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Spotlight on Jennifer Willis

Meet Jennifer Willis – our new licensee in Gloucester. With her HR skills honed in the NHS, Jennifer tells how she got into HR, shares some of her experiences and describes her two secrets to success.

Tell us how your HR journey began…

“A careers guidance assessment I took at school indicated that HR might be a good fit. But it wasn’t until university, where I studied business, that I realised my preference for it compared to other aspects of business, like accounting.

I found it hard to land a job in HR after finishing university, as a CIPD qualification was an entry-criteria for most roles! As luck would have it, the NHS started its HR specific graduate training scheme the same year, and I joined 10 other budding HR professionals for the experience of a lifetime. During week two I sat on a disciplinary panel where an experienced trade union rep wiped the floor with me. But I learnt quickly from then on!”

What attracted you most about joining The HR Dept team?

“A few things really. When my eldest son started school in 2017 it became a struggle to manage my daily work schedule around pick-up and drop-off. So my husband and I started to think about greater flexibility.

I also realised that I like a bit of spontaneity in my life, going to the same office and doing the same tasks each day had started to take its toll on my motivation.

Last but not least, I like to be a part of something bigger than myself. The NHS is a huge organisation and I knew that I would miss that when I stepped away. The HR Dept comes with the support network to help me to make a success of my business.”

What’s your secret to success?

“My mum says that it’s because I was born on a Saturday. Saturday’s child works hard for a living, apparently! Other than that, it’s because I’m surrounded by people who support me and believe in me. It’s great to have a cheerleading squad and I am so grateful that they’re there”