Balancing the Grind with Tegan Kirkby, Client Strategy Director at Australian Radio Network

Tegan Kirkby is the Client Strategy Director at Australian Radio Network, where she works on developing insights and campaigns for advertising partners.

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

I’ve spent just over a decade in Media Agencies in Comms roles servicing some amazing brands and working in a huge array of categories – from finance to FMCG to travel and cosmetics.

I worked in a global and then a large independent agency, loved both for different reasons, and now I head up the National Client Strategy team at The Australian Radio Network, developing insights and campaigns within my favourite channel for our advertising partners nationally.

I love navigating the perfect balance of art and science, and this role gives me the chance to do that daily with a bit of writing research in between.

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

It sounds painfully cliché but every day really is pretty different.

A “normal” day would include some combination of brainstorms, briefs, writing, research – working with campaigns teams on what’s possible, a bit of admin, probably presenting some ideas or stats or funky graphs – and plenty of awesome audio in various different formats, celebrating little wins, and surrounded by awesome, happy, motivating people.

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

Yep definitely – generally I do 50% of the week in the office and 50% from home which works perfectly – gives me plenty of beach time and makes life with a toddler and a side hustle so much easier to navigate and stay on top of. I also have a healthy sense of autonomy and can very naturally fit my work around my life instead of the other way around.

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

It really means the same to me as what has always been my lofty definition of success – it’s not about not working, it’s about being able to choose how I spend the time in my day.

It means I can get a coffee at the beach in the morning instead of sitting in the car; or I can duck home early to get dinner made before picking up my son – all those little nuances that just make you get into bed each night feeling like you’ve made the absolute best possible use of the hours in your day.

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

I’d love to say I’ve become insanely fit in iso but I have not. However with the birth of a side hustle by my hubby and I, The Someday Collective, we’ve both become way more disciplined in the way that we separate work and life so the lines aren’t blurred.

I make a conscious effort (even more so than previously) to allocate time every day to focus on something that isn’t main hustle or side hustle related. Once it’s a habit it’s actually really easy to switch off and means I’m so much more efficient and effective when I switch on work mode.

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

One of the best books I’ve ever read is Minefields by Hugh Riminton (Aussie journo/foreign correspondent). Incredibly captivating.

I could talk about podcasts for a while but my faves are true crime – Casefile for a long listen, Criminal for a short listen. Best one-off series is a hilarious historical ABC one called Rum, Rebels and Ratbags.

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

Hmm not really – part of me would love to live without a phone for a little while but that’s boring. Oh maybe Canva! My non-designer skill set would flounder without that.

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

Honestly, Beyonce. What does that really look like?

Or someone like an elite athlete in a world where the lines between work and life are a bit blurrier than in the corporate world.

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

What I always say to my mentees – the ultimate goal is to love Mondays. If you’re not happy, change it.

We’re so blessed with more choice than any generation before us and can literally generate new roles and chances for career re-birth out of nowhere so there is no time to waste living only for two days out of seven!

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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.