Balancing the Grind with Rosie Chong, Account Manager at CODI Agency

Rosie Chong is an account manager and digital strategist at CODI Agency, a digital marketing and social agency based in Melbourne.

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

Sure thing! I began my career in media at NewsCorp fresh out of university, and fell into the media world somewhat accidentally. Whilst I was still studying, I partook in a 3-month marketing internship with Unilever.

It was during this internship that my marketing business partner steered me towards the media world, something I hadn’t even considered up until that point.

After a few years working on the publisher side, I switched gears and moved to agency land, shifting into the digital marketing and social media industry this year. I currently work as an Account Manager, specialising in client relationship management and strategy across a myriad of industries.

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

I’ve recently started working back in the office following Melbourne’s recent lockdown, and it was quite the adjustment getting back into my old workday routine.

My morning usually starts with an argument with my alarm, then either a run or an at-home Keep It Cleaner workout (if I am feeling motivated! There are most definitely days where I hit the snooze button and skip a workout altogether).

I typically fix myself up with a bowl of granola and a cup of tea (hello to my non-coffee drinkers). In the mornings, once I’m ready for the day, I try to film and upload my content for socials before I leave for the office. I’m currently focusing on producing weekly LinkedIn video content.

My workday varies day-to-day, but often includes a mixture of internal team meetings and one-on-one updates, external client discovery calls and pitch presentations.

In between the gaps I’m working on putting together client strategies and keeping up-to-date with any latest features or changes to social media platforms. I try hard to allocate time for a proper lunch break with whatever leftovers I have from the night before, often followed by an almond chai latte.

If I do not have any after-hours appointments, late meetings or social commitments, I love to finish my day back at home cooking a tasty dinner with my partner and binge-watching our favourite shows from the comfort of the couch.

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

Yes, and I absolutely love the flexibility! My workplace offers 3 days in the office, and 2 days working from home. I love having a balance to work uninterrupted at my home office, and still fit in workouts and home admin between meetings.

I’ve found having more time back in my weeks with commuting only a few days to the office has helped me develop a more structured daily routine and find more time for life admin and errands.

Having time each week at the office is great as well, being able to have in-person meetings and bounce ideas off my team members really helps drive my motivation and creativity in the work I do day-to-day.

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

Work-life balance to me is about having time to fit in things I love to do, and not have life consumed entirely by work.

To me, it’s balancing my workload to fit somewhere between the 9-5 time slot, and then having time to enjoy other things like cooking, going for a long walk or catching up for dinner with friends or family.

I achieve this through enforcing my own boundaries – I strive to be a really organised person, and find having an updated to-do list and keeping on top of my emails helps me to meet my daily work deadlines. I rely heavily on my calendar as well to find a work-life balance, mixing in personal placeholders to protect time outside of work hours within my work calendar.

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

Yes, I sure have! I’ve started adding in regular exercise in the mornings that has really helped my routine, especially with the change to working from home.

I used to do workouts after I got home from the office and would always rattle off a list of excuses to not exercise: too tired, home too late from the office or I have other plans.

Switching my routine to the morning was hard at first (I am most definitely not a morning person!), but I’ve found I have a lot more energy for the rest of my day after a morning workout, and I’m fitting in more days exercising because I don’t have any excuses holding me back.

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

I have a few recommendations for each category!

I have two books I’ve just finished which I adored and would highly recommend are worth the read, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which I couldn’t put down, and All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton.

In the podcast space, I listen to a mix every week. For my pop culture fix, I love Shameless and It’s a Lot Pod with Abbie Chatfield. I also like to keep up to date on all things digital marketing and social media, listening to Social Media Marketing Talk Show and Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner.

As for newsletters, I’m subscribed to a great LinkedIn-focused one by Bruce Johnston – he shares great tips and insights on content and getting the most out of LinkedIn, definitely worth a follow.

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

As lame as it may sound, my AirPods have been a lifesaver. I go everywhere with my AirPods and it has made my life so much more convenient, I no longer get tangled between a mask, earrings and a coat, or even pull my laptop off my desk along with everything else – absolute gamechanger!

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

I would love to read about Jacinda Ardern, she is such a powerhouse. How she can simultaneously run a country during a global pandemic, raise a child, and still find time for herself and her husband baffles me – she’s a superwoman!

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

Balancing everything between life and work is an ever-evolving process, and looks different to everyone. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have it right all the time – the best you can ask of yourself is to keep trying and learning and do the best you can with what you have.

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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.