As a Human Resources Consultant, Phyllis Jacobson has worked on several international projects in Liberia, Nigeria, and Guyana. Following a 25-year career at Manitoba Hydro, Phyllis transitioned into working on short-term international projects with MHI. For the past four years, she has focused on recruitment activities, conducting training needs analyses, leadership training, business planning, and implementing competency models and performance management systems.
What made you want to pursue a career in your industry?
I’m a coach and mentor at heart and have been able to practice these skills in new and challenging situations while maintaining a semi-retired lifestyle. I enjoy sharing knowledge that can improve the lives of others.
What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
The variety! When you deal with people and group behaviour, every day brings new challenges. I enjoy the collaboration and teamwork that is fundamental in the human resources field. Add in travel, and it just can’t get much better.
What has been your most significant achievement and lesson learned in your career?
The greatest satisfaction happens when others take hold of new ideas, recognizing the potential benefits to the organization or their careers. Motivation and task ownership increases as does the level of energy in the workplace. My career has been an enjoyable journey with such great people!
One thing I have learned is to listen for what is not being said. It is essential to get a clear understanding of any situation or request, especially when dealing with cultural and language differences.
What is something that you wish others knew about your industry?
Most of us take electricity for granted. We forget that without access to reliable electricity industry suffers, the standard of living decreases, and even education is affected. With the right people and human resource practices, a utility is that much closer to success.