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Interview With a Professional in HR: Rachael Urwin, HR Manager, Calor

News Categories: aspirefuture

What was your first job?

I worked as the Sunday girl at Jaeger in the Mailbox.

Did you ever imagine to be undertaking your current role, if not, what did you want to be doing?

No, if I’m honest I don’t think I’d have known what Talent/Development was when I was originally looking into career paths! I’d originally hoped to be a journalist – I wanted to be part of the buzz of a newsroom, love writing and am known to be somewhat chatty – so I thought it’d make good use of my skills & interests!

Which parts of your role are the most and enjoyable and which parts are the most challenging?

I actually have the same answer for both questions: people! Dealing with people every day is fascinating, infuriating and will forever keep me on my toes – and it’s exactly that variety and unpredictability that keeps me motivated. Being able to coach and engage people to find what they love, what they’re good at – that’s the best bit about my job. When you see the ‘light’ turn on during a career coaching conversation – you really feel like you’ve made a difference.

How do you balance your working and personal life?

I’m really lucky in that I love what I do – but I try and remember that not everyone is the same! There’s a lot of cross over between what I’m interested in and my day job, so often the line is a bit blurred, but fundamentally I just make sure I spend quality time with the people I love as often as I can.

What advice would you give to a young professional wanting to progress in your industry?

In terms of talent/development – I think the best advice is to be genuinely interested in what you do. More generally – recognise that the next step up will come as a result of what you’re doing now – and focus on how you can do that even better. Identify the skills you already have that are transferable – and any development areas that you’d like to work on. Self awareness is hugely valuable (and rare) so really sets people apart.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years’ time?

I try not to be too specific – I think life has a habit of changing even the most concrete of plans and I prefer to be flexible to the opportunities that come along! That said, I always look at what motivates me, what I enjoy and what I’d like to develop, and seek out opportunities based on how many of those boxes they tick! With that in mind, I’d like to be working in a role that has a broader scope, preferably internationally and with a focus on people.

What’s the best tip or piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The things that make you different are the things that people value you for. Focus on your strengths and the things that make you, you – and manage them to the best of your abilities.

What do you enjoy the most in/ about Birmingham?

The people.