Following a girl across the ocean landed Chris Hitchcock in Australia, where he is currently managing director at digital marketing agency Switched on Media. For our industry profiles he gives us the goss on his career.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
Encylopedic knowledge of things that have little to no value in life. Primarily sports statistics and UK no 1 records during the 1990s (which is odd).
What’s been your most challenging career moment?
The decision to leave a fledgling career in teaching and to start again on the other side of the World, leaving friends and family behind, it’s a journey that many ex-pats have made and it’s not easy.
What’s your backstory? (The non-LinkedIn one)
I hail from the UK, and have lived and worked in Sydney for the past five years.
Studied Media at University in the UK, trained to become a teacher and working as a Journalism Lecturer at asixth Form College for three years.
In 2010, I emigrated to Australia to follow a girl. The change of country also lead to change in career from teaching to digital
In 2012, I Joined the Client Service Team at SoM. 3 years later I’m sitting here as the MD. It’s been quite a journey.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Difficult to say, sport and music have always been my other great passions.
I like to think I still have time to make it as a professional footballer (31 is the peak for an International midfielder… there’s still time isn’t there?)
Who’s your industry hero?
Not sure I have a hero within the industry, there are certainly those I look up to and respect, but hero-status? Nah not at this stage. I save that for sport.
What makes good leadership?
Honesty, trust, energy and vision. Get those right, you’re heading in the right direction.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
If you’re thinking more than two or three years ahead in this game you’re getting ahead of yourself.
10 years ago I was 21 years old, I had no intention of living in Australia, working in Digital or running a company.
Things change quickly.
What would you change about the industry?
Cut the Jargon agencies often hide behind. I’m also an advocate for full transparency around costs, media spends etc. Something we pride ourselves on at SoM.
What’s piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
What’s one thing not many know about you?
I spend my University summers working in some weird and wonderful places. Jobs included Aeroplane Cleaner, Biscuit Factory worker and box maker.
All of which taught me the value of hard work and a good education.
If you could be Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
First, I’d get to work developing and implementing a National Curriculum. A uniform approach to education is critical in developing the next generation of Aussie talent, ready to compete in the global economy.
I’d also wipe out two of the major injustices in Australia by recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the constitution and legalising gay marriage.
That would be a solid week’s work.
What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
That’s the most difficult question today, depends on the wine! At a push I’d go with something blue.
Tea or coffee?
It’s English breakfast. I’m probably on five cups a day.
Although I like the odd coffee too.