Nancy characterises her career journey as a “non-traditional road that a few people told me wasn’t doable”. She started her job as an Account Coordinator in 2013. Nancy discusses how her main goal when she initially started was to work for a large company with opportunities for promotion. “I came from a small government-contracted employment agency and had completed but not used my business degree. I intended to put my business degree to use by working for a huge organisation, which was something I had never done before.” “I have accomplished my goal. There have been many possibilities to enhance my knowledge and skills in various roles across various sites,” Nancy continues. “I have put my business degree to work, and I have developed as a person overall.”

Even though Nancy’s path was unplanned, she said that she saw every chance as a door that had been opened for her. Her career has taken her to a variety of positions. “I moved from an Account Coordinator in our Upstream business in Braeside VIC to a newly created post as Operations Coordinator at BlueScope Distribution, a downstream business of around 32 people, of which I was 2IC (second in charge). After that, I was offered a six-month secondment as a State Supply Chain Manager for the same downstream sector. I then returned to our Upstream business as an Operations Coordinator in our Westernport VIC Manufacturing plant in the Metal Coating department of 130 workers, where again I was 2IC (second in charge).”

Nancy is now the Branch Manager for Metalcorp/Orrcon Steel Morwell. Nancy believes that the best career advice she has received was to “forget role titles, departments, and structure; instead, micro-analyse your role into what you enjoy or dislike and allow that to direct you into what you aspire to next”. This advice has stuck with her to this day. Nancy has seized the opportunities that have come up. She mentions some of the personal and professional development opportunities she has been exposed to that have helped her advance in her career. These include being a mentor for an up-and-coming supervisor going through a Leadership course, chairing the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and getting the Branch Manager role.

Nancy’s experience exemplifies the variety of roles and opportunities available and the various paths your career can take you down. “The belief in me from the company overall has been very humbling.” Nancy was quite young when she first started and believed it was a very official and structured industry at the time. She could see that there were just a few women in positions of influence or management roles that she could visibly aspire to. However, as Nancy has progressed in the company, she has observed the company’s trajectory towards becoming a more inclusive and welcoming place to work.

“There have been some visible changes in structure, policy, and capital dollars spent,” Nancy says. “But there have also been some other not-so-obvious changes in the way the business has prioritised its attitude towards the support of this purpose.”

Nancy may be pleased with various facets of her career success. Her proudest moment, though, was being nominated by her peers for two Women in Industry Awards.

Her next professional step will be to listen to her own advice: “Micro-analyse my current position, and when the negatives start to outweigh the advantages for me at the time, then it’s time to move on to my next challenge.” She adds that her involvement in people and team development has been the most enjoyable aspect of her career thus far, and she may consider returning to that field as her next move.