Assistant personnel officer, Bradford District Care Trust

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“If you're looking for a career with lots of opportunities to progress up the ladder then this job is excellent.”

What do you do?

There are seven of us in the HR (Human Resources) Department. We're responsible for staff management. This includes recruitment and employee welfare: pay issues, training and development, health and safety, things like that. I need to know all the different employment laws and rules so I can give advice to the various hospital managers.

What is your typical day?

It's a fun job but it can be really demanding. My days involve meeting people, leading seminars, doing job interviews, setting up training courses and writing policy documents.

Part of my work is dealing with staff discipline. If someone has been accused of misconduct - maybe fiddling timesheets, verbal or even physical abuse- then I have to set up an investigation. It takes a lot of tact and diplomacy to sift through the evidence and get to the bottom of what's happened. Some days I'm not far off from being a police officer! Once I've got the facts I have to write a report for the official disciplinary hearing, when the panel decides what action to take: a formal warning, suspension or even dismissal.

The great thing about this job is that you're offered funding and support to do further training. I came here with no formal qualifications but I've been given the chance to take my CPP (Certificate in Personnel Practice) and since last September I've been studying for my degree-level CIPD (Certificate in Professional Development). My first few years in the job were hard work as I had a full time job followed by training in the evenings. But it's definitely been worth it!

I'm certainly really different from the way I was at school - the job has made me much more confident. I can now talk to anyone from a chief executive to a cleaner without turning a hair. I'm also used to speaking in public and training large groups of people. I've also become much more precise. In this job you have to do everything by the book, following exact procedures and guidelines.