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Balancing the Grind with Jo McCatty, Global Career Coach & Recruitment Director

Jo McCatty is the career coach and recruitment director at Protoscience, where she works across pharmaceutical, CRO, biotech, FMCG and consulting sectors.

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

I am a Global Career Coach and Recruitment Director. I am a scientist by background – worked for a couple of years in Melbourne for the chemicals industry before I did what a lot  of Australians do – travel within Oz and then travel internationally.

Post travels, I was in London and had the intention of joining a pharmaceutical company as a scientist. Instead my career took a switch and I became a recruiter – selling ‘scientists’ to ‘scientists’. It has been 20 years in the recruitment sector – across agency, executive search, then in house recruiting roles.

This is where my passion for career coaching was born – about a decade ago.

It was in Sep 2018 that I decided to coach people more formally as a side passion project. Fast forward to now and I am 90% career coach and 10% in executive search and talent advisory.

I love what I do. It’s all about helping people who are stuck before the next career move they need to make; whether a step up, a step across or a step out from where they are. This is for people within the life sciences sectors which include biotech, pharmaceutical and CROs around the globe.

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

Career coaching, writing content, hosting webinars or attending them, podcast prep, setting up LinkedIn Live and doing all this around being a mum to a 17 and 10-year old.

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

The short answer is yes, but it was not always the case.

It was tough trying to find the balance between role, impact, leadership remit v’s flexibility, being a mum who is fully present.

Throughout my career journey, I have always put the priority or flexibility first before the role.

This has been for the last 17 years. It is only this year  in 2020 that I have gone fully remote – the blessings of the pandemic.

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

Being able to play full out, being organised, working on my passion and being able to balance that with quality time with my kids, family and close friends and self care time too, which I have gotten better at this year.

The only way to do this is to commit to the task, activity 100% e.g. If I am spending time with kids, no phones/laptop or distractions – so they know they have my full attention. Same applies to work, if I have commitments, I am fully focused on this.

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

I started morning routines more frequently. Also, I have a self care day – it is important to fill my own cup so that I am able to give more to other in business and in life.

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

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • Mindset – Carol Dweck
  • The Alchemist – Paolo Coehlo
  • Unlimited Power – Tony Robbins

I am listening to the audiobook From Good  to Great by Jim Collins.

Newsletters – Recruiting Brainfood.

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

LinkedIn, The Breakthrough App by Tony Robbins, Spotify for music and podcasts, Zoom.

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

Hmm, great question. Emma Walmsley who is the CEO of GSK and then every other female Leader in the same sector (i.e the top ten female leaders in the pharmaceutical sector).

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

Be open, agile, trade your expectation for appreciation and the game changes. You won’t feel  the mummy guilts if you commit 100% to the task at hand and do what Eckart Tolle suggests ‘ be fully present in the moment’ whether it is work or play.

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.