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Balancing the Grind with Jonathon Moore, Senior Manager of Government Affairs & Policy, APAC at Johnson & Johnson

Jonathon Moore, Senior Manager of Government Affairs & Policy, APAC at health care products and pharmaceuticals company Johnson & Johnson.

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

I am currently working as a Senior Manager in Johnson & Johnson’s Asia Pacific Regional Government Affairs and Policy team. I assist a number of our government affairs and policy leaders in executing our wider strategy across the Asia Pacific region in addition to a few other key capabilities and projects I am working on.

This is actually a relatively new role for me as I recently completed an internal move from J&J’s Pharmaceutical Company Janssen (at the time of interview – three weeks ago). At Janssen I was managing corporate communications in the Australian and New Zealand Corporate Affairs team. 

I have a fairly typical background for someone working in this space – I’ve worked for a number of politicians in the NSW Government including a Cabinet Minister and did a large stint working in a public affairs and government relations consultancy where I was exposed to a fantastic range of industry areas and tricky projects. 

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

A typical day for me does usually start with some kind of physical exercise – I’m a fairly avid amateur road cyclist so often my day will begin with a training session on the bike, very often laps of Sydney’s iconic Centennial Park and the requisite coffee afterwards if time allows me to do so!

From there it used to be a mad rush to get showered, dressed and into the car to do the relatively short drive to the office but like a lot of people in the corporate world I find myself working from home quite a lot at the moment. Mornings can be a bit less of a mad rush when I only have to go across to the home office which is a mere five second walk from my bedroom!

As I work an Asia Pacific role with my new colleagues in Singapore my more recent work days have been a case of catching up on reading or writing or admin that needs to be done in the early part of the day and the meetings start from about lunch time now instead. It’s all of course still relatively new to me so I’m still finding my feet in terms of how to best go about my daily tasks.

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

My new role at J&J is the very definition of both flexible and remote given I am working in an Asia Pacific role and was able to remain in Sydney. I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity by my team without moving to Singapore which would not have worked for me with other commitments in my life at this time.

If anything I think the challenge for me is going to be maintaining some ‘normality’ with this role, especially having worked with the local organisation for a number of years. To that end I’m still going into our Sydney office and staying connected with the local team rather than spending every single day of the week at home!

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

I guess it is a question of give and take to a certain degree – I’m not sure you can have an absolute definition of ‘balance’ as such. Sometimes things are going to be full on and very busy and hopefully that can be balanced out by some less intense periods where you’re able to spend more time on the things in your life that aren’t work-related. 

You certainly have to give yourself permission to do that and not be at full speed all the time and this can be a difficult thing to get right sometimes. Don’t check or reply to that email until tomorrow morning! Does that sound familiar to anyone else? 

This can be especially a challenge for those of us who have worked in high paced environments like politics or some consultancies like I have and I do need to remind myself from time to time that perhaps that thing can wait until tomorrow.

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

The pandemic changed a lot of things for a lot of different people but overall, really I am incredibly lucky to be able to say fundamentally not a huge amount changed in this respect.

I haven’t really done any travel for work and of course I spent almost an entire year working from home. But this wasn’t an environment I personally found particularly difficult to operate in and at the end of the day if something was tough all I had to do was keep reminding myself I was in a great position to still have my job. That sort of perspective was really important over the last 12 months.

One thing that certainly changed for the better is the alarms for the bike rides don’t need to be quite as early! So one change to my routine is I have probably been getting a little more sleep than I used to which cannot be a bad thing!

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

I don’t really read enough these days, which really is something I should remedy as I used to read a lot. I studied European History at University and if you go through the bookshelves in my apartment you’ll find a lot of books on the twentieth century and the Second World War in particular.

Most of my downtime is spent watching sport, I’m actually a FIFA Futsal Referee too, so a lot of reading or watching time is dedicated to improving that craft. There’s a great podcast on refereeing I listen to by some guys in Melbourne called My Life on the Line and being an endurance sports fan I also really enjoy Brad Beer’s The Physical Performance Show.

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

Without a doubt it would be all of my fitness and training aids or gadgets. So my GPS running watch, cycling computer and power meters on my bikes, various heart rate monitors and the apps and software which support all of them. And of course my iPhone – where would any of us be without one of them.

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

That is a very good question! Perhaps something a little closer to my personal pursuits there are a lot of high profile sports officials who have written books about their careers but I would be interested to know a little more about how they managed their sporting pursuits with their careers – especially in the days before being a full time sports official was a thing.

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

I think I said it earlier when I said you need to give yourself permission – but also you need to ask yourself what is it that you really want? What are you trying to find ‘balance’ for and what will it achieve for you? The answer to that probably goes a lot to helping us all feel more fulfilled in our lives inside or outside of work.

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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.