Balancing the Grind with Dijana Josevski, Head of People for Visa Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

Dijana Josevski is the Head of People for Visa Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. As part of the local leadership team, she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that will help Visa attract, develop, and engage talent.

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

For most of my career, I’ve worked in the HR profession, but I have worked across various industries like automotives, health, fintech, technology and telco. Early in my career, I took a year off on a soccer scholarship in the United States which was such a great experience and taught me so much about resilience and getting out of my comfort zone.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise that I really enjoy how dynamic and broad the HR remit can be and being able to wear different hats which ultimately provides us with an opportunity to have positive impact in the business. 

My role as the Head of People at Visa across Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific can be quite complex, but I like to see it as bringing the best of Visa to the market. Whether it’s about delivering the best employee experience or working closely with Visa’s leadership team to ensure we grow our brand in a way that actively engages the team and attracts talent, I’m always on the lookout for how our people strategy can support where Visa wants to be in 3-5 years’ time. The fact that we get to involve our people in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ this year as the exclusive payments partner is just awesome.

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

By nature, I am big on planning and strive to be in control of my week as much as I can. This does mean that I have learnt not to be afraid to push back when I’m not available; the reality is that no one can say yes to everyone. 

My mornings involve exercising or dropping the kids off. I make it a point to not schedule meetings first thing unless it’s absolutely critical so that I have time to prioritise, plan and focus on the things I must do or the things that will have the biggest impact. 

My afternoons are usually a lot more collaborative. My typical afternoon would involve catching up with the recruitment team, partnering with Visa’s Inclusion and Diversity team on our latest initiatives, and connecting regularly with the leadership team to ensure I’m across important business developments. It’s always such an inspiring experience to interact with such diverse talent at Visa from marketing and client engagement teams to our data scientists.

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

I believe that work-life balance means different things to different people, and that it should reflect each individual’s state of life. As a mother to two young kids, the ability to balance their needs and to be present is a key part of how I perceive work-life balance and something that I am consistently motivated by.

Visa’s benefits and policies have also played a large role in empowering me to achieve balance. For example, Visa has “Wellbeing Friday Afternoons” every week in the summer months which is a set time (1pm – 5pm) where we are free to take time off work to recharge and do as we wish – for me that often means attending to personal appointments or picking up my daughter from school. We also have a flexible work option where we can choose to work from another location for up to a month per year. 

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In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits?

This might sound a bit simple, but since joining Visa, I have been making a deliberate effort to not eat at my desk when I am in the office. It’s such a rich time to connect with colleagues. Whether I’m working from home or the office – both of which I get to do every week – I’ve also become a fan of scheduling ‘focus’ periods in my calendar where I mute all my notifications for a short period of time to really zero in on items or activities that deserve my undivided attention. It’s incredibly easy to get side-tracked or diverted by the simplest of things so I have found this to be an incredibly helpful habit – it has also encouraged me to complete things within a certain time. 

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

Good to Great by Jim Collins has been a fascinating read that I’ve been going through in my spare time. It has a very compelling perspective on how companies can be successful and the line “Great vision without great people is irrelevant” has always stood out to me.   

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

Perhaps a case of unfortunate timing, but Jacinda Ardern is one that immediately comes to mind. It’s admirable that someone at the top job can be open and raw about the challenges and know when it was time to step aside.

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

In the same way that each of us need to be conscious of what balance means to us, it’s just as important for an organisation to support and respect this. One of the great things about Visa’s culture is that it actively encourages this type of balance by being outcomes focused – our performance is equally measured on ‘what’ we deliver and ‘how’ we get there. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.