Name: Becky Hosken
CIPD membership: Associate
Current job title: HR Manager
Current employer: Coodes Solicitors
Employment status: Employed
Previous role: Marketing
What was your previous role?
Marketing, I originally studied Marketing to BA level. My first postgraduate role was in the third sector (social enterprise) as part of an environmental awareness campaign team. The campaign was focused on improving awareness with the ultimate goal of changing behaviour. I have always been fascinated in how we make decisions and what action we choose, whether that is about making a purchase or recycling a tin can! Attempting to understand and in some way unravel those unconscious processes is a source of unending fascination to me.
Why did you decide to move into your current role/field?
The opportunity arose to move into a new HR position when the organisation continued to grow. It seemed like a natural progression from Marketing and presented the opportunity to develop new skills and build on existing ones within the sector which I was passionate about. It also afforded me my first opportunity to take the lead in an area of increasing significance in the firm. Prior to my role there was no dedicated HR function.
What transferable skills did you identify would be useful in your new role?
Marketing requires you to think about things from a range of perspectives, it is also heavily influenced by behavioural psychology so a natural fit with how I viewed my future in HR supported by strong administrative and data analysis foundation. With no previous experience of HR I was able to shape the role without influence (positive or negative).
What did you focus on to sell yourself during the application process rather than experience?
I didn't have to apply because the role was developed over time for me to transition into and away from Marketing.
What went well during the transition?
It was a gradual transition where for a year, I kept my hand in the Marketing world as I gradually became increasingly occupied by my HR role. In many ways Marketing and HR have so much in common it didn’t feel like too big a step to make.
How has the CIPD and continuing professional development (CPD) supported you during and after your career transition?
After a couple of years in post I commenced study for my Masters in Personnel and Development (MAPD). In terms of a transition this was fundamental in validating my position and was a significant undertaking and introduced me to my peers in HR. Post-MAPD I am now much more engaged in the local CIPD community and have grown personally and professionally from formal and informal CPD opportunities.
If you had your time again, would you do anything differently? If yes, what would you do differently?
Become part of a local network sooner. Talking to your peers about challenges and how to overcome them as well as sharing ideas and best practice is invaluable.
What are your top five tips for someone who is currently working in a marketing role and wants to move into HR as you have?
- Get involved in the local network.
- Undertake job shadowing to see if the move is right for you.
- Be clear what you will lose and what you will gain in making a transition and make sure the balance is in your favour (whatever that might be).
- Be clear on where you want to be in five or ten years, does the move still make sense.
- Recognise the talents and skills you bring forward and build on them every day.