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Claudia Serra APHRNZ

What led you to a career in HR/ the position that you are in currently?   

My drive to pursue HR stemmed from an incident 6 years ago when I was working in a different industry. I was invited to a formal meeting about my performance, a week into the future, with no further context provided. After a few sleepless nights, the meeting with my manager and HR was to be told they didn’t want my phone on my desk while I was working as it was distracting me. I left that meeting thinking “Really? That was it? There has got to be a better way to handle these things”.  

I wanted to be the person who managed those situations so I could do it in a way that was fair and kind, without causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. I used to believe HR was only “for the company” and wanted to change that view. I have found over time that it is what we each make of it, and we all have unique environments, approaches, and beliefs on what good HR looks like 😊 

What do you love about working in HR?   

I am passionate about being communicative, empathetic, and kind when carrying out my HR work – whether it is day to day problem solving, or holding difficult conversations. I am equally passionate about supporting my managers to do the same. Seeing them grow and confidently start to lead their teams or navigate new situations really fills my cup! 

What is an achievement so far in your career that you are proud of?   

My first HR Advisor role was a sole charge role in a company that had not had internal HR before. I am really proud of how I navigated that environment, and the learnings I had from being thrown in the deep end a few times. I’ll never forget the sheer panic I felt when I held my first disciplinary! I had no idea if what I was doing was right. I had to trust my skills, my gut, and the advice online from Employment NZ! I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career, and I was lucky to have a boss who supported and trusted me. 

What are your thoughts on the Emerging Professional Member process?   

I enjoyed working my way through the process. It was simple to follow and gave me a great opportunity to reflect on my career to date. 

Do you plan to now work towards becoming a Chartered Member?   

Yes, definitely. 

What are your next steps in terms of your career?   

As I’m still fairly new into my HR career, the goal right now is to keep learning and gain confidence in my ability to be a trusted advisor and go-to person. I am still figuring out where my true passion lies within the HR domains, and where I can add the most value.