Tam Al-Saad is the Head of Growth at digital growth consultancy Webprofits, where he is responsible for growth across Australia, US, and South East Asia.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I joined a startup while still at university in London, I was the fourth person they hired. When I graduated they offered me a full time job where I looked after the marketing and did whatever else needed to be done.
It gave me the opportunity to understand the importance of each part of the business and have an impact on each of them which I look back on as vital to my career development.
I stayed with them for 8 years and played a pivotal role in them growing to more than 80 people operating in five countries before becoming General Manager for a new startup that we founded.
When I moved to Australia, marketing was the most transferable skill I had so I had a few short term roles at a number of startups in Sydney before joining Web Profits.
My role is a weird one in that I’m the internal marketer for a marketing agency, so my role is to sell marketing to marketers which is a pretty fun challenge. I also get drafted into ad hoc consultations with clients to ensure they’re applying the optimal strategies for growth.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I start the day by checking email and slack and creating a plan for what I want to complete that day. Then each morning our leadership team has a daily WIP to identify where we might be able to support each other.
From there, the day could honestly go anywhere, which is what I enjoy about it so much, but it’s usually some combination of launching/optimising ad campaigns, writing email copy, planning or creating content, creating wireframes for landing pages, liaising with designers and developers.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’ve always hated the idea of working from home because I thought I need the buzz of the office to keep me going.
We’re a close knit bunch and so it would be pretty common for me to have after-work plans with my colleagues, being in the same place made it easy to go to the local pub.
Since the pandemic, I’ve managed to adjust to working from home and so I might do it more often when we go back to “normal”. We had a flexible remote working policy in the past which has allowed me to work from the UK when I went back to visit last year and I think we’re only going to get more flexible as time goes on.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I think of work-life balance as a medium term goal. I don’t expect balance in every day or every week or month. There are periods when there is loads that needs to get done, and in those periods I work as much as I need to in order to get it done.
I burned out in a role many years ago and vowed never to do that again so when the balance weighs in favour of work too much for too long then I have an honest conversation with my directors and we find a new way to do things.
But there are also little things I try to do such as always eat lunch away from my desk, never working late on a Friday, and taking tea breaks throughout the day to try and bring a bit of balance in the short term.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started mediating for 10 minutes every morning and it’s been a game changer. Really helps to settle my mind before starting the day allows me to be a lot more focused and purposeful for the rest of the day.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I enjoy the newsletters from The Hustle and CB insights, they’re great for interesting trends or business stories that you wouldn’t choose to read usually but they make them really interesting.
B&T’s daily newsletter gives me a good snapshot of the marketing industry while putting a comical slant on things too so I often enjoy that.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I communicate a lot so apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and messenger all help me stay connected with colleagues and friends around the world.
I’ve also recently started drinking powdered mushroom extract which has been awesome at helping me focus, be creative, and giving me a boost of energy (I gave up coffee a few years back).
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’m always amazed at startup founders who maintain a social life or some semblance of work-life balance so maybe the team at Canva or somewhere like that.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I always think of the balance as constantly going from one extreme to the other and I’m ok with that. I think the idea of constant balance is a myth and, to be honest, a little boring. I find life is better when you work hard, play hard (or rest hard).
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