Canada’s HR industry is producing a batch of entrepreneurial individuals who are going on to use their background to make it big, or make a difference.
Though careers in HR were attractive to both, two entrepreneurs are proving a HR career can be a gateway into something new and even more satisfying.
The Ottawa Citizen
reports that Jeff Perron thought he was set for a career in HR, before finding himself using his background to become a tech entrepreneur.
With an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters in business administration, Perron landed a job in HR and got set for a stellar career.
However, he told The Ottawa Citizen
he felt like he wasn’t doing enough to help people, and made the leap to study for a PhD in clinical psychology.
“It was a good [HR] job, I enjoyed it, but at the end of the day I felt like I was a middleman between actually getting people some kind of help,” he said.
Following his desire to work face-to-face with patients coping with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, he was eventually left frustrated by the lack of resources available to vulnerable individuals.
The result? Perron developed an app called TruReach Health – being released on on 9 September – which will allow patients to take cognitive behavioural therapy-inspired psychotherapy lessons wherever they are.
“I can do the traditional therapy and see people one-on-one, or I can help potentially thousands if not more people at once,” he told the paper.
Perron isn’t alone. Kyla Woodcock made her HR career a springboard into something that she really loved – entrepreneurialism – in her case, starting the successful Forest City Sport and Social Club in London, Ontario.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, Woodcock got a job in a technology firm in Ottawa PMC Sierra, according to a report in London Free Press
However, when Nortel – PMC Sierra’s major customer – went bust, Woodcock lost her job, and dived straight into an MBA at Western University.
Continuing to use her experience in HR, she started a HR consulting business and used the income to put in place plans to build her sport and social club.
Woodock says she has the entrepreneurial gene: her mother was also a HR consultant with her own business, and later opened a gardening store.
London Free Press
reports the club has grown over the past six years from three sports with 220 members to 25 leagues with more than 12,000 participants.
“It’s remarkable. It has been slow and steady growth,” Woodcock told the paper.
And her background in HR was critical to her success.
“The whole idea of a social club was familiar to me. It is all about connecting people with opportunities, like human resources,” she said.