Diver

Lawyer

Videographer

Teacher

Want to work in HR? Find out how Danielle did just that

Want to work in HR? Find out how Danielle did just that

Danielle Pierce, HR Advisor, Holland Beckett Law

What did you want to be when you were 16?
A professional volleyball player. I have played volleyball for as long as I can remember and have been lucky enough to represent New Zealand in both beach and indoor volleyball. Being paid to play the sport you love would be the dream!

What did you end up doing when you left school?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do once I finished school, so I decided to take a gap year and work for a year. I ended up getting a job as an Administration Assistant at a law firm and my “gap year” then led to three years as a legal secretary.

How did you get into your career?
It was while I was working as a legal secretary that I became interested in Human Resources. I started studying Business and Human Resource Management through Massey University part-time while I continued working and subsequently was fortunate to be offered a job in the Human Resources team at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. I was then enticed back to Holland Beckett Law to assist with building an HR function for the firm and have been here for nearly four years now. 

Describe a day in your life at work:
Every day is different and different months of the year bring different priorities. My role revolves around the core tasks of recruitment, onboarding and induction of new employees, performance management, remuneration, health and safety and other various projects.

Why do you love your job/career?
I love my job because of the people that I get to work with and the variety my job provides. Professional services can be serious workplaces, one thing I love about Holland Beckett Law is that we are social, we still manage to have a laugh and get the work done.

What qualifications did you study?
I studied a Diploma in Business majoring in Human Resource Management through Massey University.

Do you have any advice for getting into your sector?
My pathway into HR was probably quite different to most as I didn’t go straight to University. I think my advice would be that if you know that HR is what you want to do, then start your studies, whether full-time at a University or part-time while working, and start to make connections with people in the industry. A lot of the time it can be more about who you know, rather than what you know, and having a mentor has been invaluable for me on my HR journey.

What do you wish you had done differently?
Absolutely nothing! Had I known at school that Human Resources was what I wanted to do then I probably would have gone straight to University, but I feel very fortunate about the way things have turned out. I would not have the job that I have right now without the work experience I have behind me. Qualifications are important, but work experience also means a lot.

What would you say to your teenage self about defining your future?
I think that there is a lot of pressure on students to know what it is that they are going to do when they finish school, but I think students need to know that it's ok if they don’t know. What is not ok is being lazy, giving up and not doing anything. As long as you have a good attitude and are willing to work hard then you will figure it out eventually. If I could speak to my 17-year-old self I would probably say something like - “Dani, its ok that you don’t know what you want to do when you ‘grow up’, you don’t need to stress about that, but in the meantime keep working hard. Your work ethic will serve you well in sport and in life”.