Interviews, Writers

Balancing the Grind With Charlie Kane, Writer, Editorial Content & Community Manager

August 9, 2019

Charlie Kane is the Content & Community Manager at self-discovery and career exploration platform, Find Your Grind, and also a Writer for streetwear brand, The Hundreds.

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

At 10 years old, I would essentially be doing what I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life when I had a paper route and turned my room into a newsroom.

By 16 years old, I should have known I’d write for a living when I started building websites and blogged. But it’s honestly taken me 10 years to figure out my true place and gift in writing and produce programming.

My career has been an accumulation of passions, projects, and skills picked up along the way — all being related to writing, creative direction, and events marketing.

I began creating and self publishing my own zines, writing on every blog platform from Xanga to Tumblr, producing my own photo shoots, having my own independent streetwear column, becoming a contributor to other platforms like The Hundreds, writing copy for e-commerce fashion, helping produce activations, having opportunities to speak for TEDx and produce for Apple, and it continues to build.

Today, I’m happy to have a role as an Editorial Content and Community Manager with Find Your Grind. This role touches on all these skill sets in a more cohesive and purposeful way, while staying within my aesthetic of producing stories and content in streetwear culture, lifestyle, and youth culture.

Although I’ve always maintained a 9-to-5 throughout my career, I still continuously pursue my own personal projects and other freelance writing.

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

I tend to start my day around 6am and take an hour for myself — meditating, envisioning, planning, and getting my mindset right. Because I’m in a position to do what I love now, I don’t want to become jaded.

So, I set a level of gratitude and maintain this energy throughout my day. I squeeze in a workout in the mornings or evenings depending on the day. I read for an hour right before work. I listen to a podcast or a documentary while I get ready.

I worked from home for quite some time previously, so getting ready for my day and choosing my outfit is just as important to me because it’s a direct expression of myself and how I show up to the world (I missed this ritual greatly).

My first hour at work is usually going through e-mails, Slack, all our social platform messages or mentions, then I plan my goals for the day or address tasks that have been leftover from the day before.

Every day is different. My focuses range from editorial content and social planning, curating content, writing editorial stories, interviewing people, thinking of assets needed, planning future marketing initiatives, meetings, to writing company copy.

I would say that 60% of my job is planning, curating, and strategizing, 30% is the actual execution, and 10% is the follow-up game.

After my work with Find Your Grind, I use cooking as my therapy to wind down, then work on my personal projects or other writing endeavors for other publication platforms until 11pm or midnight.

If I’m not working on my personal projects, I’m out attending events, meeting new people, hanging out with friends, or find ways to relax by myself.

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 does allow for flexibility and extend opportunities to work remotely. This helps me really plan on gathering the content we need to stay innovative, since I’m able to travel to interview different people or check out events.

Because of these privileges, I tend to plan and stay ahead even more to avoid working around the clock. Traveling or working remotely takes a lot of discipline and time management.

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4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

Task lists. Daily planners. Monthly planners. GOALS. All of these help me understand my priorities on each level (daily, weekly, monthly) or the bigger picture goals (quarterly, yearly).

I’m more realistic these days with myself on timelines and deadlines because I do multi-task on so many different projects — and I’m so cautious on burning or burning out.

I don’t necessarily believe in short-cuts because I like one correct execution, but I do believe in teamwork and the level of efficiency when you have a great team.

I’m always thinking 5 steps ahead. I’m always filling any idle time to find a way to be better. Planning and being self aware is most important. The more you’re able to practice omniscience and look ahead, the more you can aim to accomplish.

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

I think this generation believes that when it’s doing something you love, it won’t feel like work. But we find ourselves in this huge self care movement, because even if you love what you do – you need to take time for yourself.

Checking in with yourself, logging off, learning to sit in silence and your thoughts/feelings, and pampering are my favorite self care techniques.

I used to work a lot, and all the time and didn’t have this balance, but I had to take a step back and ask myself ‘​what I was really working so hard for’​ and ​‘what do I have to show for it’​ (monetarily vs. mentally vs. relationally).

If any of these areas are lacking and you invest most of your time in your work, your life will feel imbalanced and incomplete. I think we punish ourselves secretly by pushing to accomplish certain markers, but forget how to live throughout the way.

The balance of work, family, friendships, relationships, and self is an art. While we like the direct control of our input and the results we get in our careers, think of the completion we’ll feel when this is also applied in all the areas of our lives.

Practicing this self awareness helps me manage myself and ensures that I don’t burn out how I previously have.

6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

Saying “thank you.” Expressing your appreciation to others. Practicing my self awareness. Setting goals and saying affirmations.

Being a good person towards yourself and others will take your career to the next level. This builds a lasting legacy beyond your title or how much money you make.

I was asked recently, “what legacy do you want to leave behind?” — I answered, I just want to be known as a good person. At the end of the day, I can’t take my accolades, money, or work to the grave, but the stories of your character will live on forever.

When you continue to humble yourself no matter how successful you get, you’ll find yourself happy at every stage of your career and understand you’re exactly where you need to be.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Remembering sustenance.

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

Reaching milestones feels amazing, because fundamentally you receive this addictive rush of adrenaline and serotonin. But, it’s a fleeting feeling.

Remember what you do it for. Appreciating the whole journey — including the mundane times, hard days, or the rejection is more substantial. Be present in your accomplishments, as well.

Enjoy them thoroughly, instead of moving towards the next best thing and forgetting what you’ve worked hard towards.

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