Meet Jack Martin

Tell us about your career path so far and your current role.

My career has been focused on leading and collaborating with teams that create digital products, such as websites, mobile apps, digital phone systems, and products customers can use directly. I had four years of experience working at an energy company before joining Shell Energy, so I’m familiar with working in a large-scale business environment. Before I switched to the energy sector, I worked for various consumer businesses. I am now the Head of Digital Product at Powershop, which is Shell Energy’s consumer retailing business. I’ve most recently been working on developing our new website and sign-up platform. The new platform leverages Shell technology systems, providing an improved customer experience, and makes it easy for our customers to choose the right plan through our improved comparison tool.

Did you have a role model or mentor when you first started your career and what was the impact of that?

When I worked in the wine industry in the Geelong area, the head wine maker taught me a valuable lesson to “always lift heavy objects in the winery with my legs, not my back”. He said this applied not only physically, but also metaphorically. It made me think about finding smarter and more efficient ways to do things. You have to consider leverage and scale, and not always do things in the most direct way. Sometimes it’s better to use something that can help you ‘lift’. It is a message that has always stuck with me, and I still think about it to this day.

What impact do you hope to make in your role?

I lead the digital team at Powershop and we’re focused on looking after energy-savvy customers’ needs, such as customers who are interested in electric vehicles and monitoring their home energy use. I think that as a business, we are one of the best-placed companies to look after customers who are more engaged in how they use and consume energy.

For example, we’re providing different electricity plans for electric vehicle owners, so they can choose how they want to use electricity when their car needs a lot of power to charge. The impact I want to have is to help customers and grow our business. I think we can become a tier one retailer in the consumer market in the long term, especially as part of the Shell family.

In a fast-paced industry, how do you balance learning and development and staying on top of your workload and your team’s needs?

I believe learning and development is very important. I recently completed my Master of Business Administration which I found incredibly rewarding and would highly recommend. I was able to learn some interesting frameworks which I now use in my day-to-day work and assist with strategy development. However, this really tested my balance – every Tuesday and Thursday, I would go straight home after work and sit back down in front of a screen for university. So, I just made sure to break it down into smaller tasks and prioritise them. I also used different devices and kept a good separation between work and study to ensure I dedicated enough time to both.

Besides that, we try to learn from other industry groups and peers at other businesses. We find it most helpful when we hear about projects that failed, not the ones that succeeded. Whenever someone talks about something that went wrong, we pay particular attention so we can learn from their lessons.

What is your take on our approach to flexible working? How does it support you?

It helps me to balance my work and focus on the right things at the right time. As I work in the digital space, I need a lot of deep focus for some tasks, like User Acceptance Testing. This involves checking many different pages repeatedly to ensure everything works, which can be hard to do in a busy office, it’s a task I prefer to do at home. Having said that, I love our new office. It is very fresh and modern, with great facilities and meeting rooms. It really helps to boost morale and enhance our culture.

Any advice for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

My advice is to show respect in everything you do, both inside and outside of work. It is important to not only get the work done, but also do it in the right way. You also need to find the right balance between thinking and acting. I tend to be action-oriented, so I make sure I do enough research or planning before I do something. This is very important and has helped me a lot over the years. I also think some extra-curricular studies are very beneficial. I recommend that to anyone, but I know it can be hard to fit in with life. That’s why flexible work is a great option to help us do some extra learning if we have the time and energy.

On a lighter note, I think that a bit of appropriate humour is sometimes necessary. We come to work most days, so we might as well have some fun with what we do. It’s a good tool to use to increase engagement.

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