International Women's Day - CIPD and Me: Juliet Shaw
Juliet Shaw joined LTE Group as Head of People Relations in November 2022. As part of our series of case studies for International Women's Day 2023, Juliet has agreed to speak with us about her experience in HR and how CIPD training has helped shape her career:
Which CIPD qualifications have you completed during your career?
I started off with the Level 3 Certificate in HR at night school. Then I went on to do Levels 5 and 7, which is a two-year course. Again, I studied for those qualifications in the evenings.
A few years later, I returned back to do a Master’s. That was very much in your own time and driven by you; you literally go off, pick your subject and the university guides you in terms of how it should be structured and presented.
So those are the ‘official qualifications’ I've done with CIPD. But I have also attended a lot of their training over the years: mock tribunals, employment law updates and things like that.
So, did those qualifications change your career, or change your aspirations at all? Or was this something you always wanted to do?
Yeah, I think it did change. Like most people do, I fell into HR by accident. I had an apprenticeship at the local County Council and was assigned to the HR Department. At the time I was absolutely adamant that I wanted to be an accountant. I didn't want to work with people. I wanted to work in accounting, where the answers and solutions would be within the figures in front of me.
However, because I was in the HR Department, they wanted me to explore doing my CIPD Level 3 qualification as a progression from the apprenticeship. So, it did change the course of my career because, up to that point, I was so adamant I was going to do something else.
“Every time that I've studied something with CIPD, it has opened up new areas of interest for me”
However, once I started the Level 3, I realised that I actually did know what I was doing and already knew a lot of the things that were covered by the course. And I really enjoyed it.
When I moved on to Levels 5 and 7, I had to pick whether I wanted to study ‘Human Resources – Management’ or ‘Human Resources - Learning and Development’. And whilst I am passionate about the continuous development of people, it was the management side that I had had a lot more exposure to.
And again, as I studied that qualification, I realised that I was really interested in the legal side of it and considered going on to study for a legal qualification. So, every time that I've studied something with CIPD, it has opened up new areas of interest for me and helped me to realise which subjects I’m not so interested in too.
“The real value of CIPD training has been the networking with different people, building relationships, sharing knowledge and gaining exposure to other industries”
I think you've already touched on this in terms of your career path, but how has the learning helped you progress your career in terms of opportunities?
Asides from having the qualifications, I think the real value of undertaking CIPD training has been the networking with different people, building relationships, sharing intel and knowledge, and gaining exposure to other industries and ways of doing things
The certificate alone won't be a golden ticket to progression but it will help alongside networking and making connections. The experience will unlock doors for you.
So, what's the one take away that that you think might summarise all of your learning and development training?
My one take away would probably be…just to be open-minded about the learning that you receive.
It might not seem relevant at that moment in time, but it will be at some point. Some of the theories and the models that you learn about seem divorced from reality when you’re sat in a lecture theatre at 9pm contemplating the long drive home.
But you realise in your day-to-day conversations that those theories do apply and you are able to talk about them to inform managers of a particular course of action and the potential benefits and consequences. So yes, be open-minded. And question and challenge your own thought processes and knowledge – there is usually more than one answer to a problem and often it’s the experiences of those around you that can help you learn new ways.
To read more about our CIPD qualifications and how they can help you to progress your career, visit Mol Learn.
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