My big break

Mark Sherburn has been at Canon (UK) for 10 years and is currently general
manager of personnel. Prior to Canon, on leaving university, he joined Asda as
a retail manager, before moving into the HR department. He then worked for
Lewisham Council as head of training and development for Leisure Services. Here
he talks about his biggest break in HR

"My most important HR career move to date was taking on the role of
general manager for training and development at Canon, after working as
national sales manager on indirect sales products. My experience as a sales
manager meant I brought with me a much wider perspective of the organisation.

Switching functions also gave me the energy and desire to achieve new
targets, while having the proven ability to support the sharp-end needs of the

"Working closely with my European colleagues has had a huge impact
professionally – enabling me to really stretch myself while working alongside
different nationalities. The role has also given me a solid grounding in a wide
range of training and development disciplines such as management development,
sales, IT and product training.

"Through this role I developed a far more strategic impact on the
organisation as I was able to closely liaise at director level, and identified
key areas that could be improved.

But more than anything the position enabled me to establish myself as the
senior representative of the training and development department, and gave me
the chance to influence the company, which is something I value greatly."

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