My experience working with Unique Magazines – Ellie Purvis – Customer Service Apprentice4th February 2022
Pancakes1st March 2022
How did you get in to HR?
It was a total accident. I left school wanting to be a teacher but spectacularly failed my A levels. Which turned out to be a blessing as I went on to be a nanny and realised, I didn’t really like kids.
I was working at DEFRA during the Foot and Mouth crisis and was seconded to manage a large team, hugely out of my comfort zone and in at the deep end. Before this I don’t mind saying I was a plodder with little ambition and little confidence. But something about being in at the deep end, being able to make a real difference and at the same time finding myself becoming a single mam, sort of lit something inside me. Suddenly, I became ambitious and hungry to achieve. I applied for a role in an organisation that was setting up, at the time I just knew they had a few jobs, and it was a promotion. I got there and they asked if I wanted Finance, IT or HR. It was a no brainer. I can’t do numbers (shout out to my accountants, Blu Sky!), IT is just alien, so that left HR. And the rest is history!
Who or what inspires you?
You know that song, “I get knocked down, but I get up again”? Those kinds of people inspire me. People who have had real knock backs and hard times thrown at them, but they don’t let it define their life. They take the positives and move forward stronger. We can let stuff define us or we can take control over what we are able to. So, I guess its resilient and positive people that I come across in my everyday life. I very rarely get inspired by ‘inspirational speakers’ who are basically telling a very ‘polished’ version of themselves.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into HR?
Don’t focus on the black and white too much, HR is many shades of grey and there isn’t often a right or wrong answer and its often about knowing the risks. Expose yourself to a variety of sectors and roles and be comfortable out of your comfort zone and in the deep end, its where you learn. Also, don’t forget to step into the shoes of the person you are advising, be it a manager, or like me, it’s mostly business owners, a bit of empathy goes a long way.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I think it’s going back to what I said earlier about making a difference. For example, I supported a director recently with exiting a senior manager out of the business. Their relationship had turned sour, and the manager was basically destroying the business. By leading them both through a settlement agreement and then seeing the sense of relief on both their parts was a good feeling. Both were able to move on and the Director could refocus on his business with a weight lifted. I also like the fact that I am creating local jobs that I think are canny!
What has been your favourite HR story?
I could be here all day with this one, but I would be scared that I would be identifying someone! We always think that we have dealt with the strangest or most shocking issue ever and then the phone rings and it’s a new and even more bizarre issue! I have to say that most of the cases we deal with are often complex, risky, or just plain crazy but not in a good way! Nothing about people shocks me anymore and often it’s the business owner who has created the situation, like providing a bottomless bar all evening to their young workforce and wondering why the night ended up in fighting and other shenanigans or the owner who tried to discipline and sack his wife whilst divorcing her.
What are your favourite magazines?
I love Living North, especially when I’m lying on my lounger at Ramside Hall Spa! Not that I go there very often but it always feels very relaxing! I also like a nice cup of coffee and a Cosmopolitan when I’m having my hair done. I should read more magazines and I do like the idea of a magazine subscription as a gift.
What’s the future hold for Jayne Hart?
The HR Dept Newcastle has a really good reputation in the Northeast and I want to build on this. Going forward, my focus is on supporting growth businesses who value the expertise that we can provide on the people side but are not ready to recruit in house for HR. I want to create further quality jobs and hopefully hand the reigns over to a Managing Director at some point leaving me to take on a couple of exec director roles.
I then see myself having at least 3 giant dogs (I currently have 1 newfoundland called Daisy) and having daily wild swims down on little haven beach with them all followed by a bacon sandwich at Minchellas!