Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Hayley Bishop, Head of Marketing at Palmer’s

Hayley Bishop is the Head of Marketing for beauty brand Palmer’s, and just like her goal at work to help women be their most beautiful and happy selves, it is remembering to support herself to achieve the same. 

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

I always wanted to be a brand-marketer as I loved the opportunity it offered to never have a day the same and the breadth of tasks/skills it requires – from creative design or advertising to full financials and commercial decisions, it covers so many bases.

I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity straight out of university to do marketing at Gillette before working on other well-known brands including Duracell, Kraft, San Remo and then Jacob’s Creek in a global capacity. I learnt so much from these revered multinational companies that I am forever grateful for. 

Now I relish being able to customise and enact this for the brand Palmer’s including strategy, communications, new products and having evolved the marketing function from being short-term/tactical-led to a consumer and insights driven model to ensure long-term success and growth across the region here.

Additionally, the ability to be part of the management team and to drive commercial outcomes and influence the total business and its culture more broadly has been really fulfilling for me. 

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

As I said, in my marketing world every day can be quite different! But my morning is always checking emails from overnight across global partners (while still in bed) and unless anything is pressing then getting myself set up for the day.

Gym or a walk with the dog to get the blood pumping and then the home duties of lunches and getting the kids out the door to school. My day in the office is jam-packed with emails, meetings (both internal and on zoom), agency communications, data/research, retailer requests, working on key projects/strategy, managing spot-fires, and the always important people-management.

I am blessed to lead an amazing marketing team where we have a fantastic collective work-ethic and have each other’s backs, which always gives me a spring in my step and supports good banter when we need to have an outlet across the day.

Where possible I try to get home in reasonable time to get a good meal on the table for the family and help with homework and bedtime routines. I’ll log-on later if I need to finish some work and when things are busy I enjoy the focus and quiet this block of time gives me to get essential work out and keep on top of things.

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

Being based in Adelaide, during Covid we weren’t forced to work from home as much as many other places in Australia and around the world, but I have really felt the benefit of hybrid-working and certainly see that progression becoming important for how we best deliver our work while also supporting happiness and contentment outside.

As a mum of three, the flexibility to juggle the concurrent demands is really important to me and something I will continue to advocate, as it genuinely makes me better at both work and home.

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

It has changed a lot for me across my career. I have always worked really hard and been willing to put in all I could to achieve what I was passionate about.

After having children though, something shifted. I am still as passionate as ever but I needed to juggle differently and prioritise others at certain times ahead of my work or myself. This is when I realised that life will pull you every way possible, and you can let it take you or try to guide it with some purpose yourself. 

For me it is about achieving work that I am proud and satisfied with, while also making sure that I am a good mother, wife, friend and family-member which holds critical importance to me, and of course that isn’t possible without taking care of myself. This one is not mastered yet, but I am now better at realising and fighting for what I need, so that I can be firing on all cylinders to achieve my goals across the board. 

Ultimately, work-life balance isn’t about achieving everything, it is about achieving enough across all those really important parts of my life AND keeping myself happy enough to be able to enjoy it.

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

A few months ago I deleted Facebook from my mobile (now only check sporadically on my desktop), turned off all app notifications (to just get a summary morning and night) and committed to spend less time scrolling and losing focus away from the stuff I actually want to be spending my time on. It has helped me a lot and my screen time has reduced. 

Moving to audio books (while in the car) has unlocked ideas and thinking that otherwise would have sat in the stack of books next to my bed that I really want to read, but just don’t have the energy to read at the end of a long day. 

Despite for decades being a ‘night owl’, after having Covid I was left feeling more exhausted at the end of the day, so going to bed earlier has been something that I never used to do but now I am loving it. Waking up refreshed and ready rather than staying up late working or doing jobs then paying for it in the morning. Somehow everything I used to do is still getting done, but I have flipped some things around across the day and I feel so much better for it.

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

Stolen Focus by Johann Hari was the recognition I needed around attention and focus and inspired change with a desire for even more as we navigate this crazy always-on world. 

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky was the circuit-breaker our family needed to ensure that at home we have the balance in responsibilities and tasks required for our collective happiness. When we think about balance it is often considering the mix of work vs home, but getting the at home balance right is essential if you ever want to find some kind of workable balance in life. For working mums with a full plate at home as well, I implore you to make sure you look into this. 

‘The Imperfects’ podcast I have always enjoyed, celebrating that we all struggle but we can all find hope and a better way forward too. A really old (and pre-controversy!) Joe Rogan Experience Podcast episode with Matthew Walker (#1109) on the science of sleep will blow your mind and help you value sleep more – I think it is still available on YouTube.

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

Streaks app; to keep me on track across habits or personal goals I want to keep. My apple watch to get my movement rings closed daily and to stop me glancing at or opening my phone out of habit as the essential (chosen) alerts come through there too.

Audible; so that I can actually consume books that otherwise were dropping off my list. Spotify; music has always been an outlet for me and turning up a retro-banger always helps with stress!

Seesaw app; I love the consolidated and simplified feed now to ensure I know what is going on for my kids at school (vs the chaos and varied distribution before which was impossible to be across), thank you to whoever came up with this!

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

I am not sure if the high-profile or noteworthy people are always totally relatable for me, and everyone’s personal dynamic, needs and resources can be quite different. I think it is sharing more stories more generally (which BTG does so well, thank you!), then being able to find the inspiration that resonates, that is where the greatest influence and benefit can happen. More sharing and more support is what we probably all need.

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

While we all strive for that feeling of balance, if ever achieved it is only really there for a moment with everything constantly pulling us to take it off-kilter again. I believe that achieving balance is a cycle – requiring constant awareness, adjustment and action in order to retain some kind of control and focus.

As soon as I gave into this idea, and realised it is always going to require reflection and work, the better I feel while in it, which is a good thing, as it isn’t going to change for me anytime soon! 

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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.