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Take Time to Smell The Sunscreen

Jamie Norgarb

VP on Unilever

PHD Toronto

Jamie Norgarb

Jamie Norgarb

27 November . 2 min read . Opinion

(Credit: Yonge & Dundas Square, Toronto (Branded Cities))

Having moved from South Africa to Canada, I am fortunate to have been exposed to diverse ways of working. What I have learnt is that South Africans are tenacious and scrappy – we get the job done, whether it’s our job, or not. We are generalists, who have a diverse skill set, no matter the job description. South Africa has a far more diverse and heterogenous media landscape, with so many nuances, from culture and language to socio-economic differences that first world markets don’t really experience. I feel I bring a positive outlook, a solutionist way of thinking and an ability to solve problems quickly and intuitively.

In leading the Unilever account, I wear many hats. I manage the team structure through the changing needs of the business, at different stages in the annual planning cycle. I mentor and guide the team strategically and operationally, while motivating them to perform at their best. I manage the client relationship at a C-suite level and try to ensure I keep everyone smiling. I also collaborate with other PHD and Mindshare offices, ensuring consistency in our approach, across the globe.

2023 has flown by, and I cannot believe its November already… in Canada, it feels like the year starts in September, when the school year begins, just after the long Summer holiday. So the end of the calendar year does not have the same feeling as it did when I was back home. But, I still believe in finishing off he year strong – Here are some of my tips, and what I plan to do as 2023 draws to a close.

Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable, and achievable goals for the remainder of the year, and give thought to what you want to achieve next year.

Evaluate Your Progress: Take a close look at your performance up to this point in the year. Assess what strategies have worked and what needs improvement.

Collaborate and Partner: Seek opportunities to meet with strategic partners who you may wish to collaborate with in the new year. Even better if its over coffee or lunch, and you get to laugh and have a great time.

Reflect and Learn: Take the time to reflect on the year’s challenges and successes. Document lessons learned and apply them to your strategy for the following year.

Set time for R&R: It’s easy to get caught up goal setting, but THE most important thing you can do is take the time you need to recharge. Life is not meant to be a hamster wheel, take time to smell the sunscreen (you lucky South African’s heading into Summer).

My favourite way to unwind is with a great book, and not overbooking my holiday schedule. You want to ensure you have time to just be, without having to rush off to the next engagement. You don’t want to end up needing a vacation from your vacation, trust me.

Happy holidays and all the best for a mindful 2024.

I am Jamie, and I am a media and marketing professional with 17 years of agency experience. I thrive in challenging environments, with a problem to solve, and a team to motivate. I have worked on a host of incredible brands in South Africa and in Canada, and I currently run the Unilever account at PHD, Toronto. I am a proud mom of two gorgeous girls, who can be found telling me what to do on the weekends. My secret superpower is I wake up ridiculously early to be able to do the things I love, like hot yoga, walking on the trails behind my home, and drinking excellent coffee.