My advice to those starting out?

My manager at HSBC North America gave me some sound advice in my early HR days, she said to me “Shaheen you have to earn your stripes and pay your dues”. She was right.

I am going to add more to that piece of advice that she gave me and say this – “You never stop earning your stripes”. We all have so much learn in this constantly changing world we live in. To keep up, we must always keep an open mind and learn from new challenges. Take the opportunities to learn new skills and more importantly, learn from each other’s perspectives, ways of doing things, approaches. The advancement of new technology means we need to be flexible and change direction constantly whilst seek out the answers for ourselves.

The best advice I can give anyone thinking about a career in HR is to ask questions. Don’t be shy to ask questions and seek guidance. Think of yourself as a sponge. Absorb as much as you can and know that there are people who know more than you and that is OK. You must just be open to learning from them.

I was once walking through the London Bridge area and noticed scaffolding around a building with the tag line. We are building the future and while building the future we have unravelled the past.  When I look back at my career and think about the kind of Manager I see myself as – I see a little of all my managers. I have inherited a lot of their good behavioural traits. I have learnt from all of them and I mean all of them. I have a little bit of all of them in me that has defined and shaped me and for that I am eternally grateful.

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