Meet the team – Writer & Proposal Manager, Jess Fox

From managing multiple tenders to learning a range of dance steps – proposal manager and ballroom dancer, Jess Fox is a talented member of the Tendup team.  

1. We’d love to learn about your career journey and what inspired you to begin freelancing? 

I have had an unconventional start to my journey as a proposal manager – which I think adds an additional layer of diverse experience and value to every tender I manage. 

My career began in the hospitality industry first as a functions coordinator and then running my own catering company. Part of the role was bidding on catering tenders and contracts. I loved that component of the role so when an opportunity arose at Westpac in bid management, I took a chance on a new career. 

Before I knew it, I was working in Westpac’s institutional side liaising with their large corporate customers. It was an incredible team and I learnt so much about end-to-end proposal management. Six years in the role quickly flew by in the fast paced, global environment. 

After half a decade in the role, I was suddenly managing a toddler amongst a pandemic. I decided to change course and start my freelancing career. Early last year, Tendup Proposal Manager Nicole Dunbar reached out to me on LinkedIn and I have been with the Tendup team ever since. 

2. How do you feel your time as an in-house bid manager at Westpac helps you relate to Tendup’s corporate clients? 

I feel that my tenure at Westpac provided a diversity of thought and experience that is useful across the range of tenders we work on at Tendup.  

If I had to conjure up numbers, I would say that I worked on at least 200 RFT’s and 300 proposals at that time. It was truly a world of ‘hitting the ground running’ working with different deal teams and product specialists.  

It also taught me the art of liaising with a range of stakeholders to achieve impactful results. I honed my skills in understanding the best way to extract information from people and getting them to achieve excellent results for the team. 

3. What considerations are top of mind to make every tender stand out from the crowd?

I often work with clients to determine what problem they are solving. If you are bidding for new work, you need to find a solution that is superior to their current vendor. It is about determining what our client’s point-of-difference is to stand out from the crowd.  

As external bid managers we must be adept at conducting in-depth research. My finance background, with an IT overlay, has been beneficial for walking into tenders with an innate understanding of each industry’s nuances. It means I can be across complex issues quickly and nimbly slot into our client’s teams.  

I like to think of myself as chameleon easily moving between a range of clients – offering tailored and expert advice. 

4. Your career journey has gone from strength to strength at Tendup – starting as a writer and now in a hybrid role across writing and proposal management. How do you feel having both editorial and project management skills are beneficial to external clients?

Concise and impactful writing is a core element of any tender. When a proposal manager has both editorial and project management skills it is another way we get in and drive the process so our clients can take back time to focus on their other priorities.  

I always say that the big benefit of working with Tendup is that we bring the clarity of skills by dedicating our time to the client’s specific tender. This also frees up the salesperson to focus on their relationship management piece. Bringing back capacity and focus for all parties involved. 

6. Tendup is fortunate to have a talented team across Australia. Where are you located and why do you think working flexibly is a unique asset the Tendup team bring?

I think people have moved away from the idea that you need to be in the same location. It does not matter if we are 200 metres or 2,00 kilometres away. The main thing is that everyone in the team of focused on our client’s deliverables, meeting deadlines and delivering superior work.   

Thanks to advances in technology, that also means that Tendup can tap into a network of employee who are the absolute top of their game.  

I am based in Melbourne and love knowing that any given time I am in a Teams meeting with someone in Canberra or regional Queensland. 

7. We hear the Tendup team loves to ‘hit the ground running.’ We hear you are fan of ballroom shoes instead of joggers?

That is right! I have danced all my life. When I was younger, I focused primarily on musical theatre styles but started ballroom dancing in my twenties. I dance more than 20 distinctive styles including tango, foxtrot, jive and salsa.  

With partner dancing, it is all about understanding your partner’s communication style to achieve the best results.  When you perform, you have a brief time to perfect your routine before the performance. I love that these skills translate into my professional life as well. 

Meet the Tendup team 

You can learn more about Tendup’s talented team here.  

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