When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so Mum made me go to secretarial college. She believed that people would always need secretaries so I would always have work. I “fell” into working in HR when I got a job as a Clerk/Typist in a Personnel Department in 1969 and found that dealing with people was something I really enjoyed and was good at. Since then I progressed in HR completing my IPM (now CIPD) qualification in 1976. After working until 2000 in industry at all levels of HR, I eventually joined a Trade Federation as Employment Law Adviser. This really triggered my interest and I passed a certificate in Employment Law and a specialist Paralegal qualification before eventually setting up my own business in 2007.
I couldn’t have done that if I hadn’t had the support and encouragement of my daughter (Francesca) who helped me set up the business initially and then, after several years working for other people realised how great it is to work for yourself and joined me at Empact. We then became a limited company and Francesca forced me to properly market the business with social media, a website and proper networking – something I had managed to avoid for nearly 10 years!
I think it was brave of both Francesca and I to agree to work together and I won’t pretend it’s plain sailing, but we both know that the interests of our business are the most important thing (at least during working hours). Working for yourself is a headache because you are entirely responsible for everything that happens, but you also get great rewards.
My drive is all to do with ensuring that people are treated fairly – Employees are treated fairly when employers need to make changes and employers are treated fairly by employees who want to do something other than work! HR Practitioners are like bus drivers – we get people onto the bus, get them into the right places and sometimes we have to help people off the bus.
Lynda is a member of our South Leeds Friday board