Our BINGO Trailblazer series highlights GOgetters from across our company.
Thank you for talking to us Tara! How are you doing?
Thanks! I’m well, really excited about the interview. Thank you for choosing me as your first Trailblazer.
Let’s start off with someone that inspires you?
Gladys Berejiklian - what a woman and a great leader! Smart, empathetic, pragmatic, confident.
In your mind, what makes a great leader and what are some traits they should have?
I think a great leader can motivate and inspire those around them and embraces their own unique qualities as a leader. For me some of the most important traits as a leader are the human qualities of trust, empathy and integrity. I also think some of the best leaders are those that have charisma and enthusiasm for what they do and can bring others on their journey.
As a female leader, have you seen positive change in terms of opportunities and inclusion?
The changes that we are seeing across workplaces and the support for female participation in the workforce through maternity leave and greater flexibility has really opened the door to some amazing female talent coming through. It’s great for the young talent going through university and high school to look up and aspire to these female leaders as examples that you can have it all - family and a long successful career.
In your interview with BOSS, you stressed the importance of finding a mentor. What should young executives look for in their mentors?
Someone you can trust and that will challenge you to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
Being a General Manager at age of 28 must have felt daunting. What advice would you give people who are in the same boat as you?
Simple - back yourself and your own capabilities.
Can you tell me what comes to your mind when you hear the following words?
Empathy is essential to leadership and being a good friend.
Burnout will happen if you don't make a conscious effort to fill your own cup.
Success looks different for everyone, define your own.
Competition makes life's journey fun!
The best things in life have happened because things didn't go to plan. Rip up the plan and embrace the changes that come your way.
Handling changes, especially when things aren’t going to plan, isn’t that easy. How do you deal with challenging situations?
I like to think I lean into the challenges and face these with a positive mindset and smile on my face. It’s much more enjoyable that way!
How do you balance your work/personal life? And how do you unplug from work?
I would use the word "juggle" rather than balance, but I try to never lose sight of what's important to me and our family. Some days I nail the juggle and some days I don't, and that's okay because tomorrow is a new day :)
Unplugging from work for me is cuddles with my mini on the couch watching the Wiggles. I also love a walk and spin session.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in furthering their career in your industry, especially young executives?
The waste industry is such an exciting space, waste is currently one of Australia’s most pressing social issues and there’s so much we can learn by looking offshore at other countries. Having a career where profit is aligned with positive impact gives me an incredible sense of purpose. Long gone are the days where people turn up for a pay cheque and work 9-to-5. Work is such a huge part of your life and you want to know that you’re investing your time and life’s effort into something that is making a positive difference. My advice is to choose a career that fulfils your sense of purpose and don’t be afraid to take on challenges along the way.
What's next for you?
I know I said rip up the plan, but I still have a rather lose 5-year plan that I tend to mentally update every 12 months. I would like to get married, have another child, resume overseas travel, undertake the Australian Institute of Company Directors course, expand my toolkit of experience to include operations and Profit & Loss (P&L) responsibility down the track and buy a family home to settle down.
Thanks Tara for the interview!