JOB BLOG // Alumni Profile: Lindsey Green
You can’t be under 26 forever. When SYNners get too old to volunteer, a lot of them go on to work in the media, taking with them all the skills SYN has instilled in them.
SYN alumni, Lindsey Green, began volunteering at SYN in 2014. She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor’s Degree (Honours) in Journalism in 2016. In her time at SYN, Lindsey worked as the Content Development Coordinator, Operations Manager and Content Manager, between 2016 and 2019. These days, Lindsey works as a Podcast Producer with PodcastOne Australia at Southern Cross Austereo. Lindsey is also the creator and host of People Movers, a podcast highlighting the impact of escalators on everyday life.
The ways we think about work in creative industries like radio and podcasting are varied. This blog asks Lindsey about how she views creativity and productivity in both her professional practice and personal life.
What did you do at SYN?
I joined SYN as a volunteer in 2014. From 2014 – 2016 I presented on New & Approved, The Hoist and Panorama and co-presented & co-produced a seasonal called It’s A Match. From 2016-2018 I worked part-time as SYN’s Content Development Coordinator and from 2018-2019 I worked full-time as SYN’s Operations Manager and Content Manager.
What are you doing now? Where are you working? How did you get your job?
Since September I’ve worked full-time in Sydney as a podcast producer at PodcastOne Australia (a podcast network owned by Southern Cross Austereo). I got my job through my experience producing podcasts outside of SYN and through contacts.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different, but each week I will work with hosts to plan their podcasts, book & pre-interview guests, produce in-studio recordings (interviews, voiceover, ads), edit a LOT of audio, write copy, and schedule episodes. At the moment I’m working on about 8 different podcasts (with different levels of responsibility for each one). They cover health & fitness, sport, agriculture, dating, books and more.
How do you get into a creative mindset?
I am my most creative when I have the time and energy to think about more than just the day-to-day of life, so I get into a creative mindset by managing all of the non-creative parts of my life. I do this by relying really heavily on routines and trying to reduce the number of decisions I need to make each day/week. This leaves me with enough space and time to not only think creatively, but practice creativity through making podcasts. These routines include things like waking up and going to bed at the same time every day and meal prepping.
It might seem antithetical to the idea of creativity, but if I have all the boring minutiae of day-to-day life taken care of, I can be more open and present and as a result, creative. I don’t do anything special to encourage new ideas and most of the time ideas will come to me when I least expect them, like in the shower or on the train. But these ideas only come to me when I’m not stressed/overwhelmed and thinking about things like what I’m going to have for dinner or wondering if I’ve paid a bill on time.
How does creativity factor into your work?
Creativity is a huge part of my work, both in my paid job and in my own practice. Almost everything I do in my job is relies on creativity: writing interview questions to get a certain response, writing copy to encourage people to download an episode, thinking of a new way of executing something, editing audio in a way that is engaging etc.
Do you have a creative process?
I don’t know if I have a creative process, but the process I used for my podcast People Movers & seasonal It’s A Match was the same and it worked well! I think the easiest way of explaining it is: think about your finished product and work backwards. If your finished product is a 6-8 episode podcast series, think: “what do I need to do, to make it exist?” In my case, I started with a huge brain-dump where I tried to get down every idea I had about the topic (escalators & online dating, respectively). From there, I grouped similar themes or ideas together to create loose ideas of episodes. From there I went into more detail about what would happen in each episode: what questions did I want to answer, who could answer them for me, how would it sound. Then I would find someone to talk to about it, interview them, choose the best bits of what they said, write and record narration to support it, edit it, hate it and do it all again. Repeat that 6-8 times and you’ll have a podcast series!
How do you balance creativity and productivity in your day-to-day life?
Having a lot of time to sit with a project and wait for creativity to strike, is a luxury. Sometimes you just need to get it done. When I need to get something done but I’m not feeling very creative, I force myself to start, even if I think it sucks. It’s easier to edit something bad, than create something perfect, so just start it. Get all of the bad out of your system and work on making it better. Done is better than perfect. If you can, leave yourself enough time to ask for feedback and make changes.
How do you distinguish work from personal projects and down time?
I prioritise rest and down time, otherwise nothing else in my life works. For me, this looks like reading, watching Instagram stories, spending time with friends, spending time alone alone, and listening to bad podcasts. My work is something I do for 38 hours each week and I try not to take it home with me. I create time for personal projects on the weekends when I have the energy for them.
What tips do you have for someone who is working on improving their own creative process?
- If you’re trying to find ideas for radio or podcast stories: pay more attention to the world around you, be curious and question things. Almost all of the radio stories I’ve made have come from me noticing things and thinking “that’s weird” or “I wonder why that is the way it is”.
- For example, one of my favourite radio stories I’ve produced was about small gold plaques around SYN’s Building 6 studios. I first noticed them in 2015 and thought about them every week until I finally made a radio story about them in 2019.
- When an idea comes to you, write it down. There are so many things that go on around you every day that could be a story. I keep a list of Google Sheet of ideas that may turn into a story one day or may never turn into anything, like “what happened to Mischa Barton” and “hygiene of hand rails”.
- Talk to people and ask them questions. The best episodes of my podcast came from other people’s recommendations.
- Consume a wide range of media. This week I went to see an author talk about a fictional book she wrote and it gave me an idea for a podcast I produce at work.
- Ask the people who are making the kind of work you want to make, how they do it.
- If you’re trying to be more productive to encourage more creativity: incorporate routines that will free up some of your time and energy. Manage your time and responsibilities so you’re not constantly stressed/overwhelmed. Create a Steve Jobs-style uniform so you never have to think about what to wear again (that’s a joke, but it worked for Obama!).