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Jess Yardley APHRNZ

What led you to a career in HR/ the position that you are in currently?  
I have always wanted to work in a role where I was helping people. For a while, I explored becoming a teacher, a nurse or a social worker (I even studied for a couple of years to become a social worker but it wasn't for me!). I have also grown up with parents who have been self employed for my whole life and I admired the positive relationships they had with their staff. HR felt like a good fit. 

While I had worked in HR-type roles before having children, starting with EssentialHR four years ago was really my first "proper" position in a professional HR setting. I started here as an HR Administrator, after having my second (and last) baby, but over the last four years, this role has grown into one of an HR Advisor. For various reasons, my role has grown and developed quickly. I have learnt more than I imagined possible, during this time, and am grateful for the support that my Employer, Mike, has given me, and his belief in what I am capable of. 

What do you love about working in HR?  
I love the variety that each day brings. Working in the consultancy space allows me to support business owners and managers in many different industries, with many different people-related situations. 

I also really enjoy seeing the positive difference our assistance can make. Whether that be helping to rebuild relationships, supporting business owners and managers through tricky processes, gaining positive outcomes or just being a sounding board for them, "holding their hand" in support.  
Being an Employer can be really difficult, especially in a small to medium sized business setting, and I enjoy being able to support those who perhaps don't have the HR knowledge or resources that they need. 

What is an achievement so far in your career that you are proud of?  
I think that achieving the Emerging Professional Accreditation is one of the real highlights of my career, so far. I have worked extremely hard over the last four years, growing my skill set quite rapidly with the support of Mike. While juggling it alongside raising a family and studying, it hasn't always been easy, so achieving this accreditation means a lot to me. 

In a work setting, I am really proud of the relationships I have built with clients. I now have clients who come to me as their first point of call for advice and assistance, which I believe shows their trust in me and my ability to provide them with good advice and support. 

What are your thoughts on the Emerging Professional Member process?  
I found the process really great. It wasn't too onerous, but gave me the opportunity to really reflect on what I had achieved so far. The Path cards also helped me to map this out, helping me to identify what competency categories I fit into. 

Do you plan to now work towards becoming a Chartered Member?  
Absolutely. Once I have finished my degree, working towards being a Chartered Member will likely be my next professional goal. 

What are your next steps in terms of your career?  
At the moment, and alongside continuing to grow in my role as an HR Advisor, my main goal is to finish my Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management. I have been studying part time, while juggling family life, raising two young children, my job and all the other things in between. I hope to have this finished in the next couple of years. 

It is also no secret that my Employer, Mike, is likely to partially retire in the near future, so I will, at some point, be looking for new employment opportunities to support my continued career development and exposure in the HR industry.