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Sean Mitchell APHRNZ

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

My journey towards HR surprised myself a little bit! In high school I was extremely passionate towards technical work in the theatre industry, and I realized one of the drivers behind this passion was the working with and leading people as a Stage/Production Manager. This lead to me working towards management roles where I could experience similar interactions, and this passion only grew as I moved across different roles, and interacted with different diverse groups of people, all with their own stories, experiences, and obstacles in the workplace. Listening to the people I worked with everyday really helped me to understand just how much you can make a difference in an HR role or with HR influence on roles across a company.  So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to enter the industry when my current role became available!

What do you love about working in HR? 

The best part of working in HR for me will always be seeing the impacts of the work that I do on employees in the business. With all the differences that make up who we are as individuals, there’s never going to be one solution or one way of going about things that will improve the working lives of every single employee. Knowing, however, that for each tactic or initiative that I work on or am involved with will make being at work that little bit better for at least one person, means absolutely everything to me.

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

One thing I am extremely proud of is my involvement in our annual Te Wiki o te reo Māori celebrations. This is something that has grown year-on-year and is now considered a standard annual celebration in our business with involvement from employees all around the country. It has been a pleasure to connect with employees from all backgrounds within this role, and in cases such as this, showcase some of their stories and help others (especially myself!) learn more about their experiences, our country, and one of our national languages. I look forward to continuing to support work in this space as it expands beyond HR-led initiatives and across other departments in the business.

What are your thoughts on the Emerging Professional Member process?

Honestly, it did seem like a lot on first impression, but once I read through the resources, especially around the CPD process, I realised this was a realistic and achievable goal for me to work on. The submission process was easy and it was great to receive the support from my colleagues in working through this process.

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

Definitely. It’s a great piece of recognition to achieve within the HR industry. 

What are your next steps in terms of your career?

Whilst in my current role, I’m really enjoying being able to provide input into and learn so much about so many different areas and domains of knowledge in the HR field. Each day presents a new challenge and I look forward to continuing my development both within this role, and into future roles to come.