Sharing my story with nab

Themes : “Game Plan” & Goal setting, Focus, Supportive/flexible, Resilience and Perseverance

What’s your role within Shared Services here at NAB?

I am a Strategic Sourcing Partner for the Recruitment team – my role is responsible to assist the business and recruitment with sourcing external talent (once we have the approval)

When did you join the bank?

I joined nab in 2008 (6 years ago) in a job share capacity in Recruitment. Since then I have worked full time and part time. I currently work 3 days a week.

How does flexibility assist with your personal goals?

It allows me to spend time with my 2 beautiful girls,  compete in triathlons at elite level and work in a professional role at nab which I enjoy.

And what has been a recent success for you in triathlon?

Qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

What does it consist of?

It’s similar to any other Ironman – 3.8 km swim, 180km ride and 42.2 km (marathon) run except its in 80% humidity, 30c heat, cross winds and it’s set on a very baron course.

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You have completed in two Ironman’s, whilst juggling children and work – How do you manage your time?

During the week (4-5days) I am up at 445am for a swim or bike session that lasts 1.5 hours, then to work feeling energised. I then try to squeeze in a lunchtime run around the Tan Track when work permits, then home for family time over dinner and story time. The two days I don’t work I’m focussed on family/home, sometimes training. At weekend, I will be doing a 6-7 hour training block on the bike and running (My husband also competes at a high level in triathlons so we battle for training times!!)

Why and when did you start?

I’ve always loved sport – I grew up chasing after 3 older brothers.

Reflecting on my childhood, My father ran his own printing business in Liverpool Street, London and marked my brothers as successors. For me, being the only girl, it was about getting an Education and marrying well! (How times have changed!!!).

Perhaps if I had of been given the opportunity to run the family business, I wouldn’t be the driven and determined woman I am today.

How long have you focused on qualifying for IM world champs?

Since 2010 when I trained for my first Ironman in Busselton – so 4 years ago!! For others it can take longer and some people don’t even get there so I feel very fortunate.

What keeps you going?

Exercise allows me to think clearly. Since having children, it has also re-affirmed the importance of getting the,
“me time” and triathlon provides this for me.

I have learnt that if you stretch yourself (get out of your comfort zone), your body and mind becomes conditioned. Obstacles no longer become obstacles! Eg 6 hours in the saddle or 3 hours running alone helps me make considered decisions. Years of this has allowed me to “Kaizen” my day, week, year!!

Much like NAB has a Game Plan to achieve its goal of getting back to number 1, what goals did you set ​yourself and how did you create your own Game Plan?

I set the long term goal in 2009 to qualify for Kona – I then broke down the big goal into smaller goals across the year. Its inevitable you have to realign these goals, adapt and then act to the challenges you are presented with each day.

A good analogy of this in my day to day work and the open and honest conversations I have with my people leader ; we are constantly aligning, adapting acting to deliver or provide the best possible solution for our customers.

How do you keep your focus on sticking to your Game Plan with individual challenges or distractions?

When I exercise early in the morning, it provides me with a positive mind set and sets me up for the day.

Resilience and perseverance are necessary attributes at work. How have they come into play with your own personal Ironman journey?

When I competed my first Ironman in 2010 I came 4th in my age group and I missed out on Kona by 1 place (30 second’s!). Then 4 months later, I was involved in a car accident and couldn’t even hold my 2 year old daughter. I had to align, adapt and act – I had to choose shorter distance triathlons for the next 2 years. I competed in 2012 in the Olympic Distance ITU Triathlon Championships.

Last year, I was finally ready for my second Ironman – I’d done the training and was feeling pretty strong – I pushed on with a foot injury. The night before the race, I got a virus and finished in 13th place.

What are your learning’s from this?

Always enjoy the journey along the way. Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we have, and think too often about what we don’t have rather than what we do have.

From my experience, I have learnt life doesn’t just hand you what you want on a plate! You have to work hard for it. If you take short cuts, you will get found out.

In my view this applies to work, family, triathlons… I’ve also learnt you’re never too old to give it a go!!

How do you keep your focus on sticking to your Game Plan with individual challenges or distractions?

You just focus!!! Sometimes you have to adapt or realise the goal may be too big so break it down over time – keep it simple ! Just like we do with our customers !!! You prioritise what’s important and focus on that task at hand. ( it’s like the spinning plates – sometimes you feel like there are 20 plates spinning in the air and you’re trying to keep them all up. You have to prioritise and try to keep focussed. Some times something has to give. As long as you’re doing your best)

It’s important to have those open and honest conversations with your support networks, husband, family, friends, Manager. I see physics regularly and have a great sports masseuse to ensure I am looking after the body as well as the mind.

Its also important to remind yourself (especially mothers) to not be too hard on yourself and that includes not feeling guilty of having, “me time”.

Having a supporting team around you is obviously important here. How has NAB provided support and flexibility and what do you think people considering a flexible working arrangement could learn from your experience?

I am fortunate NAB is an employer of choice that supports flexible work arrangements, and also my manager and team are supportive of my approach. Shared Services is a wonderful area to be in with wonderful people and this is an area that really do live and breadth and support flexibility.

There is so much that can be achieved if you give yourself stretch targets both personally and professionally….and Personal achievement can have such a positive impact on your working day.

What have you learnt going into this race and what will you need to do?

I am always learning …. To prepare for Kona, I don’t now need to be the fastest triathlete on the day. I need to get out of bed to train to finish it – this will give me the mental edge I need when the alarm goes off at 4.30am and it’s freezing cold training in Melbourne’s winter.

I will organise a program with my coach and work out short term goals. I will be focussing on training under heat and working out a great nutrition plan for race day. I will also be doing a lead in race in.

What is something you can’t survive the day without?

A kiss from the kids before they go to bed each night, and my husband’s constant supply of Cadbury chocolate (he works for them).

Thank you

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