INTERVIEW WITH JANE YOUNG, GENERAL MANAGER, PUBLICIS, BRISBANE
If you happen to know Jane, you’ll agree that she is one of the most clever and charismatic jets in her industry. Jane is leading the way in her space; especially for up and coming women in agency land.
I initially met with Jane back when she was General Manager at Ogilvy in Brisbane, and we hit it off straight away. I was drawn to her zest for life, admired her commitment to her career and her craft, and I was in awe of how she managed the success she’s had, all whilst raising little humans. Her career story is shiny and successful, and she’s one of those amazing women who even get promotions coming back off maternity leave. Yes, she’s one amazing woman indeed. #superwoman!
Let me introduce you to the wonderful Jane Young!
Tell us about your background? What path led you to your current position?
I sort of fell into it! After originally enrolling at a university to become a P.E Teacher, I realized within the first six months that just because I loved sports, becoming a sports teacher, just wasn’t my jam. So, I did what most people did, dropped out, became a waitress and enrolled into something that was super broad that would give me some great options down the line.
After finishing a Bachelor of Business and being quite lucky early on in the peace, I worked my way up in some top-notch agency’s, ticked the boxes in terms of ad-agency levels, got some international experience under my belt, and had the foresight to realize that I needed to get a hell of a lot more ‘digital’ at the right time in my career. Having incredible leaders like Russ Vine and Ben Stokes who believed and trusted in me back in Junior Cru days, and having an epic mentor like Michelle Holland from Ogilvy, were some amazing pieces in my success puzzle.
Today, I’m sitting in a leadership team at Publicis amongst an incredible team of men, women, and parents. We all share the same beliefs about work and family, plus we all work damn hard. Again, I’m super lucky!
How on earth do you do what you do, all whilst raising two little humans?
I have an incredible husband who is very understanding of how much I love my career and who totally gets my commitment to it.
From a practical sense, I’m lucky, because he’s a tradie and can do school and day care pick ups, while I do drop offs. He cooks dinner and bathes the girls, and I get home to do stories and bedtime. It’s a good set up, and it just works. Also, I work Monday through to Thursday and have Fridays off, which I treasure, as it’s a day for my youngest and I to really bond and spend some special quality time together. Publicis are really supportive of the four day week and we have quite a few parents who work this way. Even a few years ago, this was just not the case, so it’s great to be part of the progress
We would also be lost without our Family Day Care lady who has swooped in and saved the day in more ways than you could imagine, and a super supportive leadership team at Publicis who are all parents and just get it and go through all of the same motions of raising kids.
How has the way you viewed your career changed since becoming a mum?
I didn’t even know if I would want to come back to work, but what I realized whilst being off on maternity leave both times, is that I really love my job and I couldn’t wait to get to work.
For me, I was most worried about being a leader and being able to balance motherhood, because, a lot of work in this industry often gets outside of hours and I wasn’t sure how it would all work. So, what became important was to create a strong team of people who just “got me” and knew that if I had to leave early one day, then I’d be putting in hours later that night and making myself available whenever they needed it. It’s super important that I prove to my young team, that you can do both and one day I hope to be able to support them when they become parents.
In my opinion, in order to be the best mum and best worker, we need to take regular time out for self-care. What do you do that’s just for you and fills up your cup?
My big thing is exercise. I’m not talking hitting the gym every morning or anything like that. I religiously do two Pilates sessions every week. I make sure that it doesn’t conflict with my time with the girls, so I take a 5:30pm class that means I can be home by 7pm and do the night time routine. I tried to look at all of the tiny gaps I could potentially squeeze some “me time” in, and that’s what I came up with, and it just works!
You mentioned earlier that you came back off maternity leave to a BIG, shiny promotion. That’s unheard of and actually quite amazing. Tell me more about how this came about?
Yes, I did. It’s crazy, isn’t it? I came back off of maternity leave after having my first baby in 2014, to a promotion and became General Manager when I was pregnant with baby number two. Not many women I knew in my space or even friendship circle had an amazing opportunity like that, as you only really hear of other women either getting sidelined or even demoted. Again, I’m just so lucky!
Balancing a career and doing the motherhood gig is not easy and it comes with an abundance of challenges. What hurdles have you faced on your journey so far?
Oh, my……just feeling like I always want to give people more, feeling like I’m letting people down and that constant nagging sensation of feeling like I’m not doing enough. I always think that I should be supporting that person more, spending more time with that client, making more time for my family. You just have to try and be comfortable with not being perfect at everything and remind yourself constantly that you are doing your best
How has motherhood changed you?
From a work perspective, I find I have so much more empathy for other people and what happens behind closed doors in their personal lives. Nowadays, when I see someone having a tough time at work, I’ve got a real internal pull to help them because I imagine that one day it’d be my girls. So yeah, I am much more in tune with scanning the office and seeing who might need what.
I’m now really big on my staff having personal KPI’s, and I want to know what’s important to them in their own lives so I can help make their personal goals happen as well. I’ve got some staff that want to leave work early on a Wednesday for gym, and others who want to go and do a photography course, and some who want to run the New York Marathon. It’s important that I know these things and make sure that they can do them. Before motherhood, I may not have seen things the same way.
Ok, so now the most important questions – pick one!
Heels or flats? Heels
Champagne or cocktails? Cocktails
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Morning or night? Morning
Who Am I? I’m a proud Digital Recruiter at ‘affix’ in Brisbane and I’ve been hanging out in the Marketing & Recruitment space since around 2010. Aside from that, I’m a wife, a Mumma, and an aficionado of Latte Ristretto’s and 90’s Hip Hop.
Say hi here.