Jessica Hayes wasn’t afraid to ask for an overseas posting when she joined Mainfreight. It took some hard work and persuasion, but she’d do it all again at the drop of a hat!
As a school leaver I applied for a job as an FCL cartage co-ordinator in the America office. Within two months I was working in imports, then into Sales Support/Customer service, into a Sales Cadet role for six months and then into Sales. In the USA I progressed from a Sales role, to a Sales Management role for Los Angeles, before taking on the role on San Diego Branch Manager - all within three and a half years of arriving here.
I asked from an early stage on my career to be considered for an opportunity overseas. We had acquired Target Logistics the year before I started and something about the USA interested me. I told my managers of my goals and as I started having success in my roles and the momentum started. Don’t get me wrong, there were goals I had to achieve and it was made clear that there were a lot of people that had to agree so I made sure I gave them no reason to say no.
Professionally, this move has catapulted me into even bigger opportunities I never thought were possible. To be surrounded by such motivated and intelligent people inspires me to do the best I can at every task, in the hope that I’m as successful as them - and that people also see me as their inspiration.
For me personally, it’s changed my life. I have moments to myself every now and then where I think “I can’t believe I made it ”. To come from leaving school at 16 and getting a job to support myself, to be living in Los Angeles as a Sales Manager is just mind blowing and extremely humbling.
It was definitely difficult. I went in guns blazing with my blunt America attitude, ready to take on America. I quickly realized that I needed to watch and learn to understand my environment so I can proceed in the right way to get the most effective outcome. Everything I have learnt has been through trial and error and nothing makes you mature more than living abroad and being out of your comfort zone. I’ve definitely learnt patience and respect that everyone doesn’t think like me.
200% yes. Even the thought of it is exciting. To have a career and see the world, I mean, isn’t that the ultimate dream!?
Do it. Don’t hesitate. Give it everything you have from day one, put your hand up for more responsibilities, find your mentors, tell your managers/seniors of your goals, be a team player, support those around you, just involve yourself in the business as much as you can and never stop that desire to learn.
For the opportunities to see the world, do it for the right reasons. Be ready to work hard at your personal and professional life and be prepared for things to be unsettled for at least a year. Speak to others about their experiences, good and bad, and ensure you’re making an educated decision. Living overseas is a phenomenal experience and as long as you do your homework and understand what the expectations are, you will really enjoy the opportunity and get the best from it.
Number of team members: 683
Number of branches: 69
Offices: Canada, USA, Mexico and South America
Operations: Air & Ocean, Domestic Transport, Logistics