With an impressive combination of foresight and determination, self-starter Sharna spotted the potential for growth at AO Mobile in a way that few would. By joining a company that rewards initiative, she earned her way into the HR career she’s always dreamed of.
A people person through and through, Sharna knew she’d thrive in a career where listening to and supporting others was her main priority. With a background in customer service, she set her sights on a role in Human Resources.
The trouble was, she knew she didn’t have the HR experience to jump straight into the advisory role she wanted, nor did she have a degree that might give her the edge when applying.
Rather than give up on her dream, or wait around for the perfect opportunity to appear, Sharna created one for herself. She noticed Mobile Phones Direct (AO Mobile’s pre-AO name) were on the lookout for a receptionist, and saw it as the perfect way to get her foot in the door with a role that might entail a few HR-related responsibilities.
While she carried out her duties as a receptionist, Sharna made sure her intention to develop HR skills was known. At the time, the business didn’t have a dedicated HR department, so she took on as many related tasks as possible – note taking in meetings, writing up letters, taking sick calls – anything that would prime her to be first in line for a HR opening when the time came.
That time came when AO became part of the equation. With the full force of AO behind the business, Sharna knew she’d have the support to make her move into the world of HR. Richard Baxendale, MD of AO Mobile, encouraged Sharna to take accredited HR courses, while friendly visits from members of AO’s HR team gave her the conviction to start studying towards further qualifications in her spare time.
When Senior People Partner Vicky Hart joined AO in 2019, everything fell into place. Vicky, a seasoned HR professional, immediately recognised Sharna’s potential and insisted she take up a full time HR role. Starting in an administrative capacity to begin with, it took only a month before Vicky promoted her to HR advisor.
Sharna has many AOers to thank for the support she’s received along her way to getting into her ideal career, but she highlights Vicky Hart as someone who’s really taken a personal interest in making sure she meets her goals.