I can almost feel the internal eye roll when I meet someone and tell them how passionate I am about my role in People and Culture – human resources or “HR” as it may still be referred to by some. But it’s true. Broad thinking, business impact, making a difference every day and connecting to people; why wouldn't you have passion for this work?
I love what I do, and do what I love. And I am a strong believer in doing things in a straightforward way, and as pragmatically and effectively as possible. It’s a sacred obligation for me.
Why? I'm really open about this. When I was 16, my dad passed away. He had a fatal heart attack at work, in his office. I share this because I believe we should never take life – and the lives of those we work with – for granted. If I see somebody in the office, or now virtually on Zoom or Meet, wearing their stress or not having balance, I'm very concerned and I make time to talk. I always encourage people to put themselves first, and take control of situations as much as you can, versus having circumstances dictate what happens.
My dad’s death was a pretty shocking thing to happen, but it also made me very rooted in reality, and also very determined to make sure that I make the most of who I am, and the opportunities I'm given.
I feel an incredible need to make a lasting difference for people – to really make a contribution individually and as part of Roche. I’m endlessly curious and connecting dots. It's one of the things that gets me into trouble the most, personally and professionally! I’m always asking: So why couldn't we do that? What are the possibilities? Could we go beyond what people expect us to do?
I'm always willing to try something. Always looking for a bit of an experiment and where we need to push boundaries for progress. I truly believe people in People and Culture – and in many cross-enterprise positions – have a unique perspective. Our view is much broader than many other people's, and we can push boundaries before others can even see they're there.
With 21 years under my belt at Roche, and one year in my divisional role for Pharma, I have never felt it more – the need to take the larger view, to challenge ourselves and others to try new things, meet ambiguity head on and be adaptable.
My point is an invitation to you: Be ever more curious about what's possible. Life is too short. So make sure you're doing what you love, making time for those who you love and never, ever take for granted the necessity for taking time out for yourself. We're only human. And you never know what's around the corner!
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