My top tips: Rachel Westcott, director of global resourcing, Save the Children

Get some experience outside HR

Get some experience outside HR Management experience is especially valuable. I used to be a general manager on the railways, where I saw how people who aren't HR professionals work.

This kind of experience means that you come to the job equipped with an understanding of the realities of people management, and you can give pragmatic advice. It helps you to see where people are coming from.

Learn how to empathise It's important to understand what motivates each individual and be able to see things from different people's points of view. Only then can you create solutions where everyone wins whenever possible.

Look beyond the theory HR practice and people management are not the same thing. It's not about finding text-book solutions, but trying to find workable arrangements. In my job I deal with offices in 40 different countries, and we have employees of at least 60 different nationalities, so I often can't use my familiar UK scenarios.

Think logically When you are dealing with different cultures and regulations, you need to think about what it is that you want to achieve, rather than what is standard practice.

Find solutions I'm proud that in my job I have helped find a more solution-focused way of working and helped to enable line managers to find their own solutions.

Encourage passion I have worked in both the public and private sectors. In many ways, they are much more straightforward than the voluntary sector. In this sector, you have the added dimension of people who are very passionate about their work. This makes it an exciting place to work and it can be an excellent motivator, but it can also bring its own challenges.

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