clients. New business is a hugely important piece of the puzzle for us, so the majority of my day is dedicated to that.

I actually work best outside of a 9-5, where I find I have the ability to be creative and focus without the never-ending stream of emails coming in. So you’ll often find me on the couch, watching my favourite drama of the moment while researching a new client, reading a new strategy book, or finishing up a recommendation.

Aside from that, I have an amazing team that can sometimes run into roadblocks so I do everything I can to make sure they can run their projects as smoothly as possible so they can keep our clients coming back.

As important as new business is to us, returning business means we’re doing our jobs right and so I take that extremely seriously. They also need support, so I make sure I’m available for any questions or concerns they have as much as I can. 

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

Yes! We actually had a flood in the office a few years back, and since then remote working has been a major part of our workplace.

If you need to get some work done without the distractions that often occur in an office environment, then work from home or your local cafe. It’s been hugely useful especially when the pandemic hit – we were able to mobilise the office overnight and keep servicing our clients to the high level they expect from us.

It’s great for someone like me that is most creative outside the office, and for the rest of the team who might have families or outside commitments.

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

For me, having a work-life balance means having the time to take care of my body and my mental health.

I made a commitment to myself when I left Publicis that I’d never let work consume my life again, and for me that means taking the time to exercise, meditate, and enjoy the company of my nearest and dearest. Of course, we all work outside of the 9-5 and I’m always happy to do that, but it’s important I prioritise giving myself the time to recharge.

There are certain days that are non-negotiable for me to leave on time, often because I have an F45 or yoga class to get to, sometimes because I have dinner on, but it’s the difference between being able to give my clients and team 100% all versus a lesser version of myself. Even if it’s a 15-minute walk on a really busy day, that time out gives my brain the extra boost it needs.

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

Unfortunately I stopped exercising for quite a while, but as soon as lockdown was lifted in NSW it was the first thing I brought back. It is such an important outlet for me, so bringing it back really helped.

During lockdown I challenged myself to find a new source of inspiration or knowledge each week, whether that be reading an article or completing a mini-course, which I’ve kept up since the lift.

It doesn’t have to be anything big, but I’ve found applying that inspiration or new knowledge has been instrumental to keeping traction especially during the period leading up to the holidays.

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

Wow the list could go on for far too long, but I’ll give you my top three of each.

I essentially love anything that is going to push my boundaries and get me to think from someone else’s perspective, which is really important in my line of work.

Books: Mark Pollard’s Strategy is in Your Words, Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing, and Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief.

Podcasts: Approachable with Alyssa and Sam, My Dad Wrote a Porno (a classic), and Bobo & Flex.

Newsletters: WARC, Sweathead, and Planning Dirty. All are a major key to my day-to-day!

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

I only have one – the Tracks to Relax podcast which gets me to sleep without fail, even with a deadline looming! 

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

Mark Pollard or Julian Cole, purely because I am a super fan but also because it does seem like they are always “on” and I’d like to know how they do it.

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

Just to remember that work-life-balance looks so different to everyone. For some, it might be getting home each night to see their family. But for others it means getting to watch Home & Away each night, and that is okay!

Everyone’s definition will change over time, so being open and accepting as your staff and colleague’s lives change is as important as listening to your own body when it comes to your definition.

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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.