Balancing the Grind with Madeline Clark, Talent Manager at Click Management

Madeline Clark is a Talent Manager at Click Management, a management & entertainment company, representing Australia’s largest gaming and technology influencers.

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

I went to the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney and studied a Bachelor of Entertainment Management with the hopes of working in Artist or Tour Management. I graduated at 19 and my first role was at an Advertising agency called Apparent where I stayed for 3 years.

Social Media came very easy to me so I ran with it as a potential career path, hoping to one day work at a music label managing artist’s social media. I left Apparent for an offer at Universal Music for a 6 month contract working in their Marketing team.

It felt like a dream come true to be working at a major music label, meeting artists, going to concerts for free and going to exclusive showcases. This role was a 6 month contract and once it ended, I found myself feeling lost and unsure what to do next.

In 2018 I secured a job at Twentieth Century Fox as their Marketing Coordinator, working on the social media for Fox and their film and TV titles. Working at Fox was such a delight, it was a wonderful place to be and everyone was very supportive of each other.

About a year into this role, Disney bought Twentieth Century Fox and everyone was either made redundant or moved to the Disney offices in Melbourne to work for Disney. 

I returned to music to work as a Global Account Manager at PlayNetwork, working all kinds of hours to take calls with our counterparts in Canada, Hong Kong, New York and London. COVID-19 hit and I was able to work from home until the company had to make cuts and I unfortunately was made redundant, for a second time in less than two years at only 24 years old.

Losing my job mid pandemic was heartbreaking and it was incredibly hard to find a new role. There wasn’t much out there that felt right and the ones that did had over 300 applicants.

I applied to 180 jobs from my couch and played 400 hours of Animal Crossing and Pokémon on my Nintendo Switch – 2020 was not a good year for job seeking but at least I perfected my Animal Crossing island. I was unemployed for 5 months before Click Management called.

I had a really good gut feeling about Click. I now work as a Talent Manager and have five talents on my roster. At Click, we connect brands with gaming and lifestyle talent (eg. YouTubers, Twitch Streamers, Facebook Gaming Creators) to create unique and effective marketing campaigns.

I am surrounded by so many smart, talented and inspirational people every day in this role and I want nothing more than to stay here, grow my skills and grow the business. I never imagined myself working in gaming but it turned out to fit my skills and interests so well.

A job that doesn’t feel like a job, what a dream! I am grateful every day to work here and I love the people and the talent.

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

I wake up at 6am, make a coffee and sit down with my cat. He is very affectionate so I let him sit on my lap while I drink my coffee and check my phone.

I read my emails, check all the Discord channels for my talent and the work Slack channels so I have an idea of what I’ll be doing for the day.

My train to work takes 1 hour so I begin the train ride with some mindful meditation for the first half, and spend the second half listening to music and curating my Spotify playlists. I also check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what is going on in the world. 

I’m most productive in the mornings so I focus on all my current campaigns, brand reach outs and responding to emails in the first half of the day.

The second half I take phone calls, meetings with brands, agencies and our Talent team and I plan out my following day and use the last few hours of the day to brainstorm new ideas and ways of working that will benefit my talent or the business.

If I get a spare minute I check out YouTube, see who is live on Twitch and see what is trending on Twitter.

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

Absolutely! Click Management is super mindful of everyone having a work-life balance. If you need to work from home for whatever reason they don’t bat an eye. As long as your work gets done and you’re online when you need to be.

It’s incredibly comforting to have this in a role so you can still tend to the important things in your life without sacrificing your work or having to take leave. We have a Slack channel for Office Attendance and if you have PT in the morning and want to come in a little later, just pop it in the Slack channel and everyone gives you a thumbs up.

We also have flexible summer hours  so we can work 8-4, 9-5 or 10-6. I think where possible, all workplaces should have this flexibility to enable staff to have a work-life balance so if you want to get home early you can start earlier or if you work better later in the day, you can have a later start.

As long as there is clear communication with your teams and everyone knows when you’ll be in, this is a very beneficial way to work.

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

For me, a work-life balance means I can do my job effectively and to the best of my ability while never sacrificing important things in my personal life.

The better your work-life balance, the better you’ll perform in your role as you won’t have to be constantly worrying about other things going on in your world. It’s never going to be perfect but it is something to strive for.

If I need to go to the doctors and my doctor is only available on Tuesday, I can go early in the morning and start work at 10am and work a little later that day. It’s about balancing the needs in your life with the needs of your role.

I think priorities come into play here too, you need to be able to prioritise to achieve a balance. Being clear with yourself about what is important to you and what is important to your business and making that work for yourself and your business.

Do what needs to be done in your role but don’t sacrifice your health or happiness to achieve it – find a balance that benefits both parties.

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

The past 12 months have felt like 12 years. I started waking up earlier and making sure I give myself enough time in the mornings to relax without rushing around to get ready for work. I like to have time to chill out so I don’t start the day stressed or late.

I discovered how important exercising is for my mental health, especially during lockdown or when I was unemployed, it was so important to just get up and move about, whether it was going for a long walk outside, going to the gym (if it was open) or exercising at home.

It makes you feel better mentally and physically and makes me feel less sluggish and lethargic. You don’t move much when you’re stuck inside so it’s important to find a little time to get your body moving.

Since the new year started I have been doing some mindful meditation which I find very relaxing. It’s a nice way to start or end the day, or to just take a break. My mind is always thinking so many things at once and thinking ahead – all the things I need and want to do.

A little mindful meditation gives your mind a break and a chance to quieten down and focus on yourself in the moment. I also write down in a notebook things I am grateful for. It reminds me I have everything I need and so much to be thankful for.

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

I’m currently reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne which was a present from my mum.

She’s always taught me to “live the life I’ve imagined” and “my thoughts create my future” so these books are about implementing that into your way of thinking and understanding the power of your thoughts on your reality.

I’m also reading Making Rumours by Ken Caillat, an inside story into the making of Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours. If you love Fleetwood Mac as much as I do, I recommend it.

If you’re interested in trying out some mindful meditation, the Headspace app has some simple ones as short as two minutes you can try. That’s where I started and I’ve found plenty on Spotify I try each morning. There is one called Daily Effin Meditation – who knew swearing could be so relaxing?

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

My Apple AirPods Pro because I love the noise cancellation – it’s so great on trains and public transport to just drown everything out and focus on your music or whatever you’re listening to. My best purchase of 2020.

I hate to say it but also my vape, I quit smoking in 2019 so my vape is always in my pocket. My favourite app is probably Spotify or Pinterest. My phone is my wallet now so I never go anywhere without that.

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

I’m going to say my boss, Grace Watkins. She always posts these beautiful videos of her early morning workouts by the ocean and then rocks up at work looking a million dollars and absolutely crushes everything she does at work.

She is a powerhouse, an inspiration and she looks fabulous 24/7. Honestly anyone who finds the time to stay fit and active while living a busy life and also making time for your friends and family – you’re the true heroes. How do you do it? When do you sleep?

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

I think 2020 taught us all what is important in life – taking care of ourselves and those around us. I think a work-life balance is really just about allowing yourself to work better by not having to stress about the other needs in your life.

Taking care of yourself and allowing yourself time to be happy and healthy is important above all else, I hope you all find yourself in a job that allows you to do that while also striving at whatever it is that you do for a living. 

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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.