A Day in the Life: Paula Norris
Our Vice president Paula gives us a brilliant look into the day to day within her role as Group Digital Director at Gum Gum. Those who know Paula know after her most recent 6 year tenure at Captify, she made the decision to move onto a new role at Gum Gum. She gives us a unique view on how she’s experienced this change and what she’s learnt from moving into a new role.
On changing roles...
In March this year I decided to take the leap of faith and leave a successful, rewarding and on the whole enjoyable job behind me. My previous role will always hold a very special place in my heart. However, I realised I was lacking that fire in my belly of seeing something grow from nothing.
Some could argue that’s a cop out as delivering continued year on year growth could be perceived as being more difficult than growing from a base of nothing. However, I do know myself very well and I can’t help reigniting my entrepreneurial fire every now and again.
The first three months didn’t come without their challenges, and I am not ashamed to say I did question whether I had made the right move. I talked openly about that to friends, I think it’s important not to gloss over things.
Six months down the line and I it’s delivering everything I anticipated. It’s extremely nostalgic and rewarding to feel that same buzz and hype again and I am really pleased I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Something we should all do to help us grow in both professional and personal life.
On a typical day...
My day starts with either a 6 a.m. or 6:45 a.m. alarm dependant on whether I am going to the gym in the morning or the evening. I work out six times a week and it’s a critical part of my routine, exercise keeps me focussed, sane and makes me do a better job. It’s something I have realised I need to prioritise in my day-to-day routine. I also incorporate two walks with my very energetic working cocker spaniel Bertie into my day.
From a work perspective, I know it’s very cliché but no week or day is ever the same. My role entails covering the whole agency patch outside of London so I really could be anywhere from one week to the next.
I always have to factor in enough time behind my desk to actually get proposals out and respond to briefs, but a huge part of my role is relationship building and entertaining so it’s extremely important I spend face-to-face time with my clients, whether in a meeting room or over a glass of Pinot Grigio.
As with most people in the media and advertising industry I did stumble into it and I still feel extremely lucky that I have ended up in this career. I think that’s important to keep a check on every six months or so. When you stop losing that pinch me feeling it’s probably time for a change.
Covid has changed the pace of the role and it’s much more dynamic and fast paced than it used to be. I have noticed that the expectation to hop onto video calls at the drop of a hat both internal and external has exacerbated and you can no longer forward plan as much as you used to. The juggle of being a travelling saleswoman with 50% of meetings face to face and 50% in person is definitely a struggle.
My role in Bloom North...
Vice president which is slowly to coming to the end of its tenure in December. It’s one of the most rewarding years of my life and has really provided some comfort whilst I have navigated through the change in jobs. It’s a lot of work on top of the day job but I am very lucky that my bosses are wholly supportive of the time I spend working on Bloom.
I got involved in Bloom because...
I have done a lot of sales and personal development courses over the 18 years of being in the industry. A lot of which focus about honing in on your core values and keeping that central to your decisions in life. Bloom’s mission is everything I believe in and stand for.
During my career I have been so heavily influenced, shaped and in utter awe of strong successful women more so than any male leader I have had (sorry chaps). Starting with my mum who has the most grit and determination I have ever experienced, she still works 6-7 hours a day at 70 years old!
Moving onto my formidable, female Irish boss in a nightclub who left many young men quaking in their boots. She wasn’t afraid to jump over the bar and break up a fight between two six-foot men.
Moving onto my media career where the list would be endless of inspirational women who are all forces to be reckoned with, but with hearts of gold and the most beautiful souls.
Bloom for me was about making sure this heritage lives on. If I can inspire even 20 women with our events and initiatives, then I will feel fulfilled. It’s been an absolute joy working with Sadie as president this year. We took some time out just this week to reflect on what we set out to do and what we have achieved. I am pleased to say we have done infinitely more than we anticipated.
The Bloom committee are honestly a collection of the most remarkable women, its’a joy to work with them and learn from them.
Podcast: Call me crazy but I don’t listen to them full stop. My work and personal life is fast paced, full on and I am constantly talking. When I have down time, I like it to hear silence. I would much prefer sitting down with a book. Reading is another part of my daily ritual and I read for at least 30 mins every day before bed – even after a night out!
Book: So many on my list. For fiction I love anything based on sliding doors moments. I am a firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ so much so that I have it tattooed on my side.
I love anything by Dani Atkins, The Midnight library by Matt Haig is great and What Might Have Been by Holly Miller was a recent fab read. I am also fascinated by ADHD and Asperger’s so read a lot of books on this. Most recently The Reason I jump by Naoki Higashida.
From a work perspective ‘who moved my cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson is a great book to read to help cope with change and I loved ‘Just fucking do it by Noor Herbert.
TV Series: Bake Off for those zen vibes, Friends for a hangover. Big Little Lies and Mistresses are my all-time favourite shows
To clear my head: Naturally the gym. Nothing gives me more pleasure than sweating to some great tunes. Walking my hyperactive, furry friend Bertie and spending time with my friends and family.
Thanks for reading. For my final words I would like to leave you with my favourite quote, ‘On the darkest of days when I feel inadequate, unloved and unworthy I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown.’