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Balancing the Grind with Andrew Job, Founder & CEO of Plotlogic

Andrew Job is the founder & CEO of Plotlogic, a mining technology company developing AI and IoT based sensor technology to make the mining industry more sustainable and efficient.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started my career at the mines; as a mining engineer, and as I gained more experience, I moved into general management of several large mines. I have always had a passion for finding ways to make mining safer and more productive, while also working to decarbonise the industry.

This led me to start Plotlogic. While I’m the founder and CEO, I think my most important tasks are setting the strategic direction for the company, building culture, and supporting our talented team to deliver fast business growth. Together we are generating a meaningful contribution to the future of mining and society.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

It starts early. I try to prioritise having breakfast with my partner and 3 kids and two days a week I drop the kids to school. My workday starts with reviewing emails that have hit from overseas, overnight, and then into our daily team meeting at 9:30am.

This is a vital part of the day as we check in with each other and make sure we’re on-track to meet our customer’s expectations. I’m a hands-on CEO, although my days are extremely busy, it’s important to make sure my team has enough direction to provide clarity, without removing their autonomy.

By 6pm I head home and enjoy dinner with my family. When the kids are in bed I generally indulge in some reading. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

We have a very hands-on business, as we are physically building robotic sensor-based systems and developing cutting edge AI algorithms, so with that comes the need for the team to be predominantly office based. Having the teams work closely also fosters a strong team culture, allowing us to move fast on new concepts.

As part of our culture, we value flexibility and personal accountability, so we trust all staff to work with their team to make judgement calls as to whether they need to be in the office on a particular day and allow them to work out their own working hours.

As the CEO I work from the office whenever possible, it’s important to have that face-to-face contact, but with our business being international I’m often required to work across multiple time zones, so I often take early morning and late-night client and investor meetings at home.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

My philosophy is everything in life must have balance, whether it’s professional, or personal, as everything is intertwined. All parts of my life are flexible and that’s how I achieve happiness.

My focus in my personal life is my family. It’s important to me that we spend not only as much time together as possible, but quality time together. We enjoy being outdoors, so often go camping, bushwalking, sailing, and surfing together.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I make a conscious effort to exercise regularly and have really embraced running these past 12 months. Some of my best time is spent running.

Whether it’s mornings or evenings, pounding the pavement and following that simple rhythm of putting one foot in front of the other helps clear my head. It’s a great way to get focussed ahead of a big day at work or wind down so I can enjoy quality time with my family.  

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I wouldn’t be able to list them all, I read a lot, mostly science-based material, and historical texts. I genuinely enjoy learning new things and am always looking to gain new perspectives and insights on anything from economics to quantum mechanics. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I recently bought a Samsung Fold and combined it with a small Bluetooth keyboard. I’m often  travelling, so I really value a setup that’s flexible and lightweight. I think it really comes into its own while on flights and in hotels where I can now maximise my productivity.  You can also connect it up to a TV to use it as a monitor which is really handy! 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Elizabeth Blackburn – one of Australia’s only Nobel Prize winners. I respect her intellect, tenacity and resilience.

9) What are the strategies and rituals that bring clarity to your day? What keeps you focused, and most importantly fills your day with joy?

What brings me joy every day is spending time with my kids. They give me energy, make me laugh and keep me grounded. Coming home after a big day to see their smiles is always a highlight! 

10) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I think what’s most important is for people to find work they are passionate about. For me, that’s making mining a safer and more sustainable industry.

Having that passion means I never really feel like I am working, and when I leave the office to go home to the kids I feel a real sense of satisfaction with the work our team has done.

Obviously that’s easier said than done, so I think it’s critical people find what works best for them and incorporate strategies to maximise effectiveness and find that passion. 

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.