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Sophie Carter APHRNZ

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

I began working in recruitment and ended up transitioning over to HR, and stuck with it since! I sit more heavily in the HR project space at present and really enjoy the variety of work on offer.  

What do you love about working in HR?  

I’m a believer of bringing your authentic self to work and being able to thrive, not just survive. We spend a significant portion of our lives at work, so being able to support people in whatever capacity they need to succeed feels so rewarding.  

I am a strong advocate for mental health, wellbeing and diversity, equity and inclusion. I feel proud to be in a career where I can champion such important values, and ensure everyone is loved and respected for who they are.  

I love building relationships across the business, and being a trusted advisor staff feel comfortable to come to for guidance and help. I enjoy the challenge of changing the perception of HR, that we aren’t just a function to hire and fire people. We have a real ability to set everyone up for success and flourish in their environment, providing resource and guidance along the way. We can make a positive impact on someone’s life personally and professionally, I wish I had this support in my younger career.

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

I’m really proud of my progression within the HR arena overall. I have no professional qualification or certifications, all the experience and knowledge I have has been learnt on the job. I am a firm believer you do not need to have a degree to sit within this career, with some determination and a good team, the sky is your limit! 

Its easy to get overwhelmed in an environment where you often come in as the ‘underdog’. I’m glad I dug my heels in at my first HR position and learnt as much as possible.  

What are your thoughts on the Emerging Professional Member process?  

It’s a great, simple process from start to finish, I would highly recommend this to any peers in my position. I found it to be a great exercise to look over the work I have done in my career to date, and to help me look at next steps.   

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

Absolutely! It’s a great tool for recognition and personal development within HR. I look forward to gaining this accreditation.  

What are your next steps in terms of your career?  

I am currently sitting at a developing HR Advisor level. I would like to focus more on the OD side of HR as many of my passions sit within this area. I currently have mentor through HRNZ and this has been a fantastic support system for me, would highly recommend!  

I’d like to continue with mentoring, and ensure I am committing to my own professional development. As mentioned, I do not have a formal qualification linking me to HR but this has not stopped me, and there is always opportunity to learn and grow.  

I have been very fortunate in my career to have great HR teams and people leaders who have encouraged my growth and development and allowed me to propel forward. It can be daunting to be out of your comfort zone consistently, but I’ve found it so beneficial, and you can see the difference it makes.  

I am hoping within the next few years to transition through to HR Advisor then BP, and see where the journey takes me!