Name: Jennifer Denoon
Title: Change, Communications and Learning, Senior Manager
1. Tell us a about yourself
My career has been a varied one! My first jobs whilst still in high school saw me working in people oriented roles, retail, hospitality and customer service. Looking back they really did teach me so much about myself and service! Travel was my next career role – its where my education really began. I spent time living in many countries and exploring others as I tried to decide on which career path I wanted to take. I would love to say my career has been planned but it hasn’t! Many opportunities have presented themselves simply because I was in the right place at the right time. My grounding in Human Resources and Learning started with a role working in Warner Bros in the UK, for a startup animation studio! It really combined my love of all things change.
It was new, teams from all over the world came together to work on creative projects in a field I knew nothing about – but loved! And so my career in Learning began. From there I spent a good solid 12 years in financial services and then across all industries moving in to change management roles in telecommunications, government, retail, digital – its been fun!
2. What are the toughest challenges you have overcome in your career?
I worked in financial services for a large American bank during the 2008 financial crises, that was a learning and a really tough time in the organization. I certainly had to become very creative in how we managed the change in the business and helped teams focus on what was possible. Other challenges have been wanting to introduce new ways of learning and the pace to which I wanted change to happen in organizations which were just not ready to adapt and embrace! That left me often questioning my role and how I influence or deciding to take the next big risk in my career and move on.
3. Did you have a mentor or role model you were inspired by?
Too many to name! I have always been inspired and learnt directly from some amazing people throughout my career. Currently I am learning a lot from the new generation of millennials coming through our business – the digital world has a lot to teach us & quickly.
4. What are 3 pieces of advice you would share with aspiring learning professionals?
This might sound clichéd, but keep learning! I am constantly surprised by how many HR professionals I continue to meet that are not up to date with technology impacting HR, new learning approaches and ways of thinking about people development in organisations.
Secondly, don’t wait to be told, get curious about what’s happening out in the market and by some fabulous startups in the learning space. There are a lot of smart people out there disrupting our field – which is great to see.
Thirdly, stay passionate about learning, build your network and don’t be afraid to take a risk or two!
5. What has been the proudest moment of your career?
I think back on the many jobs I have had in my career and working for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 stands out as a proud moment. Watching the event take place and knowing that I had played a small part in one of the biggest sporting events in the world felt great!