Well, I suppose someone has to be the newest (and youngest!) Partner in Reddin Group, don’t they? It’s been quite a road getting here, but I feel as though I have truly arrived!
It’s been quite a journey. Like many kids coming out of school I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Having started life being told “you can’t do that”, “you’re not smart enough” way too often, I soon realized that life is for living and I had to take control and work out my own destiny. I was lucky to be able to try a few things along the way, something many people today see as a luxury. Then, with a bang, the whole idea of building a “career” took root when I joined a law firm where I became Practice Manager.
I needed more creativity and collaboration, and ultimately was attracted to HR as a possible career path and you know what, I fell in love and have stayed that way for over 15 years. I put myself through university as a mature age student, flirted briefly with life in a large recruitment agency but hated the “do it by numbers “ approach. I developed my craft and at the age of 30 (did I mention I am the youngest partner in Reddin Group? – it’s a coveted title!), I established my own HR business. Over the last decade and a half I built a strong HR consulting business focused on Executive Search and Selection, providing contractor staff and meaningful HR advice and solutions to clients up and down the East Coast of Australia.
Along the way I found time to have a couple of kids, move from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast taking the long way around and seeing Australia with my family – I’m always one for adventures! Never losing any of my focus on my HR community clients, I truly believe that finding my passion (HR) , unlocking my talents and balancing fun, family and work is a true way to live life. I’ve been an advocate for flexible work for a long long time, and believe we can unlock that in our culture. To that end I coach AusKick at the Noosa Tigers, am VP on the P&C at my kids’ school, and am an Executive on Join the Crew (a Tree & Sea Change Movement) and now a Partner with the Reddin Group. I love nothing more than fishing on the Noosa River with my kids, a surf at Noosa, mountain biking or adventuring with my family on all the tracks around Noosa Hinterland.
Just as with so many of the people I coach around career, despite the fun I was having in my own business, I knew there was something missing. I needed colleagues to bounce ideas with, to learn new skills from, to share successes with. The question was “how to achieve these things?” Quite serendipitously, I received a call from a research company which turned out to be uncovering a number of new potential partners for Reddin Group. I had a tentative chat with David Reddin, then another 4 or 5 less tentative conversations, a few Teams meetings with the rest of the Reddin team and I was hooked! I felt as though I had joined my tribe. It was all there – strong service offerings, everything about a positive client, candidate and participant experience, no too hard basket, relationships going back decades, quality, not quantity, a true match of values, service and ethics.
I think I may have mentioned that I am the youngest Partner on the team, but I am also the first Partner to be brought on board without a face to face meeting. Isn’t that a sign of the times and a vote of confidence! I asked David why he took that risk. His answer was unequivocal – “Helen, despite the fact that you follow the Brisbane Lions, despite the fact that you engage with us via Teams wearing sunglasses as you sit in the sun in July while we are all shivering, and despite your “youth”(he felt he had to put that one in there!), you are a consultant out of the mold. You see opportunities where others see problems, you are genuinely interested in helping individuals and organisations achieve their potential, you have a natural and infectious sense of fun, and you put in the time needed to excel at what you do”.
So, now I am a Partner in Reddin Group, still looking after my existing clients in Melbourne and Sydney, but now with the additional challenge of building our business in Queensland. I feel as though I am “home” with Reddin Group, loving the challenges of recruitment, career coaching and transition, coaching and HR consulting.
It’s been a long path and it hasn’t come with a rule book. It is giving me that ability to meet both life and career goals and the chance to continue the amazing journey life is meant to be.