Striking a balance

Here’s a career-led family man who found a middle ground.

Gareth Sciberras is our detail-oriented Chief Financial Officer, and a star player for the Maltese national team. As he bids farewell to playing midfield (for now), we ask him how finding a work-life balance contributed to his success.      

Who is Gareth, really?

I like to think of myself as a realist. I am reserved and quite level-headed. I also consider myself to be respectful towards others, and above all a family man.  

Why is football so important to you?

I grew up in Australia, and then my family settled in Malta when I was 13 years old. I didn’t know a single word in Maltese, so football helped me integrate with my classmates. All my years playing with the national team, and recently playing at Wembley stadium, have been a huge highlight in my life. Apart from having enjoyed plenty of amazing experiences locally and internationally, I most importantly made lifelong friends whose support I truly cherish. 

When did your BRND WGN journey start, and how does it arrive full circle to where you are now?

I worked with Pete, our CEO, for three years in another agency. I was a Junior Marketing Executive, but I had only just turned 18 when I started. My work was clashing with football, which I had started playing top-level aged 17. Eventually I left marketing and entered accounts, hoping for more flexibility and a chance to focus on my growing sporting career. 

Fast forward a few years later, Pete contacted me to help handle his accounts, as he was venturing to go freelance and start up his own agency. This was back when BRND WGN was just Pete. I stuck around for the journey, and eventually went freelance in order to continue supporting the agency’s growth.

When work for us started booming, I started working full-time at BRND WGN in 2013. I handled HR, administration and finance, until I received the offer to become a partner and director just over a year ago. 

When football started clashing with work, why did you decide to give more importance to the former?

Up until now, my personal life and my work have had to revolve around football, and when I was younger it was undoubtedly my main priority. BRND WGN always supported me to actively pursue my sporting career. It evokes our mentality - we are all human beings, and we all need to do something on the side that is completely ours. That is why football is so important to me. It helped me through many difficult moments in my life. You could say it was therapeutic. 

We hear a lot about the importance of a work-life balance. How has balancing BRND WGN with football and building a family been for you?

I was pretty much thrown into football from a young age, so I inevitably had to find a balance. I believe it’s more an issue of time management. It’s important to have a successful career and focus on your work, but it’s equally essential to have your own time outside of work. I find the ‘work hard, play hard’ cliche to be quite extreme. To a stronger extent, I believe in striking a balance.

It’s really all about switching off at the right moments. Football and being with my family help me switch off from the daily stresses of my busy routine. I’ve been very lucky to find such strong support structures surrounding me, especially my extremely patient and understanding wife. 

How does being actively involved in other things aside from work make you a better BRND WGN director?

I take many of my football experiences into the way I manage. Apart from managing a team efficiently and communicating well with each member, football has taught me how to analyse and use everyone’s different strengths to take a team forward. My role at BRND WGN fits perfectly with the nature of my character and my past experience in football. I’ve learnt to observe and manage effectively, leading by my actions rather than by my words. 

What does Gareth’s future look like?

It’s been an amazing journey so far, and to be fair we’ve only just begun. More than ever before, BRND WGN now requires everyone’s 200% attention and energy, which is why I look forward to being more involved. I won’t be abandoning football altogether, and in fact I’m still an executive member of the Malta Football Players’ Association. But all in all, the future is exciting. 

And how would you sum up the key ways of achieving a work-life balance?

Don’t stay complacent. Always try to raise your game by grabbing opportunities whenever they come, but still evaluate everything. Prioritise time management, be self-disciplined and have fun doing what you do.

We are very proud of Gareth being nominated for Footballer of the Year at the 2017 MFA Awards to be held on May 14th. We would like to wish him the best of luck!