If anyone would have told me that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it. At the age of 30, I was the youngest Manager for a multi-national company managing an HR team of 8 who were geographically dispersed. I tell my story not to show off, but as a testimony that “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 9:26).
My journey began when I went to study Human Resources (HR) in South Africa. After obtaining a 1st class BA in HR Management I went on to do a year of Honours which was funded by the university through a bursary I was awarded. While at university, I excelled at Employment Law in my 1st year and began to work for the university as a Supplemental Instruction leader when I was in 2nd & final year. This opportunity was a real eye-opener and made me realise my passion for teaching and helping other understand complex areas of Labour Laws especially.
After my studies, I returned to Zimbabwe and managed to secure a graduate trainee programme and before completion, I was appointed as HR Officer. Having relocated to the UK, my first job was working as HR Assistant subsequently moving to another company in the capacity of HR Coordinator. The same year, I was promoted to HR Manager and the year after, Group HR Manager. I am currently working as HR Business Partner in London’s financial district.
Many a times, we are reluctant to pursue our dreams. We are influenced by our environment and tend to follow a path that we perceive to be easy or one that will bring the quickest return.
After having a lot of conversations with young people who are about to make the transition from high school/college to university, I realise there is a need to ensure that the choice of study is not based on a false fallacy that pursuing a career in Law, Accounting or Medicine is the only way to succeed. Another factor is the pressure placed on us by our parents to follow a certain path. Dare I say this is mostly prevalent in African families. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents who allowed me to navigate my way through life until I discovered what it is I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My personal belief is that the only way one can truly be fulfilled is by making your purpose your work (or career).
Glass ceiling! What glass ceiling?
I tend to focus mostly on only the positives of my experience, however, just like anything, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Many people will tell you about a glass ceiling, normally in reference to the barriers affecting women’s advancement in the professional world. In my experience, this is further exacerbated by the fact that you belong to a minority group never mind being a foreign national. But the silver lining in all this is “… God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). My encouragement is “commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]” Proverbs 16:3.
I hope my short article has inspired you today. Please feel free to ask any questions or seek advice on any (non-complex) HR matter. Send your comments or questions to: www.moniquetoday.com
I would like to thank the MoniqueToday team for allowing me to share my journey and write about what I love. Please look out for my next articles which will focus on different HR Topics.
God bless the works of your hands. MT