What is MY story?!
For many years, I knew that I wanted to do something that made a difference, but I could never put my finger on it.
My mind would always go to individual pieces, and what I was “trained” to do in my 20 year career of Supply Chain & Finance.
It was when I started to really listen to people and understand my past that my true passion in life came to the surface.
Let me take a step back to my childhood, and help you understand a bit more about me, as a twin and the youngest of 4 children (yes that’s me on the right below with my gorgeous twin sister :blush::heart:.)
I spent my first 7 years in North Mackay in QLD and then moved to Sydney, where I continue to live today. I had a very simple upbringing and this is where I believe it all began.
You see, as a twin I always had my sister with me through the early years, and for the first 4 years of primary school we were in the same class.
I remember many times making sure that she was ok and helping her through many maths problems at school.
I was fortunate to be the one who understood things quickly, which gave me great confidence.
I sit back and laugh at the memories of me whispering answers to her, knowing now that the teacher would have been able to see what I was doing, yet turned a blind eye to it.
We both loved athletics, and held a very healthy rivalry when it came to races every year. It didn’t really matter who came first or second out of us, we just set out to beat the other the next time.
At the crux of everything we were always there for each other, and had each other’s back.
Fast forward to our final year of school, and although in different classes, I still used to be the one to find it easier, and keep perspective on things happening around us.
As many of the girls in our year were trying desperately to fit in, I used to say to my sister that it didn’t matter and that we had each other if the girls were choosing not to accept us as we were. There was enough pressure coming from impending final exams to be concerned with someone accepting you only if you acted or dressed in a certain way.
I realise now that this is something that I have taken right throughout my career. Being myself, and not changing to “fit in”, but utilising my traits to be the best that I could be.
Throughout our final exams, I took a very relaxed approach, ensuring I got enough sleep every night so that I could think straight.
My sister and I were like chalk and cheese, and she would often wake me at 2am stressing about a problem that she couldn’t resolve. The first thing I would always say to her was “why are you still up..you need to get some sleep” before trying to help resolve her issue and get her to relax and go to bed. :sleeping:
I hold this same theory to this day, and try my best to instill this in my young children (also twins) in hope that they will follow my steps.
As I looked forward to University, I had no idea what I really wanted to do, thinking very simplistically that because I had great mathematical skills that I should follow the Accountancy path. My older brother was doing it, so why shouldn’t I?!
In retrospect, I was very naïve on the possibilities that were available. Perhaps part of that was due it being the late 80s, but most of all, it was that I didn’t use any external resource to understand career path or think more of the future. I was still busy finding out who I was as a person, let alone what career I wanted to pursue.
Throughout my university days, I would help my parents out in their shop, and decided in the final year of my study, that it was time to find out what work outside the family business was like.
After a couple of years working with a small Pharmaceutical Management Company, I moved to a role within a large FMCG organisation, and it was here that my eyes were opened as to what was possible.
Larger teams & different departments saw me flourish and start to understand who I was on a professional level, allowing me to be myself and still get ahead.
The same theory I utilised in high school came through with me in this organisation, and people warmed to me as a result. My desire to also help others also came to the fore as I simplified problems, and got results. I also realised that I could find a purpose for my love of numbers, which excited me no end.
Learning from those around me, and understanding others motives, sometimes came as a shock, but I put it down to a learning experience that given the time again I would do things differently knowing what drives some people through their career, and how people aren’t always who they portray.
I have moved to another 2 Companies since the first multinational, where I had stayed for 14 years, and it was only a couple of years ago that I started to realise where my PASSION and PURPOSE intersected.
I started to really listen and found myself hearing people tell me that they loved talking to me as they learnt things and felt more confident after chatting.
I started to look back on my career and reflect on what made me happy, and I realised it was giving people confidence, not only my direct reports, but also others that I had gotten to know that were in different departments.
I never judged people, but listened to their story, and pointed out to them their positives and helped them understand the connection to how they could move forward. It wasn’t something that I even realised I was doing at the time, it was instinctive that people should know when they had great ideas, or that they should feel confident about being themselves. It was ok to be “nice” and it certainly wasn’t a fault to be so.
I feel blessed that I have had many experiences that have been challenging at the time, yet have given me greater understanding of others and their motives and different ways of working.
I decided I should start to write down what was circling in my mind and did so without real purpose, but more to put to paper what I had experienced. Issues I had dealt with, and the learnings I had gained from those situations started to emerge, and I found it rather cathartic to write about the impact it had on me.
I left those writings untouched for over a year, until I happened upon them again and didn’t even recognise my own words. I showed my sister to get her opinion, and it was with her encouraging words that I realised I needed to continue.
As I’ve better understood what I wanted to do, I have also drawn to me people that I can learn from on many fronts.
I feel blessed that some of my best friends are people that I work with every day, and who support me on this journey to help others.
I have a hugely supportive husband who has listened to my ideas and seen enthusiasm come and go in the past for my road ahead, and who now is enabling me to find time to move forward whilst also balancing my family and a challenging full time job.
It has taken me close on 2 years from the beginning of this realisation of what I need to do, to have courage enough to move forward in an active manner, but I know now that I have to continue helping women, primarily in male dominated industries, as that is where my experience lies.
I am Jo Martin – the Glamazon Advocate.
I coach women in male dominated industries how to stride confidently through whatever is thrown at them in their career and their life.
Sometimes we just don’t realise that the answer to our problem is right there in front of us, and that’s where my 5-step methodology – Taking The Mask Off comes in, to allow you to unveil the solution that’s right for you.
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