Changing lanes

the job you want and knowing how to get it is not easy. Fiona Brady, director
of HR consultancy HRHR, describes how she helped Julie through this process

I met Julie. After 19 years with Boots, she is taking redundancy from a
field-based HR role where she’d advised the most senior operational directors
within the organisation.

strategically took a secondment to support their contact centre, and has
supported the employee relations advisers on issues ranging from group-wide
policy gaps to employment tribunal issues.

discussed what Julie is looking for now, and what her main motives were for
leaving. We identified that she wanted to be challenged, and wished to try
another industry and organisation to prove that she can deliver the same ‘added
value’, and also gain creditability.

looked at three areas; organisations symmetrical to Boots, roles and companies
that she would be interested in, and the steps she would need to take to get
where she wanted to go.

she could make a decision on how to approach the job search, she needed to look
at the core motivation behind what she wanted for the long-term. This came down
to updating her Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
continuing professional development log, which she could then use to upgrade
her status to fellow of the CIPD.

recognised that the role she had at Boots was a regional operational HR role,
which was disappearing with centralisation. It also wasn’t going to give her
the recognition, personal development or financial rewards that she wanted.

recognised that she had successfully avoided four rounds of redundancy in this
role, and that taking a similar post would once again leave her open to

was time to look at sustainable roles for the skills she has and is aiming to
obtain. With the de-layering of HR management, we had to think carefully about
opportunities that would lead her to a possible consultancy role later.
Consultancy can be frightening if you have been institutionalised, or with a
company at senior level for a long time. The biggest problem is finding new
business, but effective networking is often the best way forward.

Julie to go down this route, she could base her own business back on interim
jobs at Boots, set up as a pharmacy agency, or work for an outsourced agency
two days a week on a day rate to subsidise her own start-up.

so many options, we summarised our plan by exploring possibilities with
Claires, LunnPoly, Gap, Next and Adams for area human resource management work,
bearing in mind that this may be a short-term role with limited headroom.

suggested facilities management organisations for her operational skills, such
as ISS, Rentokil, Carillion and Atkins. For Interim or senior roles, I
suggested Reckitt Benkeiser, LLoyds Pharmacy and AAH.

of taking a scattergun approach to the positions available, Julie was able to
plan the interim or permanent roles she needs to help her achieve on her
long-term career goals.

felt confident that she had choices, and also found peace of mind in knowing
the way the marketplace is changing. This would enable her to seize the
opportunities created by these changes, rather becoming a casualty of them.

Brady is director of HR consultancy HRHR (,
and will be talking at a fringe meeting on careers for HR professionals at this
year’s CIPD conference at Harrogate.

meeting takes place on 22 October at 6.30pm at St George Hotel, Harrogate.

more tips on finding career success, read Fiona Brady’s guide in Personnel
Today, p40

names in this article have been changed

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