Meet Jessica Lennox

Shell Energy’s C&I Operations Manager, Jessica Lennox, is the leader behind the team of experts ensuring our C&I (commercial and industrial) customers’ monthly billing cycles are accurate, stress-free and timely. Before she made her transition into management, Jessica has had to overcome personal obstacles in her quest for success. Read on to learn more about her story and why she hasn’t looked back since joining Shell Energy.

What does your role and day-to-day at Shell Energy look like?

As the C&I Operations Manager for our Brisbane team, I oversee and manage the work my team carries out to ensure successful monthly bill runs whilst maintaining our high operational standards. My day-to-day consists of ensuring our team are humming. From work related matters to building personal relationships, I strive to make sure that everything’s running smoothly and that our team is well supported.

I am also responsible for maintaining internal and external stakeholder relationships, including our network and metering counterparts, as well as onboarding and training new staff to bring everyone up to speed.

You’ve had an interesting path to where you are. Can you tell us more about that?

Living with a hearing impairment certainly has its challenges. For most of my life I have always felt the need to prove to people that I am just as capable as everyone else, which was realistically just a state of altered self-perception caused by the stigma around the use of hearing aids. Looking back at past me, this now feels a little silly when I consider everything I have accomplished. Overcoming that mentality has greatly helped shape my resilience and driven the point home that my determination to be the best version of myself, despite any perceived shortcomings, is my real strength.

Prior to coming into the Shell Energy fold, I truly had no idea how much I would love the challenge that the energy industry affords me every single day. My constant willingness to learn and drive to find solutions for our customers has truly kept that excitement alive, and it is definitely a far cry from any other operational role I have encountered.

When the position for C&I Operations Manager came about, I was ready for my next big challenge, so it just made sense to go for it. I had both the qualifications and on-the-ground experience within my team. My supervisors knew I possessed the skills and knowledge needed to take the role and make it my own and have held confidence in me the whole way. Safe to say it has been a really good fit for me.

Would you say you have a different perspective as a manager because of your background?

I think due to my hearing impairment I have developed high levels of emotional intelligence, particularly in “reading the room” and knowing the right things to say. I also understand what it feels like to not be supported, experience frustration or not know where to go for help. I have always been able to put myself in someone else’s shoes, and I think that has helped shape me into an approachable and relatable manager that my team can respect. I am very proud to have a good working relationship with my team. We are a close-knit community of hard workers who have fun doing what we love.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your role?

The transition from Operations Analyst to Manager has been one of my biggest challenges to date; shifting my mindset from completing task related items to becoming the leader of the team – the bar was set high as they were already a high performing cohort!

What about the other side, what is the thing you are proudest of from your work at Shell Energy?

One of my biggest milestones here at Shell Energy was having the opportunity to work on our Life Support automation project, a system-generated regulatory communication process for customers requiring life support on their site/s, whilst in my earlier role as Operations Analyst and seeing that through to fruition. It was one of my first experiences working with our IT squads to build, define and roll out system design to help reduce time spent by our Operations team processing and managing Life Support to ensure we are compliant in meeting regulatory requirements.

This project not only increased my analytical skillset but also gave me a real feel for leadership, working alongside the leadership team at the time and coming to understand their thought process, and the questions I should be asking. This experience really helped me to start making executive decisions, and I remember being fully supported throughout that process. The project took almost a year to deliver and by playing an integral part of that project I feel I went from strength to strength across all aspects, which helped me transition into the role I am in today.

What would you say is the main thing you like about working at Shell Energy?

The people, 100%. The industry itself is also interesting – the market is constantly evolving, fast paced and can keep you on your toes – I am still learning something new every day. But especially the people because I could not do my job without them. We spend at least 38 hours a week at work, so being surrounded by a team of legends makes everything easier.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I would say take the leap! Coming from someone who hadn’t considered energy as an option, I took the opportunity when it came about and have not once looked back or regretted the change in career path that I made.

The electricity market is fast paced and so dynamic in the way that it works, it is very much one-of-a-kind. If you are up for a challenge and thrive in an inclusive high performing workplace, I think Shell Energy really is the place to be.

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