Human Resource Manager, Corporate
What inspired you to enter and pursue this field?
I have always enjoyed working with people. I strive to help who I can, whether that be in the professional life, or personal life. Being in Human Resources allows me to doing this daily. It also allows me to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds and experiences, which has given me the opportunity for growth and development both professionally and personally.
How did you come to be in this position?
I started my career immediately after graduating from University with a double Honors Degree in Sociology and Anthropology. I have spent the last 15 years working in a variety of Human Resource positions specifically in the Automotive Manufacturing industry. My first position out of university was as a Training Analyst, where I was responsible for documenting, tracking, and analyzing training needs and results. In this position, I became familiar with Adult learning principles and techniques, and began developing internal training courses for the organization. This brought me into my next role as a Training Manager, where I took greater level of responsibility supervising the education and training department, and leading the development of internal trainers. In this role, I gained my first exposure of supervising others. I also was able to work on specific cost savings projects, and improvement projects to our overall HR systems such as succession planning, recruitment, onboarding, and leading external audits. I took the opportunity to become certified as a Corporate Specialist, where I then travelled to the other facilities and provided training and expertise on all aspect of People Development.
After about 5 years focusing mostly on Training and Development, I decided it was time to broaden my understanding and knowledge in other aspects of Human Resources. I then chose to move into the position of Human Resource Generalist for Salary Employment. This position provided me a great opportunity to learn a variety of aspects in HR. I worked closely with Senior Leaders on employee relations, performance management, and recruitment and onboard. This helped me to grow and learn how to provide internal customer service in relation to HR policy. I then took the opportunity to move into a position in the US, where I took the role of People Development Manager. Within this position, I gained experience of managing a department. As this was cross border position, it gave me exposure to American employment requirements and broadened my understanding of the automotive industry as I had moved into a new product line.
After a few years in the US, I decide to come back to Canada to work at the local facility as the People Development Manager. This brought me to a much larger facility with 4000+ employees, and direct responsibility over a much larger team. I was responsibly for the strategic vision over training, development, communication, and future needs of my department. After spending a large chunk of my career focused on Training and Development, I decided to move back into Human Resources. At this time, I chose to switch companies after a 13 year career, this brought me to my current role as a Corporate Human Resource Manager. In this position, I am the trusted advisor for the business and corporate employees, providing functional support and leading corporate wide HR initiatives. This position has been the one where I have had the most growth and development. I left my comfort zone of a company that I spent many years with, I am now learning my way through a new position and a new company. I feel this has been a great move for me and my career, and I have very much enjoyed the challenge!
What advice would you give young women looking to enter your current line of work?
Take every learning opportunity you can. Utilize the experience of those around you, ask questions, never be afraid to speak up when you don't know something. Take opportunities to work on cross functional projects, with cross functional teams, don't be afraid to take on these new opportunities, and move outside of your comfort zone. The growth you will see, both personally and professionally, will be quite significant if you take the opportunity to open your mind and work on something new.
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