Dr. Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s foremost researchers on social trends and the Principal at boutique social research firm, Vox Populi Research.
She is also the author of the book, How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference, where she explains why the key to progress on climate change is in the psychology of human attitudes and our ability to change.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I did a law degree and PhD in politics. I’ve worked in politics, academic and publishing because I stumbled onto the social and market research industry.
I now divide my time between research, speaking, consulting and writing with a bit of board work thrown in there as well. I run a small boutique research firm called Vox Populi Research and work closely with the climate change movement on research and strategy.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Well, it all depends if I have my children with me that work or not! I share custody with my ex 50/50.
If I have my kids, mornings are busy getting them sorted and then a lot of the day is working from home, the usual zoom meetings with clients and emails, sneaking in a dog walk and some cooking and laundry in between tasks.
If I don’t have my kids, I spend my spare time doing yoga, swimming, walking and catching up with friends.
On recent work day, started with yoga, then a podcast on my recent book on climate change, a couple of zoom meeting, reviewing a research proposal, a few phone calls with prospective clients about upcoming projects or a briefing about a speaking event and then some business admin before catching up with a former colleague from publishing for a drink at a local bar.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
It does. I couldn’t make my life work without it. Doing a PhD you develop excellent skills to work from home and be self-motivated. I don’t need a boss looking over my shoulder to ensure I work to deadlines and deliver.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance requires almost a daily rethink. I am getting better at saying no and also trying to explain to people my limitations given my family responsibilities. And the need as I get older to priories health and exercise and time with friends.
Of course, the more privileged you are in terms of economic and social capital, the easier it is to strike a balance. Its not all hard work and comprehensive do to lists!
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have started exercising a lot more. I have also found myself getting better at being honest with clients and friends about what I can and can’t do. I have a few people in my life who are teaching me how to be lazy. To not to anything. It’s hard.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Jess Hill, See What You Made Me Do.
And I am reading The Witches by Roald Dahl because my daughter is studying it at school and I like to have something to talk to her about!
- Emperors of Rome
- The Drop Out
- The Eleventh, about the Whitlam Dismissal
No newsletters but I’m obsessions with Betootaadvocate on Instagram and I also follow Leonardo DiCaprio on Instagram for terrific news about climate change and the environment.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Can’t live without the watch and Airpods I use for running and walking. Beanhunter for the best coffee near me and the ABC News app.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
You’ll never get there but you need to keep trying!
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