Grace Alexander is the Marketing Manager at Cashrewards, an Australian cashback reward program, founded in 2014, partnered with over 1,400 brands.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career 9 years ago in affiliate marketing back home in London, before moving over to Sydney five years ago (and I’ve never looked back!).
I joined Cashrewards as an account director three years ago but as the business has grown, it’s given me the opportunity to diversify my experience in a more creative role.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
With the current climate and unprecedented times, like many businesses, we have had to throw our calendars and plans out the window and get innovative.
For example, travel attributed to such a large portion of our revenue and with everyone in lockdown, sales in this category pretty much dropped to 0 – so we had to come up with relevant campaigns to drive sales in other areas.
There will be some extremely nice interiors out there since lockdown, if the massive uplift in homewares and furniture is anything to go by!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I think with being forced to work from home for the last few months, it’s really made me appreciate how I can do my job from anywhere.
With the help of video calls, it doesn’t feel like there’s an urgency to be back in the office, which suits me as I recently moved to Bondi, so I get to spend my lunch breaks walking the dog down by the beach.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Aside from all the benefits of working from home, it does surprisingly add a challenge as it can be hard to switch off when you are working from your kitchen table!
To help it feel like I am not living in an office, at the end of the day I put all of my working equipment away in a cupboard and in the time I’d spend on my commute home, I go for a walk, when I get back it feels like a different space.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I find that exercise is so important for mental health and overall wellbeing. During COVID with all the gyms shut, I had to find other ways to stay active, so I decided to take up surfing.
It has definitely taught me some resilience, considering I grew up in London where the closest water was the River Thames! I’ve also started doing into yoga in the evenings, which I find really beneficial when I’ve had a stressful working day.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Newsletter: I am signed up to the Really Good Emails newsletter. As the name suggests, they share ‘really good emails’ which I take inspiration from for the newsletters we send twice a week to our members, featuring our partners offers and cash back rates.
Podcasts: The School of Greatness, Deliciously Ella, Feel Better Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Stories of our times – The Times, How to Fail with Elizabeth Day & Dream Job Ready.
Books: I used to read quite a lot, but I tend to be more of a podcast person since I stopped commuting daily. I have been reading A Monk’s Guide to Happiness: Meditation in the 21st Century at night time though as it’s got some really great learnings and it’s easy reading.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Gadgets: My Airpods are a lifesaver when running or if I am working from a café or park. Also my Nespresso machine, if that counts as a gadget! It still doesn’t stop me buying a coffee everyday mid-morning, but it definitely gets me out of bed if I am exercising before work!
Apps: I was recently recommended the app Blinkist – It basically provides summaries of non-fiction books in 15-minute snippets. Great if you are short on time or if you want to sound well read. And of course, I couldn’t live without Spotify, I listen to music all day when I am working as I find it really motivates me. I also get all my podcasts from Spotify.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Anyone that juggles multiple projects or commitments and still manages to keep a healthy family and social life. It seems as though women often have to either sacrifice their career or their family, so it would be great to hear whether it’s possible to keep a high-powered job but also have young children.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I am quite lucky as I have a housemate, but I know there are people living alone and struggling with working from home as they get lonely or miss the buzz of an office environment.
When I am feeling unmotivated, I often work from the library as there aren’t the distractions of home and it’s nice to be around other people. If you do have a housemate/partner, then it’s also a good escape! Marrickville library is a personal favourite, they do great coffee and comfy workspaces.
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