Balancing the Grind with Harry Parsons, Account Executive at Gumtree Australia

Harry Parsons is an Account Executive at Australian marketplace Gumtree where he covers media ad sales, connecting brands to millions of Australians.

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

I’m the Account Executive at Gumtree Australia covering media Ad Sales. The exciting part of my job is that I get the opportunity to connect brands to millions of Australians, contributing to a vibrant marketplace of buyers and sellers.

My past experience saw me work within print at Pacific Magazines (now Bauer Media Group) as an Advertising Coordinator covering multiple titles such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Marie Claire & InStyle.

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

My workday starts bright and early before the sun with a 45 min HIIT workout, I find this really gets the blood pumping and kicks me into gear for the rest of the day. The day to day routine is ever evolving, whether I’m presenting to agencies or having lunch with clients, there is always something to look forward to.

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

Working within digital ad sales gives me the opportunity to work anywhere, as long as I have my laptop, phone and internet, I’m ready to go. This is especially important during current times and I feel lucky to work in an industry where this is possible.

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

I strive to have a clear separation between work and home, as I type this from my new office desk/the dining table. Being able to switch off when getting home from work is important for mental health maintenance, I’m currently learning how to do this when I don’t physically leave ‘work’. Removing my laptop from the space and resetting the room at the end of the day is helping!

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

Exercising 3-5 times a week has changed my life and being able to run the City to Surf was a real highlight. The positive impacts on work productivity, mood and general health has been amazing.

Working in direct sales did leave me with a coffee addiction (5 in a day is my record) that pleasingly I have managed to reduce (it would be rude to not have a coffee at every client meeting though right?!).

Prior to COVID-19, I started using the time spent commuting to the office each day as a chance to upskill. Learning something new on the bus changed my whole perspective on those 30 minutes of ‘wasted’ time each way.

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

The weekly newsletter from AdProfs written by Ratko Vidakovic, I can’t recommend this enough if you want to stay up to date in the adtech realm with succinct, bite size chunks.

As for books, I read a whole lot of self-help books last year and recently I’ve been looking for non-fiction books to challenge my imagination a little. I’m halfway through Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and loving it. Highly recommend.

With a big goal of mine being owning my own home, I’m always on the hunt for real estate knowledge. I came across the My Millennial Property podcast which is a deep dive into everything you need to know (yes, even the simple stuff you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone). A fascinating listen for anyone interested in property.

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

Unfortunately I’m that guy that has Airpods in 24/7 (gotta keep the tunes going) and I’m addicted to tracking my runs and workout progress, so my FitBit Versa doesn’t leave my wrist.

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

Mark Bouris – As an elite businessman, I’d love to hear what he has to say.

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

I think it’s really important to not sweat the small stuff, there will always be a solution and if not then it’s not meant to be.

Before you go…

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This conversation is brought to you by The Well-Suited Group, providing premium executive support services to high level executives, who also recognise the value of work-life balance.

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.