Growth / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jessica Box, Head of Growth at Linktree

Jessica Box is the Head of Growth at Linktree, a Melbourne-based start-up helping brands and creators connect audiences to all of their content with one link.

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

I started my career in PR during a time when social media was just beginning to take off as a promising channel for businesses.

Gravitating to this potential, I spent over five years at IE Company, helping global brands like Slack and Braintree emerge and launch their go-to market strategies as they landed into the Australian market.

This was a formative time for me and supporting iconic companies with their global expansion and watching how they adapted in different local markets has shaped a lot of my thinking around growth.

In 2018, I found my footing in the local startup ecosystem, joining fintech startup Finch as its Growth Director and driving the company’s growth and partnerships initiatives. I landed at Linktree as its Head of Growth in April last year.

In my role, I sit at the intersection between traditional marketing and product development. My team’s objective is to listen to our global community and find new and innovative ways to address their product needs, working cross-functionally to create change across the entire customer lifecycle.

It’s a challenging and fulfilling role that requires me tapping into both my analytical and creative brain in perfect unison. 

Alongside my role at Linktree, I am also Managing Director at Girls in Tech Australia, where I lead a community of women who are passionate about connecting and inspiring the next generation venturing into tech. 

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

As we’re a hyper-growth startup, no two days are alike! 

I am passionate about leadership and empowering my team, so my day-to-day revolves around supporting them and removing blockers as needed. 

With half of my team based in LA, our days start quite early, and our team meetings are in the morning. The aim is that each team can then focus on getting their work done, which works really well for both time zones. 

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

At Linktree, we operate as a distributed workforce so remote working is a normal part of my life and routine. 

The shift to working from home full-time as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing measures has brought team culture and mental health to the front and centre. As a company we’re constantly creating rituals and team activities to stay connected, motivated and maintain work-life balance.

I’m also a big fan of exercise to break up the day, including walking meetings either in person or on the phone with my team. I often come back full of new ideas and refreshed to jump back in! 

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

I like to view “work-life balance” a little differently, with more focus on creating a place where my team can bring their whole selves. We start out team meetings with “how we’re feeling out of 10” and “what we’re grateful for”.

This opens up a safe space for people to be vulnerable if they’re not feeling the best but also share their wins – one of my team members Jeremy celebrated his engagement recently, so we all celebrated too! 

As a big part of my team’s role involves creativity, ensuring a work-life balance is key – it’s through these life experiences that we are able to bring our best creative self to work.

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

Not going to lie, 2020 was tough on the routines and habits front. I sat on my dining room table for most of the year and would always put my monitor/laptop away on a Friday afternoon as no-one wants to be sitting on the couch relaxing but also staring at their workspace. 

Very thankful to now have my own office space where I can close the door at leave for the day. This is a new routine and one I’m enjoying to mentally switch off from work.

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

The book, Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself is something I always come back to. It provides examples of how businesses have focused on their product to scale and grow in their go-to market. 

I am also a big fan of Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. It provides a great framework for how businesses can operate from a place of empathy, and has influenced my own leadership style.

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

I have three must-have productivity tools: 

  • Slack, which is Linktree’s main tool of communication internally and is a great way to maintain transparency across our teams. 
  • Notion is a great way to enable cross-collaboration in documentation. We use it as our core tool to share information and context on different projects between teams.
  • And lastly, Zapier, which is also a productivity connection tool that we use to speed up processes.

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

I’d love to hear how Jacinda Arden does it. I mean I’ve actually read her autobiography but I’m still not sure how she balances all the roles she needs to fulfill in her life.

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

Be kind to yourself. You’re not always going to get it right and that’s okay. 

Stay focused on what’s giving you energy. Remain connected and present in your relationships. Listen to your body and mind – if you’re hearing some yelling, it’s time to slow down and listen!

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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.