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Balancing the Grind With Wendy Zhang, Brand & Marketing Manager at Relationships Australia NSW

Wendy Zhang is the Brand & Marketing Manager at Relationships Australia NSW, a not-for-profit organisation, providing relationship support services for individuals, couples, families and communities.

In addition to her role at Relationship Australia, Wendy is also a Music Journalist for CutCommon, an independently run classical and new music magazine.

Balance the Grind spoke to Wendy about balancing her marketing career and music on the side, a typical day in her life, using Basecamp for project management and more.

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

My background is in brand and marketing and I’ve worked in various marketing roles for both corporate and not-for-profit sectors for over 10 years. Previous to my current role at Relationships Australia, I worked in the legal industry for over 6 years.

I also have a background and passion in music, as I have been playing classical piano from a young age. I am a piano teacher now and own a small music studio at home where I teach kids aged between 5 to 16.

In addition to teaching, I sometimes get the opportunity to perform in concerts and musicals which was a lot of fun, and write live concert reviews for a music publication called CutCommon on a regular basis.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I currently work as a Brand & Marketing Manager at Relationships Australia NSW.

My main role is to develop a digital marketing strategy and incorporate marketing automation into the customer journey, right from the moment when someone first visits our website.

It involves building campaigns, landing pages and forms on the website, strategizing automation workflows, planning for and promoting events, and managing paid and organic digital campaigns.

Our team recently launched a new website for Relationships Australia NSW and there was a lot of excitement in seeing this project finally live and receiving great feedback from our clients on how easy it was to navigate and make enquiries.

I also attend marketing seminars and workshops on a regular basis to learn about what other brands do to engage with their customers.

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

A typical work day would start with a cup of fresh aromatic mocha – I cannot function without my morning coffee!

On this particularly work day I arrived at the office early in the morning, and did some website reports when my mind was still fresh.

I then responded to my emails before stepping into a meeting with our team to plan for a launch campaign for a new service program.

After that, I headed to our digital agency headquarter in North Sydney, to meet with them and talk about our current campaigns – statistics, feedback and actions for the next month.

After lunch, I drafted a powerpoint presentation for a managers’ meeting coming up and looked at trends and updates on Google analytics.

We then had an afternoon tea to celebrate Harmony Day, where a lot of staff members brought in and shared food from their own cultures and it was always amazing to chat and bond over food!

After work, I would listen to my favourite Spotify soundtracks on my train ride home – currently playing the new Aladdin movie sound track.

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

I am grateful to be able to work part-time in my current marketing role so I have the luxury (time) to pursue my passion project (music), and music to me is always exciting and relaxing at the same time.

Just last week I saw three concerts – a chamber performance, an orchestral concert and a harp concert by my friend!

I think this kind of lifestyle is only possible if you can work part-time or freelancing, as it provides the perfect balance for job (career) and leisure (passion).

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

Listening to music, playing music (alone or in a group), singing and attending live concerts are some of the things I do to recharge.

I also like to exercise in my local gym – love a group Zumba or body combat class in the morning and find myself so awake and full of energy for the rest of the day.

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products can’t you live without?

For work, we use Basecamp which is great at keeping track with current projects and not missing any conversations or documents. A quick glance at Basecamp in the morning and I know exactly what I need to do and where everyone is up to.

I am a big planner and cannot live without Google calendar on my phone. I organise my work functions, lesson schedules, concerts and appointments via the synced calendar.

I think it is so much easier (and lighter) than the old fashioned diaries that people still carry around.

7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?

Right now I would recommend Mindset by Carol Dweck and Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Mindset explains the differences between fixed and growth mindsets, and what you can do to change your fixed mindsets to fulfil your potential, which is inspiring for me as a piano teacher as often times a fixed mindset is not helpful in teaching.

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

Getting up early and head to the gym. I know it sounds so simple and clichéd, but committing to it every day is hard, especially in winter when it is so much easier to ignore the alarm clock and sleep in.

I figured out that if I can get up early and go to the gym, then I have control for my mornings and often get the most out of the day with a fresh mind and a great attitude.

About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.