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, Monica Bower.
Name: Monica Bower
Years with Smart HR: 3 years
Professional Background in One Sentence: I am a SPHR, SHRM-SCP with more than 25 years’ experience in Human Resources for small businesses, government contracting, and IT companies.
Why did you make the move to Smart HR?
I had wanted to transition from large employer HR to consulting but did not want business development responsibility. Meeting Mark and joining Smart HR created the perfect opportunity for me.
Five years ago, did you think you’d be doing what you’re doing now?
At that time, I was managing the downsizing and outplacement of 300+ government contractor employees while knowing I would be exiting as well. I was hoping to find a new career that leveraged my HR and business knowledge without the stress of corporate politics.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I like to get up early and jump-start my day with coffee and the NY Times crossword puzzle. I currently have 3 small business clients and am on-site with them 5 days each week. I have a mix of transactional tasks and long-term strategic projects, which tend to be pre-empted by the crisis of the day.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy partnering with company leadership and helping them develop and implement their people strategy. I am able to find effective solutions for people and operational issues and elevate the HR function to a trusted partnership for employees and managers.
What about the Smart HR model really appeals to you?
I am able to leverage all of my work experience and apply that knowledge to my clients, from my first job in 1971 as a general office clerk where inventory records were kept on poster board and accounting transactions were entered by hand into ledgers to my role as an HR director implementing payroll and HRIS solutions. I have worked with and learned from people with diverse backgrounds: secretaries, lawyers, software and nuclear engineers, aircraft repair mechanics, property managers, carpenters and roofers.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself in college?
I did not have the typical college experience. I went to work immediately after high school. I eventually got my degree in business management at George Mason through the 20-year plan while working full time and raising three children with my husband, Neal.