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Investing in Your Future

Having initially studied Sports Therapy at University, I thought I would be on my way to a long and happy career in sport. Then reality hit me and I realised that the application of my degree was not as much fun or as interesting as the past three years I spent learning it! So there I was, at one of those “cross roads” in life, do I continue down a route that my heart is not in, or do I change career?

I knew that I enjoyed interacting with people and the buzz of the busy office environment and when I was given the opportunity to spend time in a Human Resources department, I began to experience the job satisfaction I was looking for. So, decision made! HR it would be, and the search began for an appropriate qualification from a reputable and professional training organisation. Having searched long and hard and having compared many training organisations, I finally chose DPG as their approach was so professional right from the very start.

This has proven to be the best decision of my career so far. The time, effort and money that I have invested in pursuit of my CIPD qualification has been money well spent. The course programme has developed a deeper understanding of the HR practitioner role and how the role adds value to an organisation through the development of HR strategies, policies and procedures. The programme developed my strategic awareness and how the activities within HR need to be aligned with the goals and objectives of the organisation. Most importantly it has provided me with the necessary skill set to launch my new career as I've just secured my first HR role within an excellent organisation who are willing to continue to support my learning.

It's daunting looking for your first HR role and having registered with various recruitment agencies across Cheshire & Merseyside, I soon realised using a recruitment agency was a timely process and didn’t produce the results I set out to achieve often relying on others for jobs to be put forward to me.  I therefore took it upon myself to search for the job vacancy that I was looking for, HR Assistant. Within a week of searching the internet and recruitment sites I soon secured two job interviews.

Interviews are a scary process, one which I always find myself worrying about, and questioning if I have the ability to make a good enough impression on the day. Having shared my thoughts through the community page I soon realised I wasn’t alone and the support I received spurred me on to challenge myself and prepare thoroughly ready for my big day.

In the up coming days before my interview I used the STAR model to help prepare interview questions in which I felt I maybe asked on the day, to ensure I felt confident throughout my interview. I then researched both companies to gain a better understanding of their missions and values and also put some thought into questions which I could ask them, to demonstrate I had thought about the business context as well as my personal ‘wants’.

When I reflect on the steps that I took to address my career, I realised that the initial outlay and effort I made, produced the best return on investment I could have wished for.

On that note, I would like to say many thanks to all the team at DPG, especially those involved with the Community and my facilitator Fiona Chatham, as your advice and support on the day was invaluable :)

Laura

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Comments

  • Hi Lucy

    There are loads of resources available on the internet using the STAR Model - here are a couple that you may find useful:

    STAR responses

    Guardian article

    In short the model asks you to think about:

    S ituation

    T ask

    A ctivity

    R esult

    It's a good way of mapping out your responses in behavioural / competency interviews.

    Best of luck :-)

    Fiona

  • Laura - love this post....Could you explain to me the STAR model?? I have a few job interviews ahead and any hints and tips would be great! Thx, Lucy  :)

  • Nice experience. It's great to see the benefits of your efforts isn't it? :)

  • Well done Laura! Really proud of you for getting not only your first job in HR, but also your second so quickly!!

    I think you've hit the nail on the head with your blog - the importance of really good planning & preparation. Careers are so flexible these days, but understanding the skills needed is vital & going out & getting them is half the battle. Once you've got that grounding, it's all about the interview prep. That's not just the time spent in completing the application or the CV, but also the consideration of what the interviewer is likely to ask you & planning some "model" answers before you go.

    And finally, researching the company concerned - as an interviewer I've lost count of the candidates who get the name of the company wrong, those that have clearly done little preparation & those that really have limited understanding of what the company does. In the digital age where so much is available online there is really no excuse now for not researching thoroughly & taking the time to think about what you can add to a company as a potential employee.

    It's great to see such a success story & know the community played its part too.

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