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Sunday Success - Julie Turney


Chief Energy Officer, HR@Heart Consulting Services

Who is Julie Turney?

Born in Manchester UK to a Jamaican Father and Barbadian mother, I describe myself as a BritBaJam. I relocated to Barbados at the age of 13 and have lived between Barbados and the UK for most of my life. I am a mother to 3 children, 2 boys ages 22 and 16 and 1 girl aged 15. I love seeing people reach their full potential in their roles in any organization that I work with. I am a People Champion, Public Speaker, Podcaster (HR Sound Off) and I love jazz music and Marvel comics.


What does your day to day entail?

I start most of my days at 4:30 am with reading and meditation, it gets me focused on the day ahead. Prior to lockdown I would see my daughter off to school and make my way to work while enjoying music or podcasts on my way. I love to learn new things and so I have found that audiobooks and podcasts work well for me as learning tools. I start my mornings catching up with my team. Since we use Agile methodologies, daily standups work great for us and give me an opportunity to hear how they are progressing and if there are any blockers I need to assist in removing so that they can achieve their tasks. I work very closely with our leadership team in planning and implementing strategies across the organization and I love to walk the floor and talk to employees throughout the day to see how they are doing and understand any challenges they may be facing. We strive to maintain robust talent pipelines for each role and so we consciously work on building these daily. You will hardly find me at my desk as I like to get the pulse of the people and the most effective way to do that for me is by talking to them.


Tell us a bit about your career journey.

I started working at an early age. I created my first job at the age of 10. In my neighborhood in the UK there were lots of elderly people that could not help themselves and so I would polish their furniture for a small fee. It was a great way to get pocket money. My family always lived close to football grounds, Manchester City ground was 5 minutes away from my house and so when there were football matches my cousins and I used to w atchthe cars of visitors from out of town to make sure no one broke into them during the match, that was how I got my comic money (lol). I started my working career in sales and marketing, selling office furniture and equipment. It did not take me long to realize that I did not like sales but I loved interacting with people and learning what made them tick. I was first drawn to HR by a mentor who saw something in me that I did not see in myself and I thank her to this day for showing me the door. Over the last 15 years I have learned that it is not everything that I love about what I do but I love what I do, I hope that makes sense.

What do you love most about being a Human Resource professional?

Moving to a more Agile way of working in HR has been extremely rewarding for me. I never wanted to be a bad leader. I saw bad leadership so many times in my career, so I knew what I did not want to be and strived to be the complete opposite. I love giving people the opportunity to develop and grow and learn in their own way. I have found that when I give clear instructions on what is required without telling people how to do it, the amazing things they come up with and doing it in a way that makes them most comfortable is very rewarding to me. I love to provide psychological safety and work in inclusive cultures this has helped me to develop as a leader.


As an experienced Recruiter, what areas(s) do you find job seekers are usually weak in?

It makes me sad to see that in 2020 we are still receiving poorly written resumes. A resume in the body of an email is not acceptable and submitting a resume for a job you know you are not qualified for makes processing applications very difficult for HR. Apply for what you know you are qualified for and where you know you have the best chances of getting the job. Your resume is not a one size fits all document, it is important to read the vacancy and structure your resume according to the skills that are required for the role. As more companies automate this process, it will be harder for persons to get their resume seen by a human being especially if you are not using the keywords in the vacancy because that is all a machine reads. When it comes to the interview process, ensure you are prepared and that you have researched the company and the team you are going into. Find out the dress code so that you dress accordingly from the interview and always ask questions at the end, there is always something to ask even if you just ask, what happens next in the process?


We know that you recently started HR At Heart. Tell us a bit about this.

I started HR@Heart out of a desire to help my fellow HR colleagues to lead a purposeful career in HR. HR professionals are known for taking the burdens of others, employees and employers alike and it is a heavy burden most of the time, but who supports us? Who helps and guides us through difficult times even the moments when we feel as though this may not be the career for us. As a professional coach, I consult with HR professionals to help them upskill and refocus. So if you are not sure about where you are going, if you feel that you are not being heard or properly utilized in your organization and you are tired and frustrated and looking for a soundboard and an accountability coach, I am here to support you. I also train professionals in the certified Agile HR certification course. Through my company, I also run 3 Chapters of Disrupt HR in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and I host my bi-weekly podcast called HR Sound Off where I interview my HR colleagues on various topics and demystify the many misconceptions people have about our profession.


If you could have lunch with one person, who would you choose?

I would probably choose Beyonce. I love her work ethic as a woman, mother, and wife. She is consistent and always at the top of her game in all that she does, and I would love to pick her brain to learn more about what drives and motivates her. What I love the most about her is her ability to perform her music in different variations. She can sing the same song in so many ways and she treasures collaborations despite her being the brand that she is. There is a lot to learn from her management style and personal dedication to building her brand and I am intrigued to learn more.


Where can our readers connect with you online?

@Iamjulieturney on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

@HRATHEART on Instagram & LinkedIn

@HRSoundoff on Instagram & LinkedIn

@DisruptHRBarbados on Facebook Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter


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