I joined Wunderman Thompson because of the opportunity to drive innovative solutions for our clients.
Jill is a client leader in advertising with 30 years’ experience working alongside some of the world’s top brands including L’Oréal, Kimberly-Clark, Sony, J&J, Unilever and IBM. She spent a large part of her career at the agency group Ogilvy, before moving client-side to Cerebos (now Brand’s Suntory) where she built digital and CRM best practice, trained talents in a centre of excellence and doubled the size of the business within seven years.
Jill came to Shine in 2017 as part of the Wunderman global programme, which they call ‘Pass It On’. She had not long started her current role which is Managing Director of the Taiwan market.
My gremlins were jumping at me: ‘You should give up!’, ‘Shame on you to take on a job you can’t deliver!’
When I first joined Wunderman I experienced a culture shock. The management team had very different ways of operating to what I had been used to, there was a high staff turnover, and two years after I arrived there was a merger with JWT to form Wunderman Thompson.
Pass It On was an opportunity for me to reflect, which came at a time where I really needed it. I was finding it hard to break through the noise and establish myself, and my gremlins had started to creep in, telling me things like; ‘You wanted to be an office head but you’re not qualified.’ ‘You don’t know how to solve the problem even though you’re working 13-hour days.’, ‘You should give up – this is not a place for you!’
Shine was a wakeup call for me
Facing my fears made me realise that I was struggling to make an impact despite working extremely hard. I was spending too much time overly worrying about potentially missing deadlines, meaning we would lose clients, which would then see us getting a bad reputation in the industry. But the reality was that none of this had actually happened. I returned to the business much stronger and more focused.
In 2019, global leadership were looking for a new Taiwan CEO. When I learned it wasn’t me, my first response was ‘Why’s it not me?! I have the right experience!’… However this time, my renewed focus and confidence from Shine helped me realise within seconds that I didn’t want that position at all. I want to be an expert in what I know I’m really good at, not managing the business operation. I want to make Wunderman Thompson the agency that helps clients grow in Taiwan, and that is exactly what I am doing to this day.
I have shifted my energy to focus on what matters.
Since that day I have spent my time meeting clients, running workshops, leading training programmes and working closely with the regional and global Wunderman Thompson teams. Some of my colleagues call me ‘Teacher’, which at first made me feel uncomfortable, but now I really enjoy sharing my experiences and developing talent.
During the pandemic, I have found resilience and have led five internal training programmes, three school courses, four client workshops and seven new business pitches. I have also invested more time exploring my passions outside of work, learning watercolour painting, taking yoga courses and reading. These things make me feel calm, hopeful and progressive, and overall I am much happier with the journey I am on.