Austin Graff leads talent marketing, brand, and social media for The Washington Post and is a contributor to On Parenting, news, advice, and essays for parents from The Washington Post. Prior to joining The Washington Post, Austin led digital, social, and influencer marketing for Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea brand, America’s #1 organic iced tea company. He started out his career leading social media and celebrity relationships for International Justice Mission, the largest human rights organization in the world. After growing up in Russia and Kazakhstan and attending boarding school in Germany, Austin came to the USA for university. He now proudly lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, baby daughter, and two roommates.
In this episode, Austin talks about his career at The Washington Post, Honest Tea, and International Justice Mission. He also unpacks his unique philosophy of living with roommates while parenting, his time management hacks, and how he cultivates boundaries and balance in his life.
"There’s a verse in the Bible that says if you show you can steward the small things, you will be given bigger things, and that’s the common sentiment to a lot of faiths and people around the world. I found that to be true as I was trying to work my hardest at an entry-level job and not always dream about what’s next and feel entitled that way. I think that holds people back in their careers. I went through that one door with that mentality and tried to work hard and hustle and give my best, even if it was copying papers, and that led to even more trust and responsibilities."
"The moment I’m with my wife or daughter or friends, I try to put it [my cell phone] away. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s my intention for most of the time so that I’m present with people. If someone needs me, they’ll know how to get a hold of me and call. Most likely, if someone texts or emails or sends a Slack that means it’s not as urgent as a phone call, so that’s really helpful. That’s one of my rules – to not be on my phone a lot around people. Being a father has helped because I don’t want my daughter to see that I’m more interested in this shiny object than her."
"I’m really good with tasks and organizing them on my day-to-day calendar, while she’s [my wife] really good at the strategic thinking behind how we should structure our time. We’ll often talk about 'What are our priorities? What are we driving toward?' and making sure all our tasks and how we spend our time add up to that. Recently we went through an exercise where we both went and wrote down our priorities, both individual, and then with my wife Teresa as a family and saw where they are in line and just had a discussion about it. We came up with our top three priorities for this season of time and made sure that most of the things we do ladder up to those priorities."
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This episode is sponsored by the Side Hustle Starter Kit.