Let's Get Real: Jo Parker

Get Real Jo Parker

What has made you stay at Allsopp & Allsopp for so long......?

I must get asked this question on 95% of the interviews I conduct. During lockdown, I was stuck in the UK for 15 weeks and I had a lot of time to reflect, especially as I was coming up to my 10 year Allsopp & Allsopp anniversary.

So, the answer is simple - the people. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with the best support team and brokers in Dubai, but our Management team is second to none. The Allsopp & Allsopp family is unique and slightly bonkers at times but that's what makes us who we are. We work hard but have so much fun along the way, which - when you're 3500 miles away from your friends and family - is so important.

Where did it all begin?

On 29th July 2010 I joined Allsopp & Allsopp. At the time the company was based out of a villa in Al Wasl with only 15 people.

I knew Lewis Allsopp from my time in Dubai and we had an agreement that if it all went terribly wrong, we would remain friends and we shook hands on it. He gave me 3 months to prove myself and for us both to decide whether my Real Estate career would be a success!

I started as most of our new recruits do - in a lettings role where I covered the Emirates Living community and I absolutely loved the job! Don’t get me wrong, it was tough - very tough, and having left a well paid salaried role, I did at times question if I had made the right decision but I wasn't going to give up on the opportunity. I spent 10 months in Lettings and did really well. Our lettings team at the time was very competitive and there were 5 of us always pushing for the Number 1 slot and I more than proved myself to Lewis!

Tell us about your Allsopp & Allsopp journey so far?

After 10 months working with the company I progressed into sales working, again, in the Emirates Living community. It took me a few weeks to adjust to the slower pace and being in the office more but it was the best decision I made. It was during my time in Sales and due to the platform Allsopp & Allsopp gave me, that my life changed dramatically. I remember receiving a payslip and overnight it felt as though I went from existing to living which was an amazing feeling to have. As anyone in Real Estate will know, sales is a rollercoaster and the highs are fantastic but the lows are tough at times. After 4 years and 2 months I had started to think about how much longer I thought I could keep doing the job for but I loved the company so I never wanted to leave.

In Jan 2015 the stars aligned and I was offered the role as HR Director as sadly our old HR Director was relocating back to the UK, my initial response was "No thank you, that role is not for me!". I will never forget Lewis's and Marc Walters (Managing Director) faces when I said no - the shock was funny looking back. They both said that I should really consider the role and said I was perfect for it. I did the thing most of us do in a situation like this - I called my mum and dad! They said I should 100% go for it and also thought the role would suit me. The very next day, I went back in and accepted the job and have never looked back since.

What has been your career highlight?

My highlight has been watching the company grow from 15 people when I first joined to 85 when I took the role of HR Director to now where we have a solid team of around 250.

I've been in my current role just over 5 and a half years, I've learned so much, progressed my career to a level I could have only dreamed of and I literally LOVE my job. No day is the same, I get the pleasure of seeing people relocate and join us here in Dubai and who also change their lives forever due to the same opportunity I was given 10 years ago which is the best feeling in the world.

Over the past 10 years there have been so many highs, some lows, I've welcomed so many new people and sadly saw people leave. I've been there to give people good news and had to deliver bad, I've laughed with people, cried with people, celebrated and commiserated. There have been boat parties, villa parties, annual awards ceremonies and we've danced until the early hours of the day, the Allsopp & Allsopp family are the best home away from home anyone could ask for.

Sincerely I want to thank everyone who I've had the pleasure of working with and alongside during my career at Allsopp & Allsopp but most importantly to Lewis, Carl & Gary for giving me the opportunity. I know at times I've been a handful to deal with and you've been there for me during some really tough times in my personal life but I've had the most amazing 10 years and the good times totally outweigh the tough times. Here's to many more years working together at Allsopp & Allsopp.

3 Top Tips for someone making the move

1. Make sure you have enough financial support to relocate.
2. Do your homework on the company you're considering.
3. Make sure the company is providing you with a visa immediately.

My one bit of extra advice to anyone considering a move is get in touch, it's going to be hard work but it will be the best experience in your life, plus you get to earn life-changing money! If I can do, what's holding you back!

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