Kanchan

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“My role involves managing human resource needs for over 240 staff. It also includes internal communication, media relations and corporate social responsibility work. I work mostly within the Gulf countries, with occasional trips to Total’s head office in Paris. I’m based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Science, and completed postgraduate studies in Management. Apart from holding the right qualifications, I would say that to be an accomplished HR professional, it is most critical to have a good understanding of peoples’ behavior and communicate effectively. Good interpersonal skills and strong creative and problem solving skills are important too. In my job in the UAE, a specific understanding of diversity is key, as we have a team with over 23 nationalities.

 

What advice would I give someone interested in pursuing a career in this field? HR is a competitive industry and also an integral part of any successful organization. Whenever a business goes through major developments, such as mergers or restructuring, the HR department plays a crucial role in implementing these changes. In other words, this function is a strategic partner to the business. Also, it is a very fulfilling career path as you are dealing with people and not machines – hence there are never any tailor made solutions. That means that you are always stimulated to think out of the box and constantly come up with sustainable and innovative solutions.

 

As an employer, Total drives a sense of loyalty and commitment among its employees. As an organization, Total has empowered me and provided me the necessary development not only as an employee but as an individual. Working here offers more than just the right career opportunities. In the future, I might look to find a bigger regional role within HR, or perhaps head a global project for the Group on diversity or training.

 

My favorite part of the job … I would say it is facing different (mostly unexpected!) people related situations on a daily basis. The most surprising thing about my job is… the human brain! Exactly how it operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and the more I probe its secrets, the more surprises I find.”