· Features

How to succeed in HR: HRDs' top tips

Three HR professionals share their top career tips

Vicki Field, HR director, London Doctors Clinic

1. Be commercial. The best HR operatives I’ve met work with the business and are responsible for aligning HR strategy to the business strategy. At the same time don’t compromise your values; HR can be the conscience of the company.

2. Do what you love. Find the type of company you want to work for, and the type of job. Life’s too short to do anything other than what gives you satisfaction and joy.

3. Make friends. Building good relationships is at the heart of HR. We influence rather than direct so ensuring that you have strong relationships around you is key.

Vicky Wallis, HR director, Santander UK

1. Be curious, ask questions and keep learning – you are never the finished article and you can always develop new skills and capabilities.

2. Be courageous and prepared to take on challenges. Even if they seem daunting, you will be amazed at your capacity to adapt.

3. Keep a balance in your life and look after yourself. Eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and don’t forget to have a good laugh too!

Louise Stonier, chief people and legal officer, Pets at Home

1. Some people think it’s important to be the loudest voice in the room, but it’s often more important – and harder – to listen.

2. Be understanding. People come to the table with different experiences and perspectives. You must try to understand these differences in order to work effectively.

3. Don’t let yourself be pigeonholed. I’ve always worked in corporate roles and never thought my love of animals could become part of my job. You should be open to every opportunity.