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After 23 years on the go, Jo slightly slows

• People

Shift manager Jo Thomson has spent half her life as a Wetherspoon employee, in a career which has shaped both her professional and personal life.

Born in Manchester, Jo grew up in Cumbria and completed a degree in sport and leisure, at Coventry University, before joining the company as a trainee manager at The Lord Moon of the Mall (Whitehall).

She spent five years in London, with spells at Victoria and Holborn, before moving to Scotland in November 2000.

Jo, 47, recalls: “An opportunity to step up to deputy manager arose at The Standing Order, in Edinburgh, so I moved to Scotland.

“I spent two years there and met my husband-to-be Steven, who was a kitchen supervisor.”

Steven has since left the company and now works for the Post Office.

An 18-month secondment at The Rochester Castle (Stoke Newington) saw Jo return briefly to London, until she headed north again, to Steven’s native Scotland, to take up a deputy manager position at The Society Room (Glasgow).

Pub manager roles followed at The Capitol (Dundee) – now sold – and The Capital Asset (Perth), before she took a step back.

Jo reports: “I had two young children by then, Euan (now aged 10) and Naomi (now seven), so decided to step back to assistant manager, to balance work and family.

“I spent five years on the management team at Jolly’s Hotel (Broughty Ferry) before moving to The Fair O’Blair (Blairgowrie) in October 2019 to help pub manager Michelle Milne and the team.

“I am currently happy supporting pub managers; however, now that my kids are older and more independent, my own pub might be something I would look at again.”

Jo concluded: “One reason I have stayed with Wetherspoon for 23 years is that it is very supportive, a great company to work for and the way it looks after its staff is second to none.

“I just love working for the company.”