How I Got Here - Lauren Harris
Lauren and I first met on a video call and immediately clicked! Introduced by a mutual business connection, I knew Lauren was a talented professional, but I didn't expect to connect with her so quickly and find someone who was so aligned to the way I think and operate. Lauren and I kept in touch (remotely), then when the time came for MADI to expand and to bring in new Associates, Lauren immediately sprang to mind! Lauren is exactly the kind of person you would want to coach you through a career transition or support your business across culture and talent, as she's not only highly intelligent, but warm, engaging and just quite fabulous really!! I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little more and hearing her story.
What is your current role, and how does it fulfil you?
I work as a freelance Consultant working with both MADI talent studio and Change 2020. At MADI I am an Associate Career Coach and at Change2020 I work as an Associate Consultant supporting their clients on cultural change, leadership development and culture projects.
Working as a coach is hugely fulfilling as I love working 1:1 with people for them to identify their unique strengths and how to package that to develop their unique personal brand. I love the confidence people build in themselves as they start to see what is possible for themselves, the time flies by having these conversations, so it doesn’t feel like work.
Consulting with organisations through change, leadership and culture fulfills the analytical and curious side of me. I love learning, so working with some of the most brilliant change and leadership professionals raises my game every day!
What career decisions and experience led you to where you are today?
Ever since leaving University I have worked in HR, Organisational Development and Recruitment in some capacity. I would consider myself a true generalist – I never wanted to specialise my HR career into a specific area as I love variety. Working in a pure HR/IR role never appealed to me as I was never a lover of strict rules, policy and procedure side of HR – I was much more motivated by what is possible, how we can innovate to improve processes and support staff to be the best they can be.
Reflecting back my career moves the decisions have been made in line with my values of freedom, equality, integrity and fun. I have left roles if I have had to sacrifice too much of myself and have always strived for a healthy level of balance which has become even more important as a parent of 2 children. Since COVID I am now even more passionate about integrating work into my life and saying yes to things that give me purpose and challenge and carving out my own path – something I would never have thought possible in my first corporate HR role.
My first HR role in a top-tier law firm was invaluable training for my early career – but it did teach me a valuable lesson about maintaining boundaries and managing your own well-being at work. One of the best life decisions I made was to move to London where I ended up working for the Global Talent Acquisition team at MasterCard – whilst the ‘temp’ job was advertised at a lower level the experience was 100% worth it – I ended up working with the European Head of Talent and learnt so much from her and ended up working on projects outside the ‘temp scope’ supporting the European Graduate Program strategy. A role highlight was definitely travelling London to Belgium on the Eurostar for work meetings – such an amazing and unexpected opportunity.
Returning to Australia I started working in the Energy industry as an internal recruiter bought into develop and launch a Graduate Development Program – this experience was invaluable and had me work 1:1 with the HR Director on the launch. Building a graduate program from scratch gave me such great exposure across the business and within a short time frame I was promoted to Associate HRBP. I loved working with managers to build their teams capabilities, coach them through people issues and recruit talent to grow their capability. My decision to leave was geographical after moving to Torquay whilst on maternity leave – the commute to Melbourne with a baby at home was not going to support the wellbeing of my family so something had to give.
Moving out of HR into a University Career service opened up another pathway for me working with people to find their passion, purpose and market themselves to employers allowed me to combine my HR skills and take a move into a different field. This ultimately has led me to following my passion for career coaching.
You can never underestimate the power of a network. My ex HR Director connected with me after accepting a redundancy, and asked if I would come to work with her in Consulting – I have been working with her and the Change2020 team for a year and it has been such a great decision. Networking also connected me to Lisa Pratt at MADI – with work connections in common we met up for a video call, shared a very similar outlook to work, life and careers and the rest is history.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to end up where you have?
Your next opportunity exists within your network, ask and you shall receive!
If you would like to learn more about the wonderfully talented Lauren, and the work she does as part of Team MADI you can check it out here!