Empathy and altruism were always the two big motivators for Joanna, but before she pursued these avenues, she was on a mission to chase adventure. Hence, she launched her career in the tourism and hospitality sectors. It certainly provided some great experiences but her underlying desire to help the most vulnerable populations never left her thoughts.
While working in hotel reception in Melbourne, she returned to study earning a degree in Sociology with a major in Human Resources from RMIT. Fittingly, she became the HR Officer for the hotel. Joanna would spend the following years developing her skills as a recruiter, job coach and trainer. She was back where she wanted to be all along, helping people.
In 2011, Joanna began working in the Human Resources department of one of the world’s largest non-government organisations (NGO). She found herself working amongst people who, like herself, were more motivated by purpose than profits.
During her tenure, one thing was starting to become abundantly clear. She noted that many of the aspiring and existing humanitarians she worked alongside had immense talents, one of which was being gifted communicators. They could put together very compelling and convincing arguments when it came to securing funding for emergency hospitals in the depths of Asia or being granted access to injured civilians on the back of battles in Africa. However, when it came to facing an interview panel and talking about their many skills and talents, they ironically froze and stumbled on their words. They were adept at pitching for other’s needs, but not so much their own. In such a competitive sector with so many high calibre candidates, the intensive recruitment process demands excellence.
Joanna realised there were few opportunities for people in NGOs to access professional job coaching services that were specific to the aid sector. Furthermore, with over 4000 International NGO’s in the world all focusing on different humanitarian needs, the differences in prerequisites and recruitment criteria across the organisations presented a challenging course for any prospective candidate.
With an estimated 168 million people in need of aid or protection, and the current global response only reaching some 66% of this population, Joanna believes the world needs more people who are motivated to make a difference. With her expertise in job coaching and recruiting and an insider’s understanding of the aid sector, Jo’s mission is to help aspiring aid workers conquer the selection process and help to bridge the gap in providing support to regions in crisis.
This is the purpose that drives Higher Goals.