Lauren Barrett is a Marketing & Communications Specialist at RPMGlobal, the mining industry’s leading enterprise technology, advisory and training provider.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m insatiably curious and from a young age I knew I wanted to write. I kicked off my career writing about the mining sector and loved it.
I spent five years in Perth as a resources journalist covering both the mining and oil and gas industries. I then spent 18 months working in Cambodia at The Phnom Penh Post which was an amazing experience.
After more than seven years in the media sector I was ready for a new challenge and made the pivot into PR, communications and marketing. I am now working in-house for a global mining software company.
As the Marketing and Communication Specialist for RPMGlobal, I work to build and enhance the company’s corporate reputation through earned, owned and paid media.
This includes developing thought leadership pieces, securing positive PR and media coverage, and executing content marketing and advertising strategies.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My role is very multifaceted which I love. A key part of my role involves liaising with experts across our global business to ensure we are effectively communicating to our publics the various ways we are successfully transforming operations through innovative software solutions.
I also develop collateral that aligns with marketing campaigns and pitch good news stories to our contacts.
While no day is the same, a typical workday can include developing key messages for upcoming press releases and brand marketing material, strategy development meetings with the team and touching base with various experts across our different divisions so we keep up-to-date with business developments.
I also don’t start my day without some form of exercise. Whether it is a weights session or a jog, I’m a firm believer of getting in some exercise as soon as you wake up. It sets a positive tone and gets me mentally focused for the workday ahead.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My company has both flexible and remote working options in place. We are a global company so I’m accustomed to doing WebEx calls with people across the business at a location that I deem suitable, whether that is from the office or home.
We also have great technology and solutions in place that have supported our working from home arrangements. The company is very accommodating and has a range of policies in place to help employees maintain a strong work-life balance.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
The concept of work-life balance has evolved tremendously since I started my career. To me, the balance means maintaining reasonable and realistic boundaries between work and personal time.
I strive to maintain an effective work-life balance through a number of core principles. These include managing my time well, switching off at home when I can, ensuring I maintain strong relationships with those close to me and prioritising well-being.
This means getting an adequate amount of sleep every night, exercising daily and eating a balanced diet.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Like everyone, my routine was turned upside down at the height of COVID-19. I’ve been exercising at the gym for a good six years now, so having the gyms close so suddenly was hard at first.
Living overseas really taught me the importance of being adaptable, so my partner and I started taking our workouts outdoors.
While this is proving a bit tougher in winter, I now prioritise getting outdoors more than I used to pre-pandemic which has been a positive change.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Earlier this year I read Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.
It details the extraordinary rise and fall of a biotech start-up called Theranos, founded by Elizabeth Holmes. It is a captivating read and I admire the investigative journalism tactics that helped to underpin the company’s unravelling.
Continuous learning is very important to me and reading is a great way to expand one’s knowledge base. I’m currently studying a Master of Business part-time so most of my reading outside of work is contained to academic journal articles.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Beats headphones, Spotify and my Fitbit. My career has spanned a few different cities now so WhatsApp helps me keep in touch with family and friends in different corners of the globe.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I admire female leaders who are kicking goals so Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and former Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, would be my top picks.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
When I was younger, I was fairly preoccupied with planning my career trajectory. I’ve now realised that while it is important to have goals, a career is more like a jungle gym, not a ladder.
Priorities and ambitions change, and that’s okay. On that note, I’ve also learnt that it’s important to treat work and career as a marathon, not a sprint. This mentality goes hand in hand with a healthy work-life balance otherwise burn out can creep in.
Work hard and be persistent but take the time to stop and smell the roses. Celebrate the weekly and monthly wins in all areas of your life, not just work.
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