Get To Know

Julie-Anne VandenHoff, Principal Consultant

What are you most passionate about in your role at JOST&Co?

I love solving complex problems with clients and drawing on our combined experiences. I pull from my array of experiences in strategy development, organisational design, transformation and change, talent management, capability development, employee experience design and digital enablement. I work with them to get a deeper understanding of their industry, their organisation, and the problems they are looking to solve. By working closely with organisations and leaders in this way, I can help them unlock and solve the issues they are facing, be it commercial outcomes, improved customer experiences, or how to better hire, grow or retain their talent. I try to do this in fun and interesting ways, to simplify complexity, and to make a sometimes-hard road that bit easier. It’s personally rewarding to step back and see what you have achieved together.

What career journey have you taken to get here?

I originally studied science and started my career working as a medical scientist in healthcare.

After doing that for a few years, I spent a year backpacking around Western and Eastern Europe before working in the UK for

another six years. This was an amazing experience for a girl from country Victoria – particularly as I was the first person in my family to get a degree and independently travel abroad.

Exploring the world and stepping out of science for a time made me realise I wanted more from my career. That’s when I transitioned into the people arena, starting in recruitment/HR. After completing my MBA, I moved into people advisory consulting for a number of years and then back to the client-side taking on senior/executive in-house HR roles. I have loved the mix of in-house HR and external people advisory work – it has kept me sharp and up to date with the latest thinking, balanced with pragmatism of how to critically invest and grow people and organisations to maximise business outcomes.

What’s the best bit of career advice you’ve received?

No career is linear. When I was told that, I felt like I had permission not to feel guilty about leaving science and moving into a new career. The other bit of great advice I received was to plan ahead, not just for your next job, but the one beyond that.

Without question, the worst advice I received was when I was told to temper my ambitions when discussing my plans going on parental leave because “things would plateau” as I had children. My reality has been quite the opposite.

What do you love to do when you’re not at work?

I love spending time in nature, keeping fit and healthy, being creative and spending time with friends and family. Whenever possible I mix them together, like taking my two children for a long walk along the beach with my SLR camera in hand.

What’s something few people know about you?

It won’t be a surprise for anyone who’s read this article so far, but I think most people I work with don’t know that I started my professional life working in a white coat in the basement laboratory of a hospital. My fierce curiosity, tenacity, and passion to have impact are the common threads on which my career is sewn. I’m proud of my scientific background, which has been part of the path that has led me to where I am now.