Every so often, we feature one of our consultants and highlight their story to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life at Smart HR. As always, if you’re looking for a flexible HR career that’s adaptable to wherever you are in your professional life, contact us today. Without further ado, please meet this month’s spotlight consultant, Jen Paragas.
Name: Jen Paragas
Years with Smart HR: 1.5 years
Professional Background in One Sentence: For the past 20 years, I have enjoyed leading people, performance & HR across a broad spectrum of organizations and industries.
Why did you make the move to Smart HR?
Smart HR affords me the flexibility to work at the intersection of human capital management, personal development, and organizational transformation. My diversity of client experience allows me to bring those lessons to uniquely customize and deliver individual and business strategies, programs, and coaching that improve cultural harmony and position for growth.
Five years ago, did you think you’d be doing what you’re doing now?
Five years ago, I was building new performance management and compensation systems for a federal government agency and large corporations. Today, I am excited to bring those experiences to smaller growing companies.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Different from the one before. I currently have 2 small business clients. My day is balanced amongst managing a breadth of HR issues large and small, private coaching, and my patient volunteer work with JSSA Hospice, with all the joys of a full family life.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I am passionate about empowering clients to work through difficult life transitions, especially when they are feeling stuck. In our coaching practice, I offer a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere where one can decompress and vent before funneling energy toward problem solving and growth. The personal transformations and enduring results that follow are very rewarding for me to both witness and take part in.
What about the Smart HR model really appeals to you?
The tremendous diversity of client experiences, as well as our seasoned team of consultants, is a winning combination. Coming into Smart HR as a one-woman show, the immediate accessibility of in-depth knowhow and best practice found right inside our own consultant pool has been life changing. Why ask Google when you can just email our team of 15 resident HR experts?
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself in college?
I was a Biology major! Given my choice of profession, I would have taken a gap year to travel the world and fine-tune my first professional role. That said, starting as a Programming Intern for the Discovery Channel just out of college is what led me to the HR field. I’ve learned it’s important to discover what it is you authentically love to do and then to create a concrete plan to do it.