Joanna Maxwell

Work-life specialist for people 40+.


Joanna Maxwell has been helping people reinvent their working lives since 2002. After recovering from her first career as a corporate lawyer she founded her own business as a trainer, coach and writer.

Since then, she’s worked with hundreds of clients: from the paediatrician who became a glass artist, to the property valuer transitioning to his own business, to the teacher who wanted more time to travel and ‘give back’.

Joanna uses an approach first developed during her own personal reinvention. After years searching for a career that felt right, working as in-house counsel, law firm partner, compliance manager, lifeskills teacher, therapist, academic, freelance journalist, creative consultant and film writer, she finally discovered her ‘thing’: working with people who wanted to reinvent their working lives.

What makes her different

There are lots of career advisors out there but Joanna uses a special combination of:

  • Structured creativity delivered in a tailored program
  • The wisdom of age and experience
  • Focus on those in their 40s and older

The structure of Joanna’s programs reflects the rigour and analytical skills learned as a lawyer and her decade-long experience of what works.

The creativity comes from the work she’s done in that other side of her working life, as a writer and in delivering creative thinking workshops (Juicy Thinking) for teams and businesses around the country. The Australian Broadcasting Commission, VECCI (Victorian Chamber of Commerce), Roche Pty Limited, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Industry and Investment NSW and Cover-More Australia, and others have benefited from Juicy Thinking.

Joanna’s experience has been developed in the field and through study. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Laws degrees and is currently completing a Masters of Education specialising in adult learning and over 50s career change. She is also an internationally certified coach and qualified trainer.

Her focus on people 40+ is reflected in her latest report: Journey Without Maps. The report outlines the latest research from Australia and overseas on the over 50s at work, and why keeping them at work benefits us all. It also includes ideas for reinventing your working life.

Speaking and writing

As a freelance journalist for more than 20 years, Joanna shared her insights on business innovation and creative thinking as a contributing writer for AFR Boss magazine, and has also written for publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times and The Bulletin.

She is also a published author of books including a travel guide and her 2014 publication, Juicy Thinking: 50 strategies to kickstart the power of your whole brain. More books are in the pipeline.

As a speaker and facilitator, Joanna has sparked curiosity, thoughtful discussion and laughter through keynotes at events including the Australian Compliance Institute Annual Conference, Flying Solo LIVE! Business and Professional Women (BPW), SBS Direct your Career and the Executive Assistants Network conference.

She has presented less formal talks and interactive sessions for Women Lawyers NSW, She Business Australia, Network Central and many offsites and other get-togethers.


Joanna is an insightful executive coach and career transition adviser – to whom I feel 100% confident referring my clients when they need an expert and trusted guide. Intelligent, connected and worldly-wise, Joanna combines logic, considered thinking and fresh ideas to every interaction.

Kate McCallum, Multiforte Financial Services

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