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In Her Shoes series : Jo

Featuring .. Jo

Name :          Jo

Role :             Train Driver

Location :     QLD 🇦🇺

Brief role description/main responsibilities :

Safely operate and drive the coal train from port to site, load the train and drive the loaded train back to port to be unloaded onto the ships which then transfers the coal to customers all over the world.

The biggest challenge is that a huge part of the drivers’ job is knowing everything about the route they are driving, the sections, speed limits, speed restrictions, track works, rail traffic delays, safety requirements and signals to the gradients and some “slight bumps” in the track. The most important and crucial to the job of course is obeying the signalling system. It’s like memorising a routine.

On any given shift it’s high stakes and there’s no room for error. You have to approach your train handling/management in accordance with the signalling rules and regulations, using the braking techniques that you learn throughout your training.

A variety of things can go wrong in train driving, but there’s an incredible feeling of empowerment knowing I can handle it myself – that’s pretty cool.

What do you most enjoy about your role?  What is the favourite part of your role? :

The most enjoyment I get from the job is from having the best view from our “office window”. The changing seasonal surroundings and scenery are beautiful, you do get to see some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, nature and native wildlife at their best and worst.

How did you get into your role/industry?

I applied for a Trainee Train Driver position and completed my training through the nationally accredited traineeship.

Have you won any awards or earned any special recognition or been involved in something “out of the box”? :

No not yet but I have just been announced as a Finalist in the Women in Industry Awards for “Industry Advocacy Award”  so there is hope! Ha ha

As for something out of the box! I became a published author earlier in the year, I am the proud author of the book “High Heels to Hi Vis” – Kickass Women. My book is based on my experience and written as a guide for those considering a change or relaunching their career.

Do you have a favourite saying or quote? :

My fave saying is “Never let anyone dull your sparkle”

I live by the mantra of “paying it forward, pays back”.

Tell us a funny story about your role or an amusing experience at work :

We once had a lady streaker beside the track proudly displaying her assets so to speak, now that’s something you don’t see everyday, lol.

What advice would you give to women? :

I believe more women should consider careers (or career-changes!) into these non-traditional roles as there are a lot of great benefits. This isn’t just about securing a well-paying future but it’s also about personal fulfilment and accomplishment. Self-belief – to any woman who thinks any of these non-traditional roles or careers are only a man’s job – think again!

Women tend to underestimate their own skills and abilities, doubting their capabilities, not knowing where to start, and may need support with the non-traditional role concept. No women should shy away from an opportunity due to lack of self-belief, skill or fear of the unknown.

It’s all about self-belief and having the right attitude and perspective. It’s about looking outside your comfort zones and about having the guts to show up as the brightest, happiest, kickass version of yourself, whatever that looks like to you. It doesn’t matter the age; if your work quality is strong and you are keen, adopt the position of being a lifelong learner, your best years are yet to come. People who continually seek to grow and develop themselves bring value to a workplace that supersedes any position or age.

It’s about getting mighty clear about what makes you happy and what makes you feel the most alive and then creating it instead of pretending you can’t have it or that you don’t deserve it. So in order to do this, all you need to do is make one simple gear shift – you need to go from “wanting” to change your life to “deciding” to change your life.

Have you ever encountered any negative experiences that, although difficult at the time, may have helped shape who you are today? :

Yes, of course, bad things do happen to all of us. We all face all sorts of adversity in the course of our lifetime, and it is important to consider that everything that has happened to you had purpose. Through all of the victories and all of the pain, you learned and you grew, and believe that everything that happens to you has meaning. Life lessons are the greatest and most valuable lessons. I am very grateful for where I am today and that’s what really matters, it’s about the opportunities that stretch out in front of you.

Any feedback or comments about your she wears :

Luv, Luv, Luv my PINK (Hi-Vis) workboots! They are super comfy and most of all a great fit and lightweight. This is most important for me as I need a lightweight but durable and supportive work boot to provide me with stability and comfort for when I need to walk the train, the train is just over 2kms in length so I need to have good comfy walking shoes to walk the train and back again! And that can be a number of times in a given day or night if required!  I look like a Licorice Allsort when dressed for work lol with my orange hi-vis shirt, taped jeans, pink boots and hard hat. But hey I love licorice 😉

Any other comments, stories or anecdotes you’d like to share :

I’m about to launch my very own live streamed weekly Radio Show & Podcast, so watch my space for sneak peaks and promo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you Jo, you are an amazing advocate for women in non traditional industries x

If you’d like to follow Jo, head on over to Instagram or Facebook.

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