Taru Bhargava is a Content Marketing Manager at Lawpath, Australia’s largest online legal platform for businesses and individuals.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m a big planner now, but it wasn’t the case at the beginning of my career. I graduated from Uni in 2004 and in the early years chased and experimented with a bunch of career options. From working in food technology to fitness and then banking I’ve done it all.
Climbing the corporate ladder as a Banker, made me realise that once I neared the top, the ladder I was hastily climbing was propped against the wrong wall.
The pressure, anxiety and weird working hours — enough was enough. It even took a toll on my health and a visit to the ICU pushed me to pause, reevaluate things and explore unconventional working styles and scenarios.
In other words, it brought me a step closer to remote working as we know it today.
Post my illness, I wanted to devote my time and energy where it mattered. I knew I was passionate about writing but finding something that paid the bills was a task.
A chanced intersection with tech was a godsend. Hours of unpaid internships, self-learning and networking, the rest is history I would say!
It opened the doors of opportunities, allowing me to work with rapidly growing global B2B tech SaaS companies, agencies and influencers across the US, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand and Israel. I have worked hard, but I have also been lucky.
Then in 2017, our family decided to move from India to Australia and we believe that it was the best decision for us. I was happily enjoying my work at Foundation Marketing remotely, but the more time passed, the more I craved human connection and that’s how I landed my first hybrid role at Genbook. To say it has shaped me in more ways than I can imagine will be an understatement.
Currently, I lead Content Marketing at Lawpath— Australia’s leading online legal platform focussed on small businesses. Just a couple of months in and I can already see how amazing this place and product is and why thousands of businesses love us.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m a mum of a toddler so balancing work and life around him needs a lot of planning. It’s because of this that an early head start works well for me.
I start my day anywhere between 5 am to 5.30 am, then it’s time for a cup of steaming hot tea, making mental notes of things, getting ready for the day and chatting with my family overseas (yeah timezones right!) —all this before 7 am.
I try to fit in a walk depending on the weather as we drop our son at the daycare. I start work at 8 am and no two days are alike. I like to keep my calendar up to date so that things don’t fall out of the cracks. My ex-boss Ross Simmonds taught me to embrace the calendar. His concept of CREAM —Calendars Rule Everything Around Me—has been a game-changer for me.
Then based on the schedule, I flow. There are team meetings, interdepartmental catch ups and more. A significant part of my week also goes into planning content, evaluating metrics and building on ongoing content strategy. On lighter days I indulge in reading or listening to a podcast. All in all, I like prioritizing my tasks so that I have the best handle on what needs to be accomplished on any given day.
Evenings are all about family time, savouring meals, chatting with friends and then lights out!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
The only good thing that has come out of this pandemic is that more and more businesses are adopting remote work and it shows in increased productivity and better work-life balance for its employees.
I’m thankful that Lawpath offers a hybrid work environment to its employees and it was one of the major reasons for me accepting this job offer. We work most days from home and are in the office once a week at the moment.
Remote days help me plan fun activities with my family and friends, cater to the needs of my son, cook healthy meals— all this because I save two hours travelling.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Short answer—everything. Long answer— work-life balance for me is having a job that fits around my life, not a life that fits around my job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I really care about it, but I’m not saving lives. Yes, there will be days when you’ll stretch but that’s a choice you make.
Remote work has allowed me to do things that I like and love, and I’m grateful for it.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Yes! It’s erratic but I now have time to exercise, read, meditate and pause. I love going on walks with my husband during my lunch hour, picking up my son right on time or having an early dinner in a park nearby. It’s been a game-changer.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Plenty! My favourite book of all time is Atomic Habits by James Clear. His concept of improving just 1% every day has stuck with me. I’m signed up for a bunch of newsletters but the ones I read almost every time I see them include Sidekick, Morning Brew, Kevan Lee, #SEOFOMO, Healthyish and Girls Night In.
I’ve recently discovered Dare to Lead—a podcast on leadership by Brene Brown which I’m loving so far.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My G-cal, Todoist, Storypark, Instagram and Netflix. Weird combo right?
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
That’s a tough one. It would be from someone who has been there and done that. I’d say, Indra Nooyi—former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I have a few:
- Choose a job that values you and set boundaries early on.
- Surround yourself with positive people and good things will come your way.
- Giving your all does not mean you have to do it all. You are allowed to pace yourself.
- The biggest lesson I have learnt is that you have permission to decline someone’s advice on what you “should” be doing.
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