03 Feb Introducing our very own ‘Power’ couple: Jo and Matt
Co-authored with Jolene e Sousa, Power Platform & Dynamics 365 Lead Functional Consultant at Eighty20 Solutions
As partners in life and work, Jolene E Sousa and Matt Noble, have a rock solid relationship based on respect and appreciating their complementary strengths. They talk about what makes them tick and what they’re looking forward to as Eighty20 continues to lead the way in transforming business outcomes with the Power Platform.
The story of Jo and Matt started as a simple tale of boy meets girl. As with many office romances, boy and girl start making more of an effort with wardrobe and general appearance. And before you know it, a blend of chemistry and friendship turns into something really special.
“I was working at the Department of Training and Workforce Development in Perth and Jo joined as a contractor,” says Matt. “We had this instant friendship and started spending more and more time together.”
“I think everybody knew there was something more between us,” adds Jo. “Our team members started noticing we were both dressing much better for the office which was a pretty clear sign of what was going on.”
A balancing act in lockdown
It wasn’t long before Matt was snapped up by Eighty20, making the move to Melbourne, with Jo joining him soon after. As they’ve both joined the team in the midst of the COVID pandemic, working together from home has been the norm for much of their time with the company. While this was definitely a test for their relationship, it’s taught them both a lot about getting the balance right between their working life and everything else they enjoy doing.
“Lockdown was a learning journey in so many ways,” says Matt. “We were working side-by-side each day and it really started to take over. Work became something we talked about constantly and we just weren’t giving our relationship the focus it needed. So we made a decision to spend time deliberately setting work aside and talking about other things that are important to us.”
“Matt is really good at reading cues,” says Jo. “He noticed that something wasn’t right and was able to talk about it before things got away from us. That’s been one of the good things about lockdown, being able to learn each other’s cues and be more conscious about separating our home life from work.”
Professional and personal strengths
Jo has always had a life that’s very rich in creativity outside of work, but lockdown isn’t the first time she’s struggled to make time for other interests. “Jo loves working on her art and playing piano but she can find it hard to free up her energy for these things when she’s anxious about work,” says Matt. “When we first started working together, I took it upon myself to help her get the help she needed when stress about work started taking over.”
“Her creative flair really helps in her Power Apps work too,” Matt adds. “The way her brain works with art flows into technology and she’s great at designing applications, just a natural when it comes to the Power Platform. She’s also amazing when it comes to working with clients and is very clear and concise when presenting. Her analytical mind makes her an amazing asset but I also know that the way she always wants to solve things can make it hard for her to switch off when she needs to.”
Jo agrees that it can be hard to stop thinking about work at times and Matt has really helped her to let things go when she’s getting too anxious.
“I want to solve everything now, whereas Matt is really good at being present and reacting to the situation in front of him,” says Jo. “I like to always be prepared so we complement each other well in that way. He’s also very brave and not afraid to take risks from time to time. And he has a huge heart. He always believes in people in our team and is there for them when they need support, just like he is for me.”
Security and belonging
While Matt and Jo have a pretty amazing relationship, they also have a lot of love and gratitude for their Eighty20 team. If it hadn’t been for the supportive culture they’ve always experienced, the pressures of working in a fast-paced environment and through lockdown would have put a far bigger strain on their lives and relationship.
“We have a ‘team first’ culture at Eighty20,” says Matt. “We’ve both worked in other organisations where you’re hardly more than a number. Here it’s different – from the way they organise events and get us involved, to having hands-on leaders who really listen. You always feel thought about and we all have a shared commitment to quality. Everyone shows up to work ready to do their absolute best.”
Jo agrees that they’ve both been lucky to become part of a team that’s really dedicated to innovation and transforming how their clients experience life at work.
“Working with the Power Platform definitely feels like a job for life,” says Jo. “The world is relying on technology more and more. By helping our clients with a low code approach to developing apps we’re enabling people to do more with technology in their day-to-day lives. And it’s also a really rewarding career path where you’ve got great job security and get to solve a lot of problems. Plus you can learn a lot on the job so you don’t have to set a huge amount of time aside for doing study.”
Having said this, Jo says she’s grateful that Eighty20 are supporting her to keep progressing with her certification as a Power Platform leader. “Jo and I are really lucky to be building something together, in the personal and career sense,” says Matt. “We’re really in a privileged position to be in the roles that we’re in with Eighty20. We’re definitely motivated to get the best out of it and make a joint effort to set ourselves up for a really promising career and future together.”