Meet a Human Resource Professional
We caught up with Vanessa Doake who is a an Operations and Human Resource Manager at Women’s Legal Service, Victoria. She has over five years of experience in the HR industry, in the past, she has worked in not-for-profit organizations, for the state, and in the health sector.
1.What courses did you study to become a Human Resource Professional? And tell us a bit about your current role?
I initially studied a Bachelor of Arts not long after finishing high school. After three years working in the HR industry and doing a few short courses, I decided to go back to university and study a Post-Graduate Diploma of Human Resources and Organisational Development.
I am currently the Human Resources and Operations Manager at Women’s Legal Service Victoria. I have the privilege of leading a small team, overseeing all facets of human resources and the operational aspects of the organisation.
2.What does a Human Resource Professional do on a day-to day basis?
Roles of a human resource professional vary. There are specialist roles such as talent acquisition, organisational development, diversity and inclusion, workplace relations, and health and safety – to name just a few! As a generalist, and depending on the size of the organisation and industry, you may touch on all of the above on a day-to-day basis.
3.What do you think are the skills a Human Resource Professional should have?
Human resource professionals need to be master multi-taskers, with the ability to manage competing priorities. You may find yourself managing conflict, to getting your preferred candidate across the line, to investigating a complaint – all within the same hour!
Developing business acumen is critical to understanding how to contribute to the organisation’s strategic plan. However, above all, the most important skills are discretion, ethics, and a sense of fairness.
4.What are your favorite things about working in the Human Resource industry?
There is so much variety working in human resources which ensures every day is interesting and challenging. I relish the dual focus of being an advocate for employees, whilst at the same time representing the organisation’s interests.
I love that my job affords me to be in a position where I can influence decisions and implement initiatives to create meaningful jobs, and enriching and supportive workplaces, where businesses achieve their strategic goals and employee’s are valued and their needs are met.
5.What advice would you give students aspiring to work in the Human Resource industry?
Become a student member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and take advantage of the free network training sessions, and the mentoring program.
Additionally, large organisations will provide internship opportunities. Try to do as many of these as you can, as they will assist you in deciding which area of HR you’d like to work in – without experiencing it first hand, it’s hard to know if it will be the right fit for you!
Thank You, Vanessa for sharing your story with training.com.au