The secret of being successful at work and at home

The secret of being successful at work and at home

Jo Tough, Head of Alliances, EMEA, has never put anything above her children. That didn’t stop her from building a great career. Read her story...

Hello, my name is Joanne Marie Tough. My story is a testament that proves it is possible to have a successful career and also be a good mother. Here’s a peek into my world...

I am happily married to Gary, who works in CID for the UK police. Prior to that, my husband worked in the Royal Navy and therefore spent much of his time away at sea. This meant I was the sole caretaker at home.

Family always comes first

I had planned my career centered around my boys. I have tried my best to enable them to take their place in the world as rounded people with great futures ahead of them. Very early on, my husband and I decided that while he focused on his career, I would look after the children and build a stable career. I began working part time for the UK Civil Service. All through this, I didn’t give up on studying. I continued my education part time for my University Higher National Certs, often completing assignments when my children were asleep.

Finding my calling in Sales

After I left the Civil Service, I worked for various companies in sales until I stumbled into a sales role for a cybersecurity distributor in 2012 – here I found my niche. I have always enjoyed the sales aspect of any role as I feel it offers flexibility, and essentially you will get out what you put in. I truly believe that people buy from people, product is important. However, the rapport you build with a client is the key to success. I firmly believe that women can be successful in a sales role as we bring a different approach to the role which some clients find refreshing.

The diary of a sales professional

I spent four years working there, on a steep learning curve, soaking in as much as I could about cyber and selling primarily security products. In 2016, a contact of mine had moved to CSC and was looking for sales staff so I moved into that role. CSC became DXC and I moved into cyber alliances where I loved the networking side of the role. I love talking to people and spent most of my time with partners and at events building relationships and meeting new people.

My journey at Infy so far...

In 2019, I joined Infosys as EMEA Head of Alliances, looking after all our Cyber-Vendor relationships in the EMEA region. A successful alliance manager should spend the majority of their time talking to partners as this is where we will uncover opportunities and intelligence about the cyber market.

Making the best of lockdown

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, I think many people would have expected alliances to struggle, given we could not have a personal interaction with our partners. What it has actually done is given me time to prioritize my workload without spending a majority of time traveling. Now I am able to spend even more time talking with partners, albeit virtually and have had what has been my most successful work year to date.

The biggest challenge in the past year is not being able to spend as much time as I would have wanted to with my children. However, they are both happy and healthy and successful in their careers. I am thankful for that.