Anita is an Executive with international experience and a passion for business development, innovation and transformational leadership. She has extensive experience that spans across multiple business disciplines including strategy, management, sales, services, operations and consulting. She has a proven record of success in growing sales achievements targeted at Fortune500 companies while building strong teams. Anita works at NorthgateArinso (NGA) a market-leading global Human Resources services provider offering innovative HR business solutions through HR Outsourcing (HR BPO), HR Consulting and HR Technology. You can follow Anita on Twitter here, read her blog here, and find her on Linkedin here.
1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
I have an MA, a teacher’s degree and various IT certifications. This background allows me to look at HR a bit differently. I have worked in many different roles: from consultant to program director and from manager to VP. Over the years, the ability to take a step back, look at the big picture as well as the market trends before coming up with a plan has proved to be invaluable for my current role.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
It’s not a certain skill, but I would enjoy an internship at e.g. a manufacturing company to be exposed to new approaches and a fresh perspective.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
In my role as VP, all of the above (and some more) apply but what is probably most important is the ability to swiftly switch between approaches while dealing with customers, employees and other stakeholders.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
I move between thinker and builder. I like to think about where our industry is headed strategically and ask the big questions (“what if HR didn’t exist?”) because the outcome will help you identify value. But an idea in itself is nothing until it can be converted into something tangible to realize its value and I like to be a part of that realization.
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
I am responsible for all the NGA people who work in the Northern Europe region. We work in a matrix organization, which means I have solid line reports and dotted line reports, 9 in total.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
It’s an interesting question – like the one on HR above – what if my job didn’t exist? Put like that, I think important requirements of my role are to make sure that we deliver and that people are heard: no matter whether they are customers or employees, sometimes you need someone who quickly cuts through the red tape and makes the final decision.
6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?
I work in an office environment – traveling to and from the office is probably more dangerous than anything else I do all day.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
Working in HR/IT on a global scale is a satisfying challenge in a unique environment!
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.