In 2016, I made a decision to look for alternative employment and a new challenging role. My experiences up until then had been in working in HR in industries such as Retail, Hotels and at the time RTÉ, all of which were challenging, fast paced environments. When the opportunity to work for Jigsaw came up there were a number of overwhelming reasons to consider the role. Firstly, who doesn’t want to work in an organisation that is supporting the mental health of anyone, regardless of adult, children or young people and secondly it was a real opportunity to work for a growing organisation and play a role in its development, especially the development if a HR function.
What I didn’t fully understand at the time was the immense impact we and I say we, as in all of us who work and volunteer in Jigsaw, have on young people but also on the wider communities they are part of. From the early intervention model which is undeniably transformative, to the impact Jigsaw has on communities by educating and providing vital information and guidance on supporting young people.
As a growing organisation, it is personally satisfying to be part of the internal conversation around development, innovation, wellbeing, engagement, culture all the nice ‘HR’y stuff’ that may be on the agenda but are not always viewed as important. In Jigsaw they are….
By nature of our growth path, we all work hard but we also all remember each other and check-ins are a key part of daily interactions. We care about young people but we also care about each other, which in the challenging area of mental health, is as important as the work we do! This make me proud of my role in Jigsaw and proud of my organisation and each of my colleagues.
While my role doesn’t have direct contact with young people, our culture dictates that we are all valued in our own right and our contribution is recognised equally, that is something I feel is important for supporting roles such as HR. I have the opportunity through my role to engage with everyone across the organisation, working particularly closely with the Senior Management team, aswell as the staff who are working directly in our services and National Office, our Youth Advisory Panel and some members of the board who give up their time to sit on the HR & Governance Subcommittee. We have a key role is supporting and providing guidance on some key areas like Recruitment (getting the right people!) Performance Management, Learning & Development and structured policies and procedures to ensure equality, diversity and equity across the organisation. It is a huge learning opportunity for me and it is providing me with a great opportunity to continue to develop my career.