Balancing the Grind with Laura Kleiman, Head of Ecommerce Retail ANZ at Crimtan

Laura Kleiman is the Head of Ecommerce Retail ANZ at intelligent lifecycle marketing agency Crimtan, working with retailers on creative optimisation.

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

I have always been curious about human interaction and was a magazine junkie from a very young age. At 25, I got the job of my dreams working for ACP Magazines, which was at the time the largest magazine publisher in Australia.

I was selling directory ads in the backs of magazines and very quickly moved my way up to become the National Advertising Manager of some of my favourite magazines including CLEO, NW and FAMOUS.

Our role was finding the best way for our partners to connect with our readers beyond advertising including editorial support, promotions, social media and events.

The way in which people connect has changed so much over the past decade and I am still helping advertisers connect with their audience, albeit now with more data and insights.

As the Head of Ecommerce Retail for Crimtan, I help retailers form strong connections with new and existing customers with dynamic creative optimisation, which basically means providing the most relevant, creative messages to customers throughout their individual customer lifecycle journey.

I love the amount of data, insights, and strategy that we use to help our partners drive outcomes.

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

A day in the life pre-COVID was different every day. From internal to external meetings, driving far and wide to meet with clients, from formal meetings and presentations to coffees, lunches or drinks.  Well, that’s sure changed. A typical day now consists of working from home with all my meetings online.  

I spend my days talking to clients and media agencies, preparing tailored presentations, responding to briefs, and having regular contact with my team both in Australia and internationally. 

Conversations can range from digital strategies, to creative brainstorming for our partners to learning about new technology and platforms in the market. This industry is always evolving so you are constantly learning.

Although I miss human interaction, I must admit that it is also very productive – goodbye traffic and 4am wake up calls for flights to Melbourne!

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

Crimtan has always been a very practical business so I am lucky to have flexibility around working from home and my time. 

We all work very hard and often have evening calls with our international offices, so if I need to take personal time during the day, I am lucky to be able to do so.  If my diary allows, I can do yoga any time during the day rather than before or after work.

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

I believe that work-life balance is something that you constantly have to strive for.  It’s about prioritising both and not letting work get in the way of your personal goals or health. 

This is easier said than done when you work in such a fast-paced and busy environment. But it’s the little things, like ensuring that you get up from your (home) desk and take a walk, even when you don’t have a colleague to go grab a coffee with and making sure to stay in touch with friends and colleagues in person where you can.

And of course looking after your health by keeping up your exercise routine and nutrition – this is imperative to be your best self at work.  Prioritising yourself and “me time” doing what makes you happy.

That means different things to different people, whether it’s yoga and meditation or a pump class or a walk in the park.  Everyone is different and that is okay as long as you do things that make you happy.

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

When COVID hit, I was surprised at how quickly businesses were able to adapt and move their workforce home. I think that people, myself included, were very keen to prove that you could work from home and be effective.

So I prioritised working during that initial period.  But as it became clearer that COVID was not going to be a short-term situation and this is the new normal, I began to focus more on integrating my old routine, like meeting friends for lunch or doing a walk or some yoga during the day. 

Also (and I don’t think I’m the only guilty party), I probably overindulged with food, being at home and having a fridge full of delicious food at my disposal. But again, accepting that this is the new norm has also refocused my attention to health and nutrition and work-life balance again. 

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

My taste in news and entertainment is very varied. I love learning and reading a lot of non-fiction and biographies, but I also love my chick lit. 

My favourite books range from Bergdorf Blondes and White Girl Problems (hilarious) to Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind and Once Upon a Time in Russia which is a dramatized look at Russian Oligarchs based on real life. 

I also love listening to podcasts when driving or if I can’t sleep. I love The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Late Night with Seth Meyers

I also love that you can pick any topic on demand to listen to on podcast and will often search for content on anything from The Bachelor to the latest in changes to Chrome Cookies. 

I am currently listening to the Nice White Parents podcast which is about the American school system and is eye-opening and very entertaining at the same time.

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

I am obsessed with my google home and am constantly setting reminders for meetings or just asking random questions.  I am pretty addicted to my mobile and social media, although I am trying to reduce the time I spend on apps. 

I get my news from Daily Mail (don’t judge me) as well as The New York Times and The Guardian.    I also love LinkedIn for the latest updates on business, media, digital, retail and health & wellness. I love Slate’s Better Life Lab podcast, in fact this week’s is about work-life balance.

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

I am inspired by successful female leaders, particularly those who juggle a family, whether that be children or helping care for a parent, with a big job. 

These women are caregivers both at home and at work. One thing that they all have in common is that they are empathetic and approachable whilst also being highly driven.  I would love to hear from:

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

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  We can’t be perfect all the time.  Be kind to yourself and just do the best you can.

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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.