Tiffany Jones, CCP, hasn’t let a planned career path trip up her professional advancement. The associate director for total rewards at Accenture, a global professional services company, believes the only way to grow is by accepting big transitions and challenges. She describes how that philosophy has played out as she offers advice and insight into career progression.
No. 1 ability that has helped her career:
Taking risks! I’ve made some big moves during my career (both physically and figuratively) that really propelled my personal and professional growth. Taking some risks and forcing myself outside my comfort zone helped me grow. And part of taking risks means possibly going off the path you originally envisioned for yourself. Don’t let a preconceived notion of how your career path should look get in your way.
Key career advice:
Don’t shy away from challenges. I’ve always known that I was about to take that next step forward when I felt unsure or nervous about what was ahead. Face those challenges head on, and get help from all levels (your team, your peers, your boss) to help you work through it. The journey through those big, challenging projects or transitions is how you truly grow.
What HR can’t live without:
People. We must remind ourselves that our job is about people. I work for a huge organization, but I can tell you the way we approach challenges on my team is to make the problem small. Think about a person who is impacted by the program, process, etc., and start there. You ultimately have a business problem to solve, but understanding how decisions affect people keeps you grounded and delivers a better outcome.
Two out-of-the-ordinary skills every rewards professional needs:
Creativity. People think rewards is a numbers job, and it is a lot of the time. But we all know the job of a rewards professional is sometimes more art than science. You need to be able to creatively solve for business problems even while anchoring to the numbers and a solid rewards foundation.
Rocket pilot. Yup, you need to be able to fly a rocket to the moon to see the whole picture from outer space. If you’re too close to see the long-term needs or beyond the horizon of where you are today, you’re going to miss out on setting the broader vision and the opportunity to ensure the best possible long-term return on rewards investment. But don’t spend all your time out in space. You need to get your feet on the ground enough that you understand the real impact of your decisions both for the business and each unique person too.