How did you get into the industry?
I’d always worked in the manufacturing sector supporting a range of companies through Government backed supply chain contracts but made my first step into the industry five years ago when I joined Saint-Gobain Glass to work on the Planitherm campaign.
What was your first job after school or college?
My first proper job out of uni was at FHSC (Family Hampers) as a Business Support Executive – basically a “bit of everything” – marketing, account management, admin, buying, customer service, accounts and invoicing for a business they’d just acquired called the Voucher Shop. It taught me an awful lot about how a business is run.
Can you give a brief overview of jobs up to your current position?
From Family Hampers, I joined YFM Group which is where my career in marketing (and manufacturing) began. My contracts included Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), GROW:Offshore Wind and Fit For Nuclear amongst others – delivering events, conferences, marketing campaigns, PR and lead generation. After 10 years and two rounds of tupe to GLE Group and then Pera
Consulting, I took the leap into pure manufacturing and joined Saint-Gobain.
Do you believe your speciality is transferable to any industry?
100%. Marketing is all about being able to see a challenge objectively and using creativity (and data!) to tackle it. Energy, drive and a passion for what you do always helps too, whatever the business or industry.
Have you a career path mapped out, or is it more about opportunism?
I throw myself 100% into my work, but there’s a balance to be had too. With a young family at home it’s always a bit of a juggling act! I’m really settled at Conservatory Outlet and like to think I’ll have a long and prosperous career here.
Looking ahead, where would you like to be in 5 years and 10 years?
Gosh that’s a leap ahead! I’d love to think I’d still be at Conservatory Outlet and we’d continued to grow the business at the rate we’ve achieved in the past four years or so. The bond between our team and our network of customers is something special and it really would be tough to give that up.
Away from work, what is your focus?
Like most people, family. My lads are 9 and 7 and they dominate a lot of my spare time, driving them round all over the place. They have a better social life than me! I also love seeing friends and getting out & about, I’m not very good at being idle.
What activities help you switch off?
I really enjoy running – just for fun not competitively. I just stick in my earphones and switch off to the world for a bit of downtime.
All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl! True or false?
Totally depends on the person. Whatever works for you, but for me – I have to make time for friends, family, exercise and the odd drink! I love making weekend plans. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Do you achieve the work/life balance you would like?
Most of the time. There’s always occasions where one encroaches on the other, but mostly it works just fine. The COVID lockdown certainly tested us all to the limits all being stuck at home on top of each other!
With money and leisure time no object, what would you really like to do for yourself and your family?
Buy a massive yacht and sail the world? I’d need to learn how to sail first as well though!
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