SitusAMC Power Pro: Nicola Jacks
Name: Nicola Jacks
Title: Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Day-to-day: I’m in HR, so I don’t really have a typical day. My day looks like a mixture of processing employee data and working with management. I could be working on coaching, recruitment or strategic initiatives. I do a lot of cultural engagement, for example, increasing staff engagement and mentoring. We recently started a coffee roulette to increase networking. We pair people up together with someone they wouldn’t normally interact with.
What it takes to get the job done: Emotional intelligence is key. To succeed you need to be able to listen and empathize but still maintain boundaries and get respect. In HR your role can be quite reactive at times, so you must be comfortable with the uncomfortable, and you need to be resilient in those moments. Finally, I also think you need a good sense of humor, because that always makes the day go quicker.
Most important mentor: I’m a huge advocate for mentorship, I absolutely love it, and I believe that we are always still learning at every level so could always use a mentor! Wherever you are in life, it's good to have a mentor AND to be a mentor in whatever capacity you can. It’s important when you enter into the mentorship relationship to know what you are seeking and why. You need to be the driver of your own goals. I am lucky to be able to report to one of my mentors. She has enabled me to grow professionally and personally and has taught me a lot.
Best advice: This advice came from my wise granddad: “Two things don’t look after themselves, your health and your wealth, so you need to invest in both successfully!”
Lessons I’ve learned: When I used to make mistakes, it really hurt but I’ve learned to enjoy making mistakes because it means I’m learning. I’ve also learned that when you can be vulnerable and open about mistakes it enables other people to be comfortable about their own vulnerability and it allows for an authentic relationship. And that relationship will be a little more fun because having the ability to be humble and laugh at yourself is such a gift.
Fondest memories: I’m lucky to have lots of great memories. One of my core happiest memories was at Christmas when the family all gathered together. My grandad used to pass out these special little stirrers to the children for all our drinks, so we felt like we were getting a special cocktail just like the grown-ups. It was just a little gesture, but it made that moment feel so magical. It takes me right back now when I see one of those little umbrellas in a glass.
My greatest strength: I would say authentically showing up in all that I do, for my friends, for my family, for myself and for work. I love empowering people and cheerleading ideas and people.
Book that changed my life: I’m such a fiend for self-development books, I could recommend thousands, but one that I really recommend for someone beginning their career is called Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven. It was originally a university speech that was turned into a book. He urges people to focus on developing the small habits of life that are the foundations of success.
Bucket list destination: I love to travel. I’ve been backpacking, I’ve traveled to the other side of the world to New Zealand and Australia. Now I really want to go to South Africa. I want to see the beaches, the mountains, the amazing wildlife reserves and of course, tour the lovely wineries. South Africa seems to be an incredibly unique place.
Personal motto: I really do have many personal mottos, but my top one is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and believe everyone is trying their best.