Like most things in life, how I got to where I am is a curious mix of some forward vision, careful planning, serendipity, hard work & tenacity and just plain good luck.
After a fairly ordinary path through high school I almost missed out on my uni placement because I got the enrolment date wrong. Needless to say, they still let me in (just) and three years later I walked out of there with a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Applied Communications.
My first real job was as a graduate trainee for the Otis Elevator company and after three months working on the tools in construction, walking the inner-city service runs, rescuing a few trapped passengers and taking my first business flight to Brisbane to work in the sales and marketing office, I was delivered my first official career role: Public Relations Officer based in Minto in Western Sydney.
Despite the one-hour commute, I loved that job. The chance to work in a team, the ability to put my ideas to work, the recognition and of course the salary. A salary that quickly gave me a bank account big enough to tackle that great Aussie rite of passage – a backpacker trip to Europe with my girlfriends.
When all that fun was over, I returned to find Australia in the grips of the 80s recession ‘we had to have’. Otis could not take me back like they had hoped, and I found myself newly engaged, out of work and sorely needing an income!
So I signed up as a temp. I mean, why not?
“Can you type?” they asked (yeah, sure – I was the fastest two finger essay typist at uni) and “do you do admin?” (yeah, sure - I’d had a holiday job working in an office).
And that was the serendipitous opportunity that started my now 30+ year career in industrial B2B marketing.
I was placed at JI Case Corporation in St Marys working as assistant to the ag division general manager. After six weeks I was offered a full-time role and then not long after, the opportunity to start an in-house public relations function for the business. My almost 11-year career with the company took me from looking after PR in Australia, to managing the entire marcomms and advertising function for the Pacific and South East Asia to the opportunity of a four-year expat assignment working in the US global headquarters.
I learned so much in that time. I oversaw marcomms for the massive North American construction market, followed by a stint in captive financial services and topped off with a global role as Case Brand Director. I yearned to broaden my business acumen and completed an Executive MBA coupling those final months of working full time and studying with giving birth to my first-born son, Jack.
But when the tragedy of September 11 occurred, I knew it was time to head home.
Again, I found I was unable to secure a role that matched how I had grown, and it was time to say goodbye to CNH to start my business, at first small and home based, not to mention having three more children.
I’m proud to say that business has now been operating for over 17 years and I’m very proud of the work we do and the industry leading clients we represent.
If I had not been handed the dead ends and the wonderful opportunities I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sometimes life takes some unexpected twists and turns, and the downs can lead to some pretty heady ups.
It’s been a wonderful ride and it leaves me excited for what comes next!