VIEW: Having multiple skills strengthens adaptability

Following a teenage crush on Mulder in the X-Files, Jo started acting at 15 years old. While building this career and acting alongside the likes of Heath Ledger, Jo undertook a degree in education and became a primary school teacher.

As well as juggling these two career streams, Jo has become a social media influencer, mummy blogger, and of course also manages her most important job of all – being a mum. In this interview, Jo shares how she multitasks and manages her various skills, and her view on what you really can have it all.

  • As someone with multiple professions and skill sets, what is your approach to being flexible in your career?

My approach is to continually train and upskill regardless of the job, career, or industry I am in. I think covid-19 has really shown us that just having one set of skills can limit our adaptability and ability to thrive when things go south. If one area of work becomes unattainable for some time, or even permanently, we need to have a metaphorical bag of skills that we can reach into so we can branch into other areas.  

  • What are some examples of where you’ve had to change your skill set or career path, and how did you approach these challenges? 

Luckily, I have never been in the position to be forced to change my skill set, but I have adapted my skills such as in education, social media, performing arts to capitalise on growth and wealth opportunities. For example, using my knowledge and contacts from my performing arts world to create a thriving blog and social media accounts that support my role as an Australian family influencer through The Magical Oz Family. 

  • Throughout your career, how have you prioritised your various passions, professional opportunities and family needs?

Family will always come first. There’s no ifs, buts or maybes. But, in saying that, it can be difficult to juggle teaching and my role as a Mummy blogger and influencer with my most important role as Mum to my son, Beau. However, as he has been on-screen and on stage since he was three months old, he loves creating his own unboxing videos and doing is own promotions for Nerf, Alcatel etc that we get to spend fun quality time together while filming content for our blog. I am also lucky that my role as a teacher allows for time off on school holidays and weekends so I can pursue my other passions.

  • Do you believe the saying ‘you can have it all’? Why or why not?

To be honest, this saying always confused me I have so much in my life to be thankful for, I pinch myself everyday I wake up. I have a beautiful son, the most amazing family and friends, an amazing career in teaching at one of the most supportive schools in Brisbane and my mental and physical health. In my eyes…that might not be what others think the saying “You can have it all” means, but to me I have it all…..and so much more. 


About the expert

Jo Christiaans is an Australian actress, primary school teacher, mum, social media  influencer and creator of the parenting website The Magical Oz Family.

She is best known for her role as Selena McMillen in Spielberg’s epic television series, Terra Nova and has worked with screen greats such as Heath Ledger, The Rock and Tom Hiddlestone. She lives life to the max juggling successful careers as a primary school teacher, actress and social media influencer. Check out her blog at www.themagicalozfamily.com.au and on Instagram @TheMagicalOzFamily 


Image description: Jo and her son are smiling next to each other, with their hands cupping their faces. Jo has long blonde hair and wears a pink sweater, and her son wears a white t-shirt, has brown hair and is resting his head on Jo’s shoulder.