Jo Davies

Managing Director of HR Alchemy, Middlesbrough

Sector: HR

After losing her job as a successful HR director within the steel industry, Jo Davies decided to open her own business and is now managing director of Middlesbrough-based HR Alchemy. 

Where do you call home? 

Middlesbrough.  

Tell us about your role?  

I am the managing director of HR Alchemy. We offer bespoke and personable HR solutions for forward-thinking businesses.  

How did you get to where you are today? 

Before my current role, I was a successful HR director within the steel industry. However, when steel prices plummeted in 2015, the business I worked for went into liquidation, meaning that I lost my job. So I licked my wounds and in 2017, I made the decision to set up my own HR business.  

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

Setting up your own business is not for the faint-hearted. To begin with, you have to hold your nerve as you may see negatives in terms of your bank balance. Sometimes you might not get paid on time by certain clients, so it can take a strong person to survive on their own. But I wouldn’t change it for the world now. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

My nominations for best newcomer and Tees Businesswoman of the Year award at the Tees Businesswoman Awards really made me feel like I had achieved success. 

Do you have any advice to aspiring young females? 

Don’t give up in the first few months. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint and when things don’t go your way initially, learn from them and move on. It sounds a cliche but you will get there in the end if you work hard and don’t give up. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Firstly, don’t spend so much on clothes, shoes and bags (!!) and secondly, you need to really enjoy your job so don’t settle for a job that’s not fulfilling – you don’t get a second chance at life. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Decisions determine destiny. 

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