How I Became Junior People Advisor | Meet Chloe

Rich Quelch

by | Jul 2, 2024 | People

Meet Chloe Lawson, Junior People Advisor here at John Good Group.

Chloe joined John Good Group in May last year as a Junior Group People Advisor after finishing her degree in Business and HR Management. Chloe tells us about her journey throughout university and what she did to be able to get a perfect role straight out of her degree.

Chloe gives us a glimpse into her journey to John Good Group.

How did you first get into the People Industry?

I initially began my journey into HR through my BA Business and HR Management degree at Sheffield Hallam University, where I also worked towards my CIPD Level 5. During my degree, not only did I learn the fundamentals of people processes and functions, but I also pursued and undertook my own industry experience through various employment.

I began my HR journey as an intern at an Ed-Tech company during my first year of university, then in my second year, I started working at Victoria Plum, where I first met Rachel, our fantastic Chief People Officer here at John Good Group. During my time there, I worked alongside Rachel to understand and experience the People function. It was an amazing opportunity that led me to my final year at university, where I was offered the opportunity to jump onboard the John Good Group journey in May 2023 after finishing my degree.

What has inspired you in your career?

Throughout all my education I knew that I wanted to be successful in a role that truly added value. Before embarking on my degree, I completed a year of Primary teacher training as this is what I previously thought my destined career was. Shortly into my placement, I had a horrid gut feeling that this wasn’t what was right for me, and overwhelmingly panicked that I suddenly didn’t know what I wanted to do.

After accepting that no matter how scary this feeling was, I had to follow my instincts and so I started looking further into what HR was, after having a long discussion with a friend in the industry. I quickly learned the value that HR adds to an organisation and the amazing things we can do to support others. Once I started my degree and began my journey into a HR professional, and realised I was slightly behind my other friends, I was determined that I wanted to gain as much practical experience as I could so that when I finished University, I could dive headfirst into a role that was perfect for me.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

There’s a funny definition online that describes HR as the unofficial psychologist, lawyer, event planner, teacher, peacemaker, career planner, and detective.

In HR we have many different responsibilities that fall under our umbrella. HR is a rewarding and exciting career, but just like every role, we often face challenges. These involve sometimes having to have uncomfortable, sensitive, or challenging conversations with others, or the ever-changing legislation and employment law we need to keep up and comply with.

Luckily for us, at John Good Group we’re passionate about growth and development, meaning we are encouraged and empowered to develop our knowledge and skills, making it easier for us to be equipped with the tools and knowledge to face any challenges presented in our roles.

What skills have been the most crucial to your success so far?

As it states in our name, ‘People’ skills are one of the most crucial skills you need for success in HR. Without clear and thorough communication, I wouldn’t be able to perform many of the responsibilities and tasks we face day to day, such as recruitment, talking with candidates, issuing correspondence such as employment changes, or undertaking an Employment Relations (ER) case.

Organisational skills are also imperative for success; with the many different responsibilities under our umbrella, it’s vital that you keep organised and can prioritise various volumes of workload.

What education or training would be most useful for someone looking to follow your career path?

For someone wanting to embark on the University route, I recommend finding a course that’s accredited by a chartered institution, such as the CIPD, as it provides the fundamentals of HR and gives you a glimpse into both generalist and specialist areas. I would also highly recommend gaining practical experience on the side as part-time or throughout the Summer, whether it’s work experience, an internship, or paid work. Gaining practical experience will allows you to put theory into practice and, understand policies and processes far better.

Job hunting after university can be competitive, so this will give you a head start against your peers. Alternatively, an apprenticeship would be a great opportunity to gain both practical experience and the theoretical side of HR, as you can earn and learn at the same time.

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your career path?

I would advise those looking to get into HR to work as a generalist to begin with and not to specialise straight away. Get exposure to all aspects of HR so you can gain practical experience and understand the full remit of the profession.

For me, being a generalist, particularly at this stage in my career, is extremely beneficial as I can understand how the whole HR function works together and understand each area individually. More importantly, I love being involved in all areas!

What makes you excited about working for the central services at John Good Group?

It’s a super exciting time to be part of the central services team at John Good Group. Now that we have the central service functions as established teams, we have started the new year with amazing people and talent to be able to serve a great function to our operating companies.