A blog from Sam Leitch, People Services HR Administrator

Date: 20 May 2022

SM

Given it’s International HR day, I thought it might be a good day to put out a quick personal piece to celebrate as someone who has begun their career in HR just two months ago and is now considering a career in HR, and potentially even employment law later down the line.

A bit of background about myself: I am 24 and someone that has never really known what career they want to pursue. However, at A-level I studied law as one of my options and following on from that, I went on to study law at undergraduate level. Having graduated, I then took a break, before deciding to pursue a Master’s in international commercial law, partly as finding work post-university was a lot more difficult during the lockdown period.

Having completed my Master’s in January 2022 and deciding I didn’t want to go down the solicitor route at this moment in time, I then began applying for a variety of mainly graduate schemes and civil service jobs. After a few months of unsuccessful applications, mostly likely because despite having a strong educational background, I was lacking any real relevant work experience.

I then came across the Kickstart Scheme with an opportunity to apply for a position here at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. The Kickstart scheme provides funding to employers to get young people into work, with the end goal being full-time permanent employment.

My application was successful and I have now been here at BEH for two months.  In that time,  everyone here has made me feel very welcome, particularly the People Services team that I work alongside. Currently, I am starting to work on employee relations cases, holding meetings to manage sickness absences and informal grievances. Additionally, I am also conducting compliance checks and have spent a few weeks working as part of the Recruitment team. Other responsibilities I’ve began to take on include looking into assurance and compliance. It has enabled me to better understand what can be done to reduce overpayments.

I have also been conducting exit interviews with people leaving the Trust, in order to find out what we’re doing well here and areas that could be improved to better staff work life. This breadth of experience is giving me the opportunity to discover what areas of HR are of most interest to me and more specifically which roles I’d be happy to pursue a career in. Looking forward, I want to continue advising and working on employee relations cases as that is something that I find really interesting given my legal background.

Additionally, I have also met with a few of the solicitors from Bevan Brittan who support the Trust with legal matters which has proved beneficial. We talked about how they got to where they are now, and they gave a bit of advice given that I am still considering pursuing a career in law at some point. More generally, I’m excited to see where my potential HR career could take me.