After graduating from Southampton University, Jill worked for the voluntary sector with homeless people before qualifying as a social worker in 1982. Jill worked for Hampshire Social Services for 20 years, taking a secondment to America in 1993 to study mental health services. After returning she became Area Directors of the New Forest responsible for Children and Adult Social Care Services and then Assistant Director for Disability Services across Hampshire.

In 2005 Jill moved to Cumbria to become Director of Adult Social Care and 2009 Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council. Jill led the recovery from the Cumbria floods in November 2009 and the rebuilding of infrastructure over the following 3 years. Jill retired from the Council in 2013 and now serves as Non-Executive Director on Cumbria Partnership Trust.