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Community feature: Introducing…

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In a new feature, we’re taking a closer look at the working lives of some of HR Zone’s 17,000 membership. This week,Debra Artlett, HR Officer, NGJ, gives us an insight into her professional career to date.


What’s your current job role? HR Officer.

What did you do before this job? Secretary.

Describe your route into HR I worked for the Director of Finance at NGJ and shared an office with the then Personnel Assistant. She went on maternity leave, decided not to come back and I was asked to take over the role. I took the CPP course in 1997 but have not taken my studies further.

Did you always want to work in HR? I Didn’t think about HR to be honest, I got a taste for it working alongside a Personnel Assistant.

What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date? That’s a hard one, I have seen a lot of changes at NGJ: taking over Brecher & Co, moving offices and two software upgrades. I suppose one of the most significant events would be that I am now seen as an HR person and not a secretary which has been quite a feat having worked here for 15 years, the first 8 years as a secretary and until now as an HR Officer.

How do you think the role of HR has changed since you began your HR career? I think that HR is now regarded as an important voice in Board and Partnership decisions.

What single thing would improve your working life? Better communication.

What’s your favourite part of the HR Zone site? I like to read the questions where people are asking for advice.

Have you made contact with any other members? Yes.

Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in HR? HR is not for everyone, if, like me, you are ‘front office’ you need to be pretty resilient in the face of demanding solicitors and emotional support staff. There is also a lot of research and administrative duties involved in HR, however one good thing is that you do manage your own day which is quite nice.



Previous ‘Introducing…’ features:

Jacqui Mann, HR Manager for Integra NeuroSciences
Isabella Montgomery, Human Resources Officer at Thenew Housing Association
Iain Young, Head of HR for Cofathec Heatsave

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