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Career Girl: Natalie Waterworth, co-founder of digital marketing agency Talented Heads

Natalie Waterworth and I met while working in financial services in Sydney in 2008. The next year, we both went off into the world for different reasons but have managed to keep in touch despite not having seen each other for about 5 years! Since her move, she has been to some amazing places, settled down in London with her husband and also completely changed her career. Natalie went from an equities dealer to being co-founder of a digital marketing agency, Talented Heads (pictured below with co-founder Daria). I was fascinated by her career change and asked her some questions which I have shared with you. Read on for more about her business, career path change, millennials, things she misses about Sydney and tips for moving to London. Maadz xox

Tell us about your background?
I grew up in the burbs of Melbourne, where I went to school and then on to university. After 5 years at uni I really needed a change of scenery, and I moved to Sydney to start my career in finance. I was so sure at that stage that I wanted to have a career in financial markets, but in reality I didn’t know all that much about it. I spent 3 years living that dream, working in the markets and living a Sydney beach lifestyle. I loved Sydney, but the work not so much. The GFC was a great opportunity to pack-up-shop in Sydney and go exploring further afield. I quit my job and travelled the world for 6 months, ending up in London, which is where I live now.

What is that you do for a living now and how did you get there?
I now work in Digital Marketing, which is far cry from my previous job as an equities dealer. It has been a bit of a journey to get to this point, it took a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I knew what I didn’t want to do, but it was much harder figuring out what I did want to do! I had a rough idea that I wanted to start my own business, but I really didn’t know what type of business, or how to go about it. There was definitely an entrepreneurial yearning, which I followed, and I experimented with various businesses before launching Talented Heads, a digital marketing agency focused on the millennial generation.

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Describe Talented Heads in a few sentences for us?
Talented Heads is a digital marketing agency which specialises in millennial engagement. (A ‘millennial’ for those who don’t know like me, is someone born between the early 80’s and the mid 90’s. It’s roughly the 20-somethings in today’s world.)

We help businesses with Digital Strategy, Content Marketing, and Millennial Engagement Campaigns. We understand millennials, and we help organisations to engage and captivate this next generation of consumers and leaders online.

Being a ‘#Girlboss’, what’s a day in the office like for you?
Every day is totally different! My office space regularly changes because I hot-desk at different start-up co-working spaces. My days tend to be shaped around meetings, as I travel around London a lot meeting with different people. I conduct a lot of meetings on Skype, so this helps to cut down on the travel. My work day usually starts in bed where I catch up on emails on my smart-phone (I know, not good work practice!), but I actually like it because then I think about the emails when I’m in the shower. Because I’m on the tube a lot I tend to do quite a bit of work on my iphone – I even write blog posts on my smartphone. I love this flexibility; I decide my own hours, which usually results in working more, but it suits me better than a rigid arrangement.

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What is it that companies are looking for in a ‘millennial’?
Companies don’t always understand millennials the way that millennials understand themselves! Millennials are digitally savvy, very technically capable, and have been shaped by the digital world in which they grew up; these digital skills shouldn’t be ignored by employers. Companies need to recognise that millennials are motivated and driven by different things to previous generations. The GFC hardened millennials, many lost their jobs or found it difficult to establish their careers during this time. As a consequence, millennials are adaptable and willing to change. Companies that recognise these unique traits of millennials stand to gain a lot, because they can put these skills to work.

Does your company cater to the Sydney market? How can you help us down under?
Absolutely! We have clients all over the world. In fact, the majority of our web traffic comes from the US (as opposed to the UK), so we try to cater to any market. Skype has made meeting with international clients easy, the only difficulty is the time-zone. I have been known be awake at strange hours of the night to conduct Skype chats during the working day of overseas customers. We would love to help more Aussie clients. London is at the forefront of digital marketing, and so a lot of international clients want to know the latest digital trends directly from London agencies.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to change their career path like you did?
Don’t wait, start planning your move now, but don’t quit your day job until you have an action plan. Sometimes these things can take longer to execute than you imagine, and there are a lot of preparatory steps you can do to get set-up before you make the big move. Do things like research what additional study you could undertake to make the move easier. You may have to make some interim steps before reaching the final goal – Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t despair if your career change takes longer than this also.

What do you miss most about Sydney?
Sydney is such an awesome city, and I really hope to move back one day. I miss:
the people a lot, I made some really special friendships during my time there.
the harbour, especially the harbour and sea views from all of the amazing restaurants and bars.
– amazing sushi – London just doesn’t cut it in the sushi stakes!
the incredible weather; Sydney Winter is regularly better than London Summer.
Spit Bridge to Manly walk – I would do this every day if I could – best walk on earth. – – the apartment where I used to live in Darlinghurst

– the many options for awesome coffee within easy reach.
– Friday nights after work at Opera Bar, and;
– walking through the botanical gardens to get to work each morning (but I don’t miss the work!).
– the Zimmerman factory outlet sales – I got some serious bargains at those!
lazy weekend afternoons at Neilson Park.
Oh Sydney – I miss you so much! I could keep going, it’s such a special place to live and work.

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What were your fave spots to hang out?
Sushi-e made the most amazing Softshell Crab Spider Rolls, I still dream of those. This was my favourite place to really treat myself and pig-out on sushi. In Darlinghurst there was a small hole-in-the-wall coffee stall called Redberry Coffee, they made delicious breakfast muffins. I think this place has closed now, if anyone knows where they have moved to let me know! When I left Sydney I tried to bribe them for their muffin recipe, but they remained tight-lipped and to this day I still haven’t had a muffin that comes close. The cafe at Neilsen Park in Vaucluse had such a special outlook, it was a favourite place for brunch on weekends.

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Any words of advice for those making the move from Sydney to London?
Set up a bank account with an international bank (such as HSBC) before you go. It’s a bit of a rigmarole setting up a bank account in London when you arrive, if you have one ready-to-go it will make your life a lot easier. Don’t pack more than one pair of Havaianas, only Aussie wear these around London and they are totally impractical on cobbled streets! Stock up on Lucas’ PawPaw Ointment before you leave. Temper your expectations and come with an open mind – the move will be challenging at times, London is a very different place culturally to Sydney.

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Thanks Nat for the interview, really appreciate the time you took to answer all my questions!

Have a great week! xox

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