We talk to Kate Mills, a financial and business journalist for 20 years in Australia and the United Kingdom, working on publications including CFO, ALB (Australian and Asian editions), Investor Weekly and Legal Business in the UK. She was most recently the editor of BRW and now the CEO & founder of @profmumsnet
How did you land in journalism?
Completely by accident. I trained to be a lawyer and then at the end of my degree knew that it wasn’t for me. I landed in London, got a job as a tele-sales person on a legal magazine and after three weeks asked the very intimidating boss if I could be a researcher. My big break came when I was at a networking event and met the editor of a very upmarket legal magazine. She hired me as a reporter and I worked on that magazine for four years and had an absolute blast.
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this industry challenged or surprised you throughout your career?
Journalism is the best career for Geminis because you are constantly moving from one topic to another – it’s very challenging like that but it completely keeps you on your toes and you are always learning. What’s surprising is how conservative elements of it have been about embracing the future of digital journalism – we’re very good at telling others what they should do, but not so good at turning that critical eye on ourselves.
What made you start up your own company, www.professionalmums.net?
I’d been a journalist for 20 years and the pinnacle was being editor of BRW – but after that I just felt like it was time for a change – I’d always seen myself as having two or three careers over my lifetime. ProfessionalMums.net was a way to channel my passion about diversity into a practical tool that enables more flexibility in women’s working lives.
What are the big issues playing on your mind?
The state of Australian politics; the nature of friendship; who will look after my parents when they get old; will I suit orange glasses?
You’re obviously committed to your work. Where does Kate Mills, journalist and online entrepreneur and the person begin and end (i.e. work/life balance)?
It doesn’t. There is no difference for me between work and the rest of my life – as long as I am doing something that I am passionate about then every conversation, every activity feeds back into and
informs my work life and every experience at work informs who I am at home or at play. The only rules I have is not to work while my children are present and not to take my children to work – I mean, that’s where we go to get a break from our families – right?
So what do you do in down time that doesn’t involve writing or running your own company?
At the moment not much! I love exercise, playing the ukulele, talking with friends, hanging out with my kids. I look for opportunities every day to be joyful.