Member Spotlight: Elisabeth Waltz March 2016 PDF Print Email
Tuesday, March 01, 2016 01:53 PM

Why did you choose Human Resources as a career?

I wanted to “help people.” I envisioned myself as a champion who would protect employees from abusive managers and ensure they got the training and support they needed—because that’s what I wished I had as a young professional. Since then, of course, I’ve discovered that the reality of HR is much more balanced, complex, and interesting.

What do you enjoy most about working in the HR industry?

Variety, exposure, and impact. One of the things I enjoy most about HR, particularly as a generalist, is the variety. No two days are the same. I love the exposure to so many different functional areas, and being able to work with employees across all departments and levels of the organization. I thrive on projects that positively impact the whole organization, especially if they benefit society as well. People spend so much time at work, and I get to make that time more productive and rewarding.

What is the best piece of career advice that you have received that you would like to share?

To trust your instincts. When I look back on situations, I realize that I sensed from the beginning when something wasn’t right for me—but I ignored my intuition because it wasn’t logical or concrete. Just because you can’t track something in a spreadsheet doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. I was fascinated to learn that, when making a decision, the brain “lets us know its conclusions primarily through circuitry extending into the gastrointestinal tract that, literally, creates a gut feeling” (Daniel Goleman, Primal Leadership). When you take a quiet moment to contemplate what to do, you may find that you just know.

When did you join SDHR Roundtable?

Just recently. When I moved to San Diego, I knew I wanted to find a supportive community of peers similar to what I had with the Organization Development Network of Chicago. As I searched online for local groups, I was immediately impressed with how active SDHR is. I saw three or four programs I already knew I wanted to attend, so I went ahead and joined to get the member prices. The first event I attended was a happy hour where I met Barbara, Jennifer, and Danielle, who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I’ve been active ever since.

What are you working on right now?

Finding my next opportunity, which is a full-time job in itself! Since I’m new to the area, I’ve been enjoying building relationships and learning about the unique qualities of this market. I’m looking for the right professional home where I can make an impact as a generalist, business partner, or manager. I’m also making time for hobbies, including going to the beach (of course), taking photographs, and devouring books.

I’m also thrilled to have been invited to join the Board of Directors of the SDHR Roundtable (yay!). I’ll help plan programs, manage the website, and make other newbies feel welcome. I’m hoping to put together a program for later this year on corporate social responsibility, which is a topic dear to my heart. I want to give back to the San Diego HR community, which has been incredibly supportive as I’ve been getting acclimated and learning about my new home. 

Elisabeth welcomes you to connect with her at www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethgwaltz

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