My brilliant career – Rebecca Lane, HR director Uecomm

by 10 Jul 2007

What is your current role?

I am the director, human resources at Uecomm, a telecommunications carrier.

What qualifications do you hold?

A Bachelor of Business from CharlesSturtUniversity, NSW.

Why did you get into HR?

I was studying a human resource management subject at university and I’d enjoyed working on an HR-related project, so was keen to pursue this area of interest. I liked the fact that HR gave you exposure to all areas of the business, the responsibilities and challenges of different business units, and the range of people you get to deal with.

How did you get into HR?

My first job was an administrative role with Pacific Power in Sydney when I left school. I had the opportunity to work on a competency project where I met the HR Manager from our IT division. She was interested in hiring a HR consultant for her area and she asked me to join her team. I’ve been in HR ever since. It was a generalist role specific to the IT department and was a fantastic opportunity for my first role as it exposed me to many areas of HR from graduate programs and retention plans to talent management.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

I’m working for a fantastic, fast moving and continuously growing company, Uecomm, where I’ve been for the past eight months. As an expanding company in an exciting industry, there are – and will continue to be – many opportunities opening up over the next five years. As I’m also considering studying for an MBA next year, who knows what opportunities await me – but I imagine I’ll be with Uecomm.

What has been your biggest career high so far?

Landing my first HR director role was definitely a high. It was a global role based in the UK for an American asset management company called SEI Investments. It was fantastic to have exposure to the challenges of a global workforce and the opportunity to understand different cultures and what drives them.

What do you think it takes to succeed in HR?

You have to be knowledgeable and appreciate the power and importance that HR policy and strategy can have on a business. You need to have strong business acumen, be a strong influencer and negotiator and build your business credibility quickly. HR must have a good understanding of the needs different parts of the organisation have, and provide effective solutions to meet those challenges.

How do you manage relationships with senior executives?

As part of the senior executive team, I ensure I take time to understand their unique challenges. I’m honest and clear in my communications with them and have been able to show through effective advice and judgement, how important HR policy and practice is to their specific business areas.

Who is your biggest professional inspiration?

There isn’t one particular person but specific qualities of many people. One is my first manager for her passion and understanding of HR and her willingness to share her knowledge and experience. Secondly, my father, whose ability to motivate and always see the best in people is inspiring. And last but not least, Michael Jordan. Although he was arguably the best in the business he trained harder and practised longer than anyone else. He contributed his success not only to his personal drive but also to having a strong team around him.

What advice would you give to graduates considering a career in HR?

It’s important to gain an understanding of the complexities of HR and to try and get exposure to as many different areas as possible. The most important thing to do in any business is to understand the business itself, the challenges, the knowledge and experience of the managers you work with and company policy. Only then will you be able to effectively build credibility and provide the right advice for each situation. Learn as much as you can from other people and their experience, and take any opportunity you can get to work on projects that will help round out or build on your current experience.

Describe yourself in three words

Passionate, enthusiastic, driven.