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HRDs' top career tips

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Three HRDs share their top three career tips with us, and we're passing them on to you

Georgina Farrell, HR director, global life, general insurance and global corporate at Zurich Insurance Company, says:

1. You need to be really passionate and determined about what you do. When people say you can’t do something, you say: ‘I can and I will’.

2. Be yourself. In my Middle East role at Zurich I was the only female in a team of 14 men at one point, which was a really fine balance between maintaining my integrity and being resilient so we could get stuff done.

3. Remember to celebrate the small wins. It’s easy to shrug them off and not recognise you’ve worked really hard to get to a certain point. So it’s important to stand back and think ‘I did a really good job there’.

Usha Kakaria-Cayaux, regional vice president HR, UK and Ireland at the Estee Lauder Companies, says:

1. Pick something you love to do and that you are good at. You can get distracted trying to climb the corporate ladder but if you pick a job you love, in a company you are passionate about, climbing that ladder will come automatically.

2. It’s more important to be respected than it is to be liked, especially in the HR function. There will be times you make decisions that will not be popular. But you’re not there to win a popularity contest; you’re there to drive the business forward.

3. Be entrepreneurial. If you can continue to think like an entrepreneur, even in a big business, it gives you a sense of accountability and ownership and the confidence to take risks.

Helen Giles, executive director of HR at St Mungo's, says:

1. Before accepting a job, turn the interview process around to find out how much CEO and board buy-in you have, because if there’s not the buy-in you’ll always be operating with two hands tied behind your back.

2. Always take an evidence-based approach. A lot of people read something and just decide to do it, so they’ve got a solution in search of a problem.

3. Hire people to your team who are looking to move upwards not sideways. They tend to be more ambitious and it’s all going to be new to them so they’ll be excited.

Do you have any top HR career tips? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.