Practitioner Profile (Jess Marsh): “It Takes Years to Build Trust and a Day for It to Go”
Transitioning to a new job can be difficult, especially when you feel that you’re starting from scratch. Although she faced challenges when first taking on an engagement role, Jess Marsh’s perseverance and willingness to learn from others contributed to her success. Jess depended on the relationships and trust she built with landowners, government officials and co-workers in order to see projects through. Early experiences also showed her the importance of understanding local context. Now, before she starts any new project, Jess looks into what has already been implemented, what worked, what did not work and why it did not work. She recognises that, based on historical context and previous patterns of interaction, the same issue may need to be approached differently in different places. For this reason, she seeks to hear all sides of a story. With a genuine respect for people that transcends her desire for any professional gain, Jess is able to build relationships with landowners that put them at the centre of decision-making in communities.