Interviews / PR & Communications

Balancing the Grind with Julia Power, Account Director at The 6AM Agency

Julia Power is an Account Director at The 6AM Agency, an integrated creative communications agency, where she works with the healthcare clients.

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

I have been working in communications for over 15 years, and specifically in health for the past ten years. Health is an area I fell into but now can’t imagine working anywhere else. I have just started working for an agency called The 6AM Agency.

It’s a big step coming out of the comfort of an in-house role into agency land but what drew me to this particular agency was their ethos, ‘make life better’. They work with clients whose products are based on scientific evidence and that, coming from a pure health background, really appealed to me.

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

I have two young children aged four and two so typically the day starts at 6am, which is fine by me. I’ve always been an early riser. It also means that I can get across the news cycle and what’s happening in the land of social media. I’m all for mindfulness, but when it comes to being a newshound by nature, I can’t help but reach for my phone the moment my eyes open.

From there it can snowball. Although I always walk to a WIP document, I am a slave to my emails. I will always prioritise the needs of my clients and respond to their emails promptly. Also, media opportunities, generally, can not wait and require immediate attention.

The working day into my personal life is never a smooth transition nowadays, thanks to the 24-hour news cycle and social media. So even at night when the laptop is off, my phone is keeping me connected with what’s going on in the world.

Generally, it’s lights out by 10pm.

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

The beauty of working in an agency that values the digital landscape is that it embraces the tools we need as practitioners to work remotely.

We are as engaged and connected as we are in the office. Although who doesn’t miss their morning soy cap from the local cafe as opposed to what you can conjure up at home?

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

Work-life balance means that I’m still able to switch off and dedicate my full attention to my children and husband when I need it. Although, as mentioned, it’s never really a clean-cut between the two.

I don’t work on Fridays and have my children at home with me that day, so I try as much as possible not to check my phone on that day.

Working from home and need inspiration? Grab a copy of our Workflow book, featuring beautiful photos and inspiring stories from workspaces around the world.

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

Unfortunately, due to COVD19, I have stopped doing pilates which has reduced the amount of time I am dedicating to myself each week. Instead of trying to do an online class, I have filled this space with family or work. I certainly intend on taking it back up when the studio reopens.

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

I am reading The Happiness Project right now. Although I am usually a glass half full type of person, it’s good to keep in mind the tools and strategies you can implement in everyday life to be more grateful.

One podcast that I listen to religiously is called Shameless. It’s by two Melbourne journalists who have a fun and exciting take on world events. I subscribe to so many newsletters! The one that I always take the time to read would be the morning ABC news bulletin.

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

My iPhone! I know that’s terrible, but without the calendar, contacts and notes I’d be lost!

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

I have already read it! And would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s Arianna Huffington’s Thrive. If anyone can make work-life balance work that’s worth listening to, it’s her.

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

Before becoming a mum, I use to write all sorts of naff messages about “just get your 30 minutes of physical exercise in a day”. It was a very simplistic view of how the world operates!

Now, having two children a busy professional life and wanting to maintain a relationship with my husband I realise it’s a lot harder to ensure all the different areas of your life are given the attention they require.

I know one thing’s for sure if I haven’t had time out for myself at least once or twice a week, and that can be as simple as reading my book or listening to a podcast I can feel my sense of self-being lost and my stress starts to rise.

So the cliche is true. You can’t pour from an empty bucket. You do need to look after yourself, even just a little bit, to ensure everyone else around you can enjoy the best of you.

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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.