Balancing the Grind with Marina Semaan, Key Account Manager at Adcreators

Marina Semaan is the Key Account Manager at creative and marketing agency, Adcreators, where she works with start-ups and small-medium businesses across APAC and Middle East.

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

While I was studying a Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in International Business and Management, I began working for a global luxury fashion house.

Managing Australia’s flagship boutique and being involved in both the buying and marketing departments, I realised the value, strength and opportunity of the latter.

As luck would have it (or opportunity meeting success) I came across an opening at Adcreators, just when I was ready for the next step after 4 wonderful years. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and career.

Realising the evolution of marketing, offline and online, I set my intention to further foster my skills and knowledge, and knew this is where I wanted to be. I now use my management skills to lead our teams across Sydney, Australia; Beirut, Lebanon; and Vadadora, India.

As the main point of contact for our key accounts, most of my focus is on fostering fruitful relationships with clients and seeing their marketing efforts through to success.

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

If you had asked this question a couple of months ago, my answer would have been “working from home in my activewear and trying to adjust to the new normal” but thankfully, being back in the office after the peak of the Pandemic, my days are a lot more exciting.

I start with a strong cup of coffee, catch up with the team on anything and everything before getting into the full swing of things. I hold monthly meetings with all my clients, so some days I am out of office and on the road, but when I am in office, it usually involves team briefings, project planning and day-to-day account management.

One of my favourite things about my role and working with Adcreators is that no two days are the same, which is a blessing for me as I am not a creature of habit – but like to be surprised, go on new adventures and set different goals for each day (it keeps things interesting).

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

Being a primarily digital agency and having developed our own project management software and systems, it’s very easy for us to work remotely, and flexibly.

Liaising with our teams abroad presents challenges with time differences, so flexibility in starting a little later to work a little later is also accommodated.

Being in an environment that focuses on smart work, not hard work, we are given autonomy and trusted enough to get things done – even if it’s not being in office from 9am until 5pm, 5 days a week.

So yes, it certainly fits in with life.

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

In a nutshell, it means not being consumed by one or the other. I love my job so much that it doesn’t feel like work, rather, I see it as another opportunity to help, support and be of service. But this was not always the case.

At times, things were quite tough and I realised that besides spending too many hours in a day at the office, I was feeling overwhelming emotions of stress and worry.

When I noticed this pattern and saw the impact it had on my wellbeing, I used it as an opportunity to refocus my perspective and find a balance between both.

To achieve this goal, I do the following:

  • Clearly define my personal and professional priorities
  • Set boundaries and maintain them
  • Believe in smart work, not long work, so organise my time and tasks strategically
  • Spend more time doing things for me, from personal training to Spanish classes (whatever sparks my interest and curiosity at the time)
  • Try to not multitask, but be fully present and engaged in what I am working on

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

Habits I have started:

  • Practicing gratitude
  • Daily meditation
  • Being more mindful and fully present
  • Taking small steps to reach goals I have often avoided
  • Spending more time outdoors
  • Exercising more
  • Embracing what makes me happy

Habits I have stopped:

  • Multitasking
  • Reading news, articles or social media posts that impact my emotions and bring down my vibrational frequency
  • Worrying about things I cannot control
  • Dwelling on mistakes
  • Realising my reaction and responses before acting on impulse

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

Daily, I read Thrive Global for tips, inspiring stories and insights on wellbeing, wisdom, wonder and purpose.

My favourite authors who truly contributed to a shift in my life are Abraham-Hicks, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Gabrielle Bernstein.

My favourite books are The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer; Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein; and I am also a big fan of Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

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

Arianna Huffington.

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

Work on your own happiness like it’s a full-time job.

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This conversation is brought to you by marketing data consultancy Venntifact, helping organisations build and enable high-performance digital teams to harness data and technology assets, empowering digital innovation.

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.