Sierra Skelly is the Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media, an SEO-focused content marketing agency, with offices in Austin, San Diego, and New York City.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I always knew I loved to write, but wasn’t quite sure how I would make it a career. I entered college as an English major at San Diego State University. Once realizing an English degree would likely land me a teaching position, I quickly shifted gears.
After bouncing around a few majors, I landed in Journalism and that is what really stuck. I was lucky enough to score an internship at a digital marketing agency outside of Scripps Ranch my senior year and that is what helped me land my job at Siege Media right out of college.
Fast forward to today and I am a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media. I am responsible for a team of content marketing specialists and oversee the content strategy and progression of around 4–5 clients.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Well, it depends! My day is shaped around what my team needs from me. Likely that is QA’ing an article, attending one on one meetings, leading trainings, brainstorming new content ideas, and setting the strategy for my clients.
My most recent workday was hectic, but a good example of what a workday typically looks like for me. I started the morning answering emails. I then jumped into creating a brand analysis for a client I am onboarding (essentially a presentation establishing our content strategy).
I then had a one-on-one meeting with a direct report where I trained him on how to report for our clients. Following that I QA’d two articles we had in the pipeline and provided feedback on a few design projects we have in the works. I ended my day catching up on emails.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My current role allows me to work remotely. Before the pandemic, we had flexible work from home options, and following the pandemic, I have moved to fully remote work.
Remote work fits into my life beautifully. I have always been someone who is strict with time. I would get up at 6:00 AM on the dot, finish my workout by 7:30, and leave the house by 8:30 in order to make it to work on time. If I was one minute late my cortisol levels would rise.
Working remotely allows me the time to relax a bit. I now will slowly get up at 7:00 AM, allow myself 10 minutes for meditation, and then begin my workout. I feel less pressure to stick to such a strict schedule. It’s like I’ve unbuttoned the skin-tight jeans of my mornings and allowed everything to hang out.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance for me means allowing myself the room to make mistakes. Forgiving myself when I wasn’t able to finish a project that day. Understanding that you won’t be able to make everyone happy. It means remembering that work is work. And your life is your life.
I work to achieve this by being patient with myself and remembering to take breaks throughout my day. One of our mottos at Siege is Health, then Work. I prioritize my mental health and physical health over work, always.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Yes! I finally started to meditate (I used to never think I had enough time). I also experimented with new workout classes. While my pilates studio shut down, I was able to try out new workouts and strengthen my body. I have also started relearning piano — something I enjoyed as a kid but lost touch with as I grew older.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Some of my favorite books as it relates to work and productivity are: Work Happy and The Art of Happiness.
My favorite podcasts are: The Skinny Confidential Him and Her Podcast and The Daily.
My favorite newsletters are: Marketing Brew, Search Engine Journal, Paddy Moogan, and of course, Siege Media!
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I absolutely cannot live without my Kindle! I use it for just about everything.
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?
Remember that it’s just work! Don’t be afraid to walk away from your computer, take a walk, or even take a mental health day. Not only will you be thanking yourself, but your team will be thanking you too. We never perform at our best when that balance is off.
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