Career file: Joanne Gregory

This month Joanne Gregory, age 37, HR manager with responsibility for training at chartered accountants James & Cowper, talks about the variety of her work


How long have you been with your company?


Two months.


What does your role involve?


I look after the full HR function at the firm.


What’s the best thing about your job?


I have always liked the variety of working in this field – no two days are ever the same and I rarely come into the office knowing what my day is going to be like.


What’s the worst thing about your job?


As James & Cowper has 120 staff across three Thames Valley offices, it’s trying to be in two places at once.


What is your current major project or strategic push?


Having only been with the firm for two months, I am still getting to grips with a new role – trying to learn everyone’s name would be a good start.


Preferred terminology – training, development, education, learning or performance improvement?


Development.


Most loathed buzzwords


"Sexy", "ball park figure" and anything to do with the Internet.


Do you think you are good at self development?


I certainly hope so.


What self development have you done in the past six months?


I am constantly trying to update my knowledge of employment law.


Where do you want to be in five years’ time?


Healthy and happy, running a bigger department, living in a bigger house.


What was the most useful course you ever went on?


Because I organise courses as part of my job, I don’t get to go on many myself. However, I am looking forward to attending one on time management.


What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?


Archaeologist or librarian.


What was your first job?


A recruitment consultant.


What was the best career decision you ever made?


Joining one of my previous employers who had a very positive attitude to development.


What was the worst career decision you ever made?


Joining a certain jewellery company which turned out to be completely awful.


How many minutes is it since someone senior in your organisation said, "People are our greatest assets"?


About an hour ago.


Evaluation – holy grail or impossible dream?


Impossible dream, but it doesn’t stop me trying.


How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time?


Improvements in technology should take some of the admin away (I live in hope!)


What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future?


The same as now – it is all about people and understanding what motivates them.


What advice would you give to someone starting out in training and development?


Be realistic about what you can achieve – not everyone is as enthusiastic as you.


If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?


A fashion designer for evening wear, or on the other end of the scale, running a cats’ home.


Do you take your work home with you?


I have a big fat briefcase which sits in my hall every night and never gets opened.


What is your motto?


Tomorrow is another day.


Describe your management style in three words or less


Focused, friendly, trusting (in other people’s ability).


How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?


As someone who helped them develop and realise their potential.

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