‘Entitled’, ‘impatient’, ‘disloyal’. All classic insults thrown at millennials or, if you don’t like the label, ‘the younger generation’. Yet many would argue that this is a huge misinterpretation. Jill Bourke is a case in point. A natural problem solver with a love of learning and adventure, she joined Liberty Financial after graduating. Over five years later, she’s still kicking goals with an employer she loves.
Falling into finance
Jill will be the first to tell you she didn’t have a defined career plan. She did her undergrad at Monash, studying a Double Degree in Science and Arts (Global).
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I just picked what was fun. It was really great. The Science side ended up being mainly Geology and Chemistry. The Arts component related to International Studies and Languages, so I got to travel to Indonesia and Malaysia.”
Upon graduating, still without a fixed career preference, Jill started looking for an office job. A recruiter contacted her about Liberty Financial and she joined the loan specialists as a Customer Service Officer. She enjoyed the job and the people she worked with. However, after 18 months, she was eager for new experiences.
“I wanted to stretch myself and try something new but I didn’t want to leave Liberty. An opportunity came up in our Settlements area, and I was really pleased to become a Home Loan Settlements Officer. I found the work interesting and it was good to have a fresh challenge.”
Jill stayed in the settlements role, performing well, for just under two years. Now well-established at Liberty, she had also developed a clearer idea of what interested and motivated her. She approached her team leader and expressed a keen interest in tech and data. As a result, she was promoted again to her current role of Risk Analyst, in Liberty’s Risk and Compliance team.
Opportunity and connection: a career at Liberty
Three promotions in five years speaks volumes, both about Jill’s performance and Liberty’s culture. It’s clear that the progression and development opportunities are a key reason why she has stayed put.
“Learning is important to me. Here, they encourage you to move, develop and discover. They understand that you don’t want to be doing all the same things forever. Most of my friends haven’t been as lucky in where they’ve ended up – they don’t enjoy their jobs.”
Jill speaks with quiet pride about being selected for Liberty’s innovation team – a cross-company initiative to develop and nurture a more defined approach to innovation. She also got to represent her employer and compete at Melbourne Business School’s ‘Datathon’.
“That was great. On day one you get a whole bunch of data. You have to come up with an idea or a pitch in relation to a new product. We got through to the finals and placed second overall. We got to present at a Data Conference and we also pitched our idea to graduating students, so it was also a good outreach tool to promote Liberty to future talent!”
Reflecting on why she chooses to stay with her employer, Jill applauds Liberty’s friendly, diverse and collaborative culture.
“It’s just a great place to work. We’re a connected team, the people are fantastic and there are lots of opportunities to build relationships. There’s also great coffee and a serious amount of food!”
An unorthodox adventure
Jill goes on to share other benefits provided by her employer, including subsided private healthcare and a school holiday childcare program which her niece was able to access. She reveals there’s a gym subsidy and shares a story which demonstrates much about her employer’s flexibility and her own approach to life:
“I’m not a fan of gyms so I asked if the company would transfer my gym subsidy to the costs of my two main hobbies: rock climbing and aerial silks. Of course they said yes.”
For the uninitiated, aerial silks involves performing aerial acrobatics, while hanging high in the air, often upside down, from pieces of fabric. With a gasp, we ask Jill why on earth she wants to spend her time doing that.
“I love it because, like the rock climbing, it’s different. There’s a real sense of adventure and you don’t realise you’re exercising. There’s also a fair bit of problem solving; it can take quite a lot of thinking when you’re upside down, trying to achieve something. Sometimes you get wrapped up and need to unravel. I like the challenge.”
Jill agrees with the comparison we draw between her hobbies and her approach to work: the unorthodox choices, the methodical problem-solving and a desire to be challenged. We place particular emphasis on the latter but with typical modesty, Jill brings us back to earth:
“My team thinks I’m far more adventurous than I am. But it’s all just educated risk, really.”
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