Yes Careers: Working in HR

EmmaBy Emma  •  13 Jul 2015 at 7:00am  •  Careers

by Team YOTH

It’s been a little while since we have posted a career post, but we know that we spend most of our days at work and strongly believe it’s an area that you should feel happy and fulfilled about.

So, to encourage you to explore the different opportunities and yeses that your career can hold, we thought it would be interesting to share a snapshot of what others get up to in their jobs day-to-day.

The lovely Sara (who you might remember from our half marathon challenge and her healthy eating lifestyle change) has kindly agreed to tell us all about her career in HR at Tesco Maintenance

the job

I am a Learning and Development Partner at Tesco Maintenance.

Working in HR, career profile of a learning and development partner, yes career advice, via Year of the Yes

a typical day as a learning and development partner

At the moment, as there was no-one doing my role previously, I am starting from scratch to design the training plan for over 1300 people in different roles.

At the moment I am meeting a lot of new people in the business, building relationships, understanding what is out there in terms of existing materials and trying to decide what my priorities should be. I am loving it!

career journey

When I finished university I wanted to work in child protection and went to work for Thames Valley Police. However, I was informed that I had to work as an officer for 2 years before I could go into that field so I looked for an alternative.

After a conversation with my Dad and then a meeting with the HR lady at his work, I decided my attributes would work well in HR. However, getting my first break into HR was difficult and resulted in 8 interviews. I went for one more and that was the one I got. I am so glad that I made that last ditch attempt!!

The only thing I would do differently is to have the confidence earlier on in my career to decide on specialising in a field. I worked as a general HR manager for three years before I was given the opportunity to go into learning and development.

the pros and cons

I love how varied it is, no day is the same. I am working in a field I love. It is challenging but I know I am going to make a difference in the future.

Although the head office for the company is in Welwyn Garden City, I am remotely based. This means that I can be anywhere in the country at any point.

I like that this means every day is different and I have flexibility which allows me to work around my personal life. However, it does have the downside when you are faced with a 3 hour drive for an hour meeting or you are sat in a traffic jam for an hour.

Advice for those looking to work in the industry

Do your research; speak to people that are already in the profession so they can give you a realistic insight into what the role involves.

Even if you think that you would like a specialised role, like the one I have now, I would definitely recommend doing some time in a generalist role as it will give you a real insight into HR.

career inspiration

I go to a number of different networking events organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). These are a great way of keep up to date with HR thinking, but also to meet like minded individuals within my profession.

In terms of people though, my second boss with the company was a lady called Ann Hazelden and she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is a phenomenal coach and mentor to so many people in the business. Everyone I have met who knows her thinks she is incredible. Being authentic in the workplace is a huge deal to me and she lives and breathes this and gave me the confidence to do the same.

hr wasn’t always my dream career

When I was really little I wanted to be an ice cream man….never a woman, always a man…not sure what that says about me.


I love reading about other people’s jobs, and Sara so clearly exudes passion and enthusiasm for her role! Thanks for sharing Sara.

Sara may already have made one Yes Directory contribution, but we couldn’t have a guest poster without sneaking in a little more Yes inspiration, so here’s the next instalment of Sara’s Yes Directory for your delectation.

Live life to the full, inspiration to say yes, via Year of the Yes


Yes TV:THE FOLLOWING / Yes music: JAMES BAY, CHAOS AND CALM / yes challenge: 100KM WALK

About the Author

Emma loves sunshine and flip flops, prosecco, chocolatey treats, things that sparkle, trips to the beach, reading and blogging.

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