Articles - Advice: How I Got my Job as a ‘HR and Health and Safety Advisor’
Expert Interview – with Jodi-Lea Perks
Jodi-Lea Perks is a HR and Health and Safety Advisor at Tiger Sheds. She discusses her education, experience and current role, and provides helpful advice for those looking to pursue a similar career.
1) What made you want to get into the industry?
I knew I wanted a job that could result in a strong career and would most likely be office based, however I hadn’t considered HR or Health and Safety until I was presented with the chance to try it out, and luckily it seemed a perfect fit for my personality and skill set.
2) How did you get into the industry?
As the cliché goes ‘I fell into it’. I started with a typical admin role after university and after around 12 months I was given the chance to try my hand in HR. A couple of months later, I extended my role to include Health and Safety. It’s a good balance of the geek inside me and a love for working with people.
3) How did you find your university experience? Did it help get you to your current role?
University was the best time of my life without a doubt. It gave me confidence and belief in my abilities more than anything. The experience as a whole made me realise I could do what I wanted if I tried hard enough. My degree is in Criminology which may seem totally irrelevant to my job role, however I think the skills you learn completing any degree provide you with such a great base for working life in general. My time running the Women’s Rugby Union club at university gave me the chance to complete the RFU Student Leadership Academy, again building on skills that are transferable to working environments.
4) Describe your typical day.
I am at work by 7am. I check for absence the previous day, and see to anything that may have arisen relating to staff problems. The day then varies between possibly going through CV’s for any vacancies we may have, return to work interviews, to carrying out health and safety inspections across both sites.
5) Which is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Being able to engage with the staff is definitely my favourite part, getting to know them and hopefully solving any issues they may have.
6) What are the most challenging parts of the job?
Health and safety can be challenging, as there are so many job roles, ensuring people are working in a safe manner is important and can sometimes be difficult when we have up to 100 staff.
7) Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I hope to be in HR/Health and Safety manager or consultant role.
8) What advice would you give an aspiring student looking to get into the industry?
Practical experience with dealing with people is essential, my early background of customer service roles and running a sports club meant I dealt with a wide range of issues; this has helped hugely in my working life. There definitely needs to be a balance of academia and experience. Don’t be afraid to do work experience or ask your company if they will support you through any further courses you may want to complete. There are so many routes into the industry, don’t worry if it’s not the one you originally planned, you can still get there.