Their Journey To HR: Jazmine Wilkes



Their Journey to HR is a series where I interview HR professionals about their journey to the field, along with wisdom and lessons they learned along the way.


I'm so grateful to have Jazmine Wilkes as the first guest in this series! Jazmine is two years into her HR career. She was one of the first HR folks I connected with via Twitter. I love her energy and passion for the field. Make sure to follow her blog here and don't forget to follow her on Twitter.

Now, to the interview...

1. How did you find your way into HR What prompted that career choice

While taking a year off of college, because I had no idea what I wanted to do, I became an assistant manager. In that time frame, I realized I loved training new hires, helping the team members decide what they wanted out of their own careers, and the interviewing process. I have a sister that's been in HR for over 10 years now, so I also turned to her. Finally, I got back in school and HR has been my life ever since.

2. What's one thing you wish you'd known before getting into HR?

It's expensive! I know that's crazy, but I don't think people (newbies) are given the tools to understand how much they should take advantage of their local and state chapters while in college. Your company isn't guaranteed to help you earn that certification or pay back those student loans. We do have a number of great free resources, but to really network with the right crew, outside of social media, it's going to cost.

3. What excites you most about your work?

Being able to help the employees! If it's just talking something out they might be going through, helping them decide how they want to move up in the company. Although I'm still very new to the HR Game, I enjoy being able to help my fellow HR Newbies on the job hunt, too.

4. What's one important HR-related lesson you want to pass on to future HR practitioners?

Experience Matters. I just wrote about this a few weeks ago on my personal blog. Don't rush the process, your employees and your company is entrusting that as HR, we're helping the other leaders make the best decision possible. Learn as much as you can, don't skip steps, take the time to learn and earn your position. Don't expect it just because you've obtained that degree.

5. Name one book all HR newbies should read

HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion by Steve Browne

6. What are 3 "Hot Topics" you wish more people in HR were talking about?

- The power of HR Newbies and Social Media
- Diversity - Not just talking about it, but actually attempting to fix the issues in their companies
- Pay Gap - This is tired and played out, people aren't getting the pay they deserve because the company refuses to pay, and they need to leave.

7. Give us one word phrase or philosophy that sums up your approach to HR

I'm just an HR Millennial trying to get it right - that's the best I can do.

8. Any other parting words of wisdom?

I want more HR Newbies to reach out, it can be hard, but networking makes a difference to your career. I honestly don't believe I'd be as knowledgeable in HR had I not joined Twitter and started connecting with as many HR Professionals as possible.

Be sure to follow and find Jazmine on Twitter, @HRJazzy, LinkedIn, and her blog, HRJazzy.Blog.