Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Stephanie Gillies, Head of Marketing & Communications at Trustpilot ANZ

Stephanie Gillies is the Head of Marketing & Communications at Trustpilot ANZ, a global consumer reviews website.

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

In my current role, I’m Head of Marketing and Communications at Trustpilot Australia & New Zealand.

Trustpilot is a global consumer reviews website which helps consumers to purchase with confidence, and also helps businesses improve the experiences it offers with rich insights. It’s a very purpose led company which is what initially appealed to me.

My role is very broad and as the first marketer on ground, it’s also an exciting one as I get to help shape the strategy of the region and set the direction for marketing. 

Marketing is something I’ve been passionate about from an early age. Since leaving university, where I studied marketing, I have had a variety of different roles within organisations all within the marketing & communications function. However, I’ve always generally worked for high growth technology companies. 

I’m also a committee member at Marketing Women Inc., a not-for-profit organisation which aims to build a community of strong female marketers.

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

Every day is very different! My role is very broad as I manage both marketing and PR, so no two days are ever the same. 

I usually start my day by checking my emails and Slack to catch-up on everything that has happened overnight from my colleagues overseas. After some exercise, I’m ready to start my work day around 8am. 

In the morning, I generally prioritise any urgent emails or tasks, as well as work through my to-do list and planning for upcoming meetings. From there, my day consists of a mix of internal and external meetings. 

I try to keep at least one day free of meetings so I can focus on building out the regional strategy, reporting and execution, as well as giving myself the space to explore some new ideas (though that doesn’t always happen). 

I often have very early mornings or late nights as I collaborate with my colleagues around the globe in New York, Copenhagen and London. As a result, I like to make sure I carve out time during the day so I can go for a walk or two. 

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

Absolutely and I’m lucky that Trustpilot has a flexible work policy, meaning I can both work in the office and from home.

Once lockdown restrictions ease in Melbourne, I plan to spend 2 – 3 days per week in the office as there’s some projects that require more collaboration with the team. Commuting to the office will probably mean I’ll also get back into the habit of listening to podcasts, which is something I used to do quite frequently.  

Having flexibility also means I can balance the days where I have very early or very late calls with longer lunch breaks or earlier finishes. 

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

I believe that work-life balance is about making time for yourself, checking in with your emotions and prioritising what matters the most. 

For me, it’s about finding the harmony between priorities in order to be present, taking time out when needed, and also ensuring that I can be available for my family and friends. 

That said, it is also important to recognise that some days will be out of ‘whack’. I’ve come to accept that as long as I can recalibrate afterwards, maintain perspective and listen to my intuition along the way. 

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

My routine has completely changed over the last 12 months since the start of the pandemic. I’ve been through moments where I’ve been in a good rhythm with exercise and switching off from work, and there have been times where I didn’t exercise and developed an unusual sleep pattern. 

I’ve since made a concerted effort to introduce new routines to help find balance. I usually start my day with a walk or some sort of fitness such as HIIT as I’ve found that it’s beneficial to my mental wellbeing and helps me feel refreshed. I also started listening to Headspace in the evening to help clear my mind before going to bed – it is making a huge difference. 

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

Some of my favourites include The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Atomic Habits by James Clear, How I Built This by Guy Raz and Brene Brown’s podcast.  

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

I would probably have to say my phone. I am however trying to limit how long I spend on it. I’ve started using the ‘do not disturb’ feature at night so I’m not tempted to doom-scroll. 

I listen to a lot of content and music so I’d also have to say Spotify and my AirPods as well. 

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

I would love to hear from either Melanie Perkins (Canva) or Whitney Wolfe Herd (Bumble) – both of which have incredible stories and are killing it as some of the most successful female tech entrepreneurs. 

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

Balance can mean something different on any given day so it is important to check-in with yourself regularly and make sure you’re fulfilling your purpose. 

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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.