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How to succeed in HR: HRDs' top tips

Three HR professionals share their top career tips

Wendy Merry, group people and OD director, Civica

1) Find your ideal job, and don’t worry about ‘job-hopping’. People often worry about the impression given if they have lots of jobs on their CV, but I say go for it. You should feel free to keep looking until you find the position which works for you.

2) Make sure your job is fun for you. For me, I love being creative. Even though I didn’t get to work at an art gallery like I wanted to when I was at school, I find ways to use that creativity in HR.

3) Don’t be afraid to break the rules! HR should be about enabling people, not restricting them. You don’t want to work in a dull, drab, boring workplace, so push the boundaries, and stop yourself from getting stuck in a HR rut.

Ben Bengougam, senior vice president human resources EMEA, Hilton

1) Learn as much as you can about your whole organisation. You can’t work in a vacuum in HR; you need to ensure you have the context and business relevance surrounding everything you do.

2) Maintain a high level of integrity. When you reach a level of influence in HR, it is important to use that in a benevolent way. You need to focus on making your people successful, and not being self-serving.

3) Never stop learning. Seek knowledge everywhere, and from those around you. I learn from every member of my team, as they provide a valued perspective on the business. I’ve learned so much from even our youngest staff members.

Paul Steadman, regional HR director, Nestlé Purina PetCare

1) Remain curious about other people’s roles. You might have preconceived ideas about what a job entails, but you should learn about what they are really like and the demands they place on others.

2) Think about the next experience or achievement you are looking for. Work is now more project-based, so think critically about what you want to achieve.

3) Push outside of your comfort zone, and take on assignments that make you uncomfortable. Doing this can teach you essential skills such as agility.