Charlotte was the first employee hired by Veran Performance into the role of Marketing Lead. Five months in, she was given a Big, Hairy, and Audacious Goal (BHAG). She was asked to spearhead the launch of myHRcareers, a network for young HR Professionals. One year later, myHRcareers is London’s fastest growing network for aspiring HR professionals and is celebrating its 1-year anniversary on November 26th. Michelle Brailsford, Partner, Jupiter Consulting Group and early supporter and mentor of myHRcareers takes this opportunity to speak to Charlotte about her journey.
Michelle: When you were asked to spearhead the launch of myHRcareers, what were you most excited by?
Charlotte: When I joined Veran Performance, I didn’t know much about Human Resources (Charlotte studied French, Spanish, and the History of Art at Durham University). I had only recently joined the profession and was struck by what a negative perception there was of Human Resources and the future of HR. When I spoke to my friends about HR in their firm, they didn’t have a favourable view of HR. At best, it was viewed as driving processes that weren’t always value added. At worst, HR was viewed as the function that ‘kept people in check’ and managed grievances But when I spoke to the people within the HR industry, I found they had a lot of passion and commitment. So I was most excited at the opportunity to help those new to the profession, like myself, really learn and make the most of their passion. And to help build the reputation of Human Resources.
Michelle: What is the biggest learning you’ve had from launching MyHRcareers?
Charlotte: Even though I was setting up a network, I didn’t fully appreciate the power of networking. I never really got ‘networking’ before, but I’ve learnt that when you build a really authentic one; built on shared interest, it is one of the most powerful ‘tool it’ you’ll ever have. I learned that people are willing to share their time and advice when they connect with you over a shared interest.
Michelle: What strength have you discovered you possess as a result of taking on this project?
Charlotte: Organising all these events has made me realise that I have the ability to ‘make things happen’, and that my passion provides a real spark. Over the last year, I’ve organised 6 networking parties, 5 workshops and one conference. We’ve had over 1,000 number of members attend these events. HR Game Changer conference was organised with less than six week notice. I’m able to take an idea, sell it, gain buy-in and commitment from others with similar levels of passion and make it a reality.
Michelle: What benefits have YOU gleaned from being a member of the network?
Charlotte: I’ve met some incredible people. I’ve benefited so much from every party, workshop – and all the prep in between. Everyone who has been involved either as a coach, member or speaker has given me something new to think about, or some great advice to improve my outlook or working life. Your workshop about Promoting Yourself With Passion really helped me work out my strengths by looking at what you loved to do as a child or what you enjoy doing as a hobby. Teresa helped me understand how to structure my day in order to tap into my most creative thinking. Attending workshops like Achieving your Ambitions has also taught me how to define my goals, and take steps towards achieving them. All of these things are really important for professionals my age and a really hard thing to do without guidance. I think the best thing though has been learning how to talk about the things I’m interested in or challenged by. Being able to share ideas with members has been incredibly valuable and really helped me hold my own in professional situations. The group has been a real confidence boost for me and I hope other members have benefited from it as much as I have.
Michelle: What next? Where would you like MyHRcareers to go?
Charlotte: I would love MyHRcareers to be the number one network for HR professionals in the UK. I want it to be THE place aspiring professionals go to for support and ideas, and THE number one place inspiring senior professionals go to find fresh thinking and incredible new talent. This year I would love to see members getting much more involved in the running of it. We’ve started to do that and a few people have organised events and started writing for the network and so on, but there’s so much more we could do! We’ll invite the members to get more involved with building the community during our anniversary party on November 26th.
Michelle: Any last thoughts?
Charlotte: When I joined Veran Performance, I was excited about the role that Human Resources can play in driving engagement and performance within organisations. As I speak to our members, mentors and coaches, I find that they are excited about the future of HR too! But the challenges and constraints of the industry sometimes wring the passion out of us. I think MyHRcareers can help our member reconnect with the reason they joined the HR Profession in the first place.