Sector: Managed Print Solutions
Jackie Jones felt she had more to achieve while working in her admin role, so she self-funded studies to progress within her field.
Where do you call home?
Born and bred in Billingham.
Tell us about your role?
I am the general manger at Digital Office Solutions Limited, located at Teesside International Airport. Primarily we offer managed print solutions nationwide and have, in recent years, expanded our portfolio to include visitor management systems and interactive touch screens. I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and the long-term planning for its future success.
I work with a great team at Digital and even when we have challenging days, we always manage to find a bit of humour in something.
How did you get to where you are today?
I started my working life on a YTS training scheme with what was then ICI to gain office skills such as typing. Many girls of my generation took this route in the early 1980s.
I then gained employment as an office junior in P&O Transeuropean (formerly Michael Baum Holdings), a logistics company based in Billingham, where I continued to work in various roles, ending as admin supervisor for 16 years.
I felt there was more I could achieve, given the opportunity, so while working there I self-funded and studied on an evening to AAT (Association of Accounting Technicans) to technician level.
In 2000, I joined Digital Office Solutions Limited, which had been incorporated for only a year, as office manager. Both Digital and myself have flourished under the guidance of the managing director John Alexander, so much so that when John decided to take a step back from the business in 2016, he chose me to head up the company going forward.
In 2019 (pre Covid), we achieved our highest turnover on record.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
There have been many challenges and struggles along the way as both logistics and managed print solutions are both very male dominated industries. However, a great deal of the struggle came from a lack of confidence that I could achieve my goals and I feel having more positive role models would have helped me with this.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
My lightbulb moment started really when I was giving my input on projects at P&O and people I respected began to listen to my ideas and take them on board. That’s when I started to believe I could achieve success.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Don’t hold yourself back and take on opportunities, even if they are out of your comfort zone – you never know where they might lead and you always gain some knowledge from every experience.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Believe in your own ability.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
We’ve got this!
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