Alice is ‘the face’ of our 2016 Sensis Social Media Report and has recently moved into a new role as Group Manager - Yellow Pages.
What is your current role?
I lead the print and digital product teams, including whereis.com. I’ve worked in the Yellow Digital team for five years, so this new role is very exciting. I’m looking forward to continuing to find new and innovative ways to help Sensis customers connect with their customers through our books, websites and apps.
What roles have you worked in in the past?
I’m a bit cliché. I studied Commerce/Marketing and then jumped straight into roles in that field. My first ‘real’ job was with BMW, working on the Corporate Program. I looked after all the digital marketing activities for the program like display ads, eDMs and SEM. I also managed a fleet of cars that were just for test drives – that made me pretty popular with my friends.
Before Sensis I worked at realestate.com.au in the brand marketing team and then as a Producer on the residential site.
I moved to Sensis to work on whereis.com. It was a really exciting year. The first IOS app was released and we built the first single search box algorithm – it was a massive project and the team were all really proud of how successful it was.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
As product managers we have to keep connected to our customers. For Yellow Pages that’s both the users of our site and the advertisers who buy packages from us.
When you work on a product every day, you get to know it really well. Sometimes you think you know what’s best for it – and that’s the challenge. It’s really important not to become internally focused.
We need to talk to our customers all the time, respond to their needs and keep asking for feedback. That’s often the difference between a good product and a great one.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I’m a relatively new Mum, so I’ve got my hands full with an energetic toddler. When I do get some downtime, I usually head out for a long run or train with a few friends. I qualified as a PT early last year and used to take fitness quite seriously. These days exercise is more of an outlet than a lifestyle - but I still love it.
Do you have any advice for young people wanting to follow a similar career path to yours?
One piece of advice I received from my high school principal has always resonated. This is not word-for-word, but something like: “You’ve got to actively manage your career, because you’re ultimately responsible for how turning up for work each day makes you feel.”
Those words probably didn’t mean much at the time, and I had no idea what ‘work’ was going to look like for me. That’s probably why I chose Commerce; it felt like a good degree to learn a little about a lot of things until I found something that I really enjoyed.
My career has evolved the same way. I’ve always taken the skills of one role into the next, evolving and diversifying as I go. Digital moves quickly, but that’s what makes it so exciting – our next role might not even exist yet.
In saying that, there are a few professional development mantras that have worked for me (so far):
- Have a mentor or person who you can learn from. This will be lots of different people throughout your career, but always seek feedback and be open to it.
- Keep educating yourself. It doesn’t have to be formal qualifications, although there are lots of great free or low cost courses online. Read extensively and learn from other people’s successes (or failures).
- Always put your hand up and be open to having a go, even if that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes.