Attention please, meet Jane Guy! Jane is the creator of the Queenstown Life blog, and right from day one, she’s been enjoying the fun and all the positive things that come along with it – especially the cake!
The blog was Jane’s brain child and has grown to a ‘small but mighty’, loyal and engaged group of readers, with a cool range of articles about life, spaces, places and people in the wider Queenstown area. It’s not size that matters though ;) Jane counts one of the successes relating to her blog is that her friends and readers know her style, and can hear her voice when reading her content – no mean feat when writing quality articles so often.
However, what most people don’t know though, is that Jane also works part-time as a Regional Coordinator and Community Worker. People can be lured into thinking that Queenstown is a fun, vibrant place with a great lifestyle for everyone, but reality is quite different. Like most towns and cities, there’s some who really find it tough, and in Jane’s work she sadly sees this. She sees first hand some horrible situations and just how hard the struggle is for some people. Being able to help those people, and keeping her feet firmly grounded, aware of the harsh reality for many in New Zealand, is important to Jane.
By now, you're probably asking yourself: How did Jane get to this point, working in two areas that she’s equally passionate about, that are so different from each other? Let us take you on a journey …
Jane grew up in England and went to university there, where she studied drama. She wasn’t sure what she would like to do in terms of her career – as many of us are unsure at that age. She did know for sure though, that she didn’t want to become a teacher or an actress. At the time, there was limited guidance either through school or at university as to what options were out there and what the future could hold.
Yes, this may still be true for many of you today, but with the internet and the intention to figure it out, there are a lot more resources on hand to inform you about career options, possible pathways or even gather stories that inspire you to help get some insight, do take the lead and hunt down those options. What we hope you’ll learn from the stories about these cool ladies, is that the path to where they are now isn’t a simple one, there’s no ‘join the dots to achieve X’ to follow, so developing your own path is where it’s at! After many years of working in organisations providing social work and social services, and doing other small jobs on the side, she has now reached a point, where she enjoys the balance of her work. It is the result of her vision, passion and good old-fashioned perseverance and hard work, that has resulted in this balance.
As you may know, being the creator of a new project, body of work or business has a lot of highs and lows. Jane has an excellent tip for getting yourself through those lows, or when you’re having ‘one of those days’. She recommends having a folder with thank you or congratulation emails or notes, or any other email or note that makes you feel good really. Then, whenever you are having a bad day, take 10 and go back and read them. We all need those warm fuzzies, especially when you’re out on a limb trying new things.
Jane is also a strong advocate for building great life experiences, she says “Travel is really important to do before you launch yourself into a career.” She reminds us all that it is not just the people you meet and the cultures you learn about on the way that give you new perspectives and helps develop a more open-minded approach to things, but also the countless and unexpected life experiences that just happen. Jane thinks that you only know what you know, and you cannot grow if you don’t expose yourself to experiences that you haven’t had before. So very true! Those new experiences mould you in ways you can’t expect or often even explain, but they do help you learn, grow and develop and that is a good thing!
This doesn’t have to be just travelling across the globe, as not everyone can afford to, right? But most of us have a little time at our disposal, whether as a high school student in the weekends/holidays, or when you leave school or uni, you can usually make time, just a few hours every week, to explore your own town, local area or get outside your bubble by volunteering.
Taking on a job or a volunteer position, ideally Jane says “somewhere that you are absolutely petrified of working”, will require you to be brave, and yes it may well make you uncomfortable, but you will learn so much and become more knowledgeable, capable and aware of what is going on in different areas. This little bit of ‘good discomfort’ is key to growth, something we need a lot of, and Jane also says that “to have a successful career, a key is not to get too comfortable. Getting comfortable is fine, but you should never feel like you have learned everything about your job”. So get out there, go to the workshop, ask someone to teach you some new skills, take on new tasks. It’s so important to find different angles, and keep educating yourself! Having a learning mindset and being keen to look over the edge of the plate and see what other options are out there, is a huge asset, and it’s these situations that you can have a positive influence over. We’ll throw in one of our favourite sayings here that totally endorses Jane’s advice “All growth happens outside your comfort zone”.
When we spoke about the future of work, Jane believes that it is a struggle for many of us nowadays, in that we are having to organise and fit everything else around working 24/7. It is a big change from the typical Monday to Friday 9-to-5 working schedule of previous generations.
Now, there can be external (and our own), expectations to be available and ‘on’ around the clock, and the challenge is to find what works best for you. It will be up to each of us to develop the plan that achieves what we need to, both around work and outside of work. Jane recommends that you take the time to prioritise, and reminds us all that it is essential to take the time you need for yourself, and to enjoy spending time with family and friends, rather than always responding to work and being ‘on demand’ on your phone.
Jane’s wonderful words - “Go for that bike ride when it calls you.” – and of course, bike ride can be interchanged with ‘whatever activity fuels you and calls you’.
As we all know, there is a lot of discussion and awareness around gender equity. Jane politely reminds us that as women, we need to get along better with, and champion each other, before bringing men into the picture. She reiterates (and we do too!) that we have to start cheering for each other, and push each other to be our very best (in whatever each of us wishes to), and to be honest and real, constructive and supportive. Her final words are gold, and we really hope these words stick with us all ...
"kindness, always, for each other"
Interview completed by Kat - Summer 2017/2018
Watch this space! There's a tonne of content being moulded for you which will make it's way here in the coming months so be sure to flick us a LIKE on Facebook to keep up with the latest and greatest. Read the full list of stories here.
If you are a cool chick with a great story, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to send us deets of other amazing ladies you know too, and we will reach out.