Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Jia Yoong Lee, Content Director at Online Marketing Gurus

Jia Yoong Lee is the Content Director at Online Marketing Gurus, a leading digital marketing agency specialising in SEO, paid search, and content marketing.

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

To cut a long story short, I started in finance but had a strong yearning to flex my creative muscle. Still within my interest for all things numbers, data and storytelling, I moved into digital marketing which complimented my skill sets perfectly. I’m currently the Content Director at Online Marketing Gurus. 

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

I’m an early bird, thanks to my caffeine obsession. Every morning, I touch base with my team and clients to go over strategies, challenges and opportunities. Going out for a walk with my dog Detective Frankie is also essential, whether it’s before work or over lunch. Then it’s back to the to-do list and making sure everything is up to scratch.

When I sign off at the end of the day, I’ll unwind with a good bottle of wine and a book or movie.

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

Yes — I’m very lucky to be in digital where remote work is possible. But even more so, I’m lucky to be with Online Marketing Gurus. The agency goes above and beyond to ensure I am also living my best non-work life which allows me to spend time with my partner, dog, and get plenty of reading in.  

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

Working in digital marketing is like being in a constant pressure cooker, so self-regulating is important. You also need to maintain perspective — the work we do is important, but there are bigger things in life too. I also make a point to coach the team I manage around the importance of work-life balance — it’s all about finding what works best for you and focusing on progress not perfection.

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

I’ve stopped putting on work clothes. Athleisure is my WFH vibe and I’ve come to terms with it. I’m definitely reading more too. But most importantly, I’ve started “smelling the roses” more — appreciating the tiny wins and reframing the negatives into opportunities. 

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

I love reading — so here are a few of my favourites:

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things (Ben Horowitz)
  • Never Split the Difference (Chris Voss & Tahl Raz)
  • The Ride of a Lifetime (Robert Iger)
  • Eat a Peach (David Chang)
  • Catch of the Decade (Gabby Leibovich & Hezi Leibovich)

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

My phone. It’s my connection to the outside world and I fully welcome the flurry of emails, social media updates and work. It’s also because if there are any virtual, metaphorical fires, I can stomp them out immediately.

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

Joshua Tan, who’s the Social Media Director at Innocean Australia. He is the definition of ‘organised chaos’.

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

I highly recommend surrounding yourself with good, talented people and sometimes, knowing how and when to make lemonade with lemons — and hell, add some vodka too!

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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.