What qualities would you like your Human Resources (HR) representative to possess?
Margo Marks, HR Manager at Razorfish likely has all of the qualities that just ran across your mind. Margo embodies home away from home with her radiating warmth, the ability to be silly, and knack for relationship building.
Margo’s first leadership experience involved helping others as a member of Junior Civitan, a volunteer service organization. She later became president of her high school’s Junior Civitan Club and a member of the State board of the organization. Margo still believes in making an impact on the community. She knows everyone cannot be a big donor, however, people can give their time to help those in need.
Margo has a B.A in Sociology and Education from the University of Denver. Margo shared about her college experiences. She started at UGA, then realized a smaller school would be most beneficial for her educational needs. The ability to interact with her professors and other students on a deeper level enhanced her learning experience. The decision to move colleges was a difficult one, but she describes it as life changing.
Margo’s parents gave her the support she needed when she left home for Denver. She admires their leadership styles and the values they instilled in their children. Both of her parents have participated on many boards. Margo describes her mother as passionate and environmentally conscious. Margo loves that her father genuinely loves helping organizations and admires his ability to help them succeed.
Margo did not know that she would end up in H.R. After working in various nonprofit jobs after college, she decided she needed a break. The interlude from work led to Margo’s most unique job, making cookies for the Holiday season. During this time, she talked to her friends and asked them the same question, “Why do you like what you do?”
One friend’s response led to Margo working as a recruiter which was her first exposure to H.R. Now, as a seasoned HR representative, Margo has an answer to the question she once asked friends long ago. She likes working in H.R because she enjoys connecting with others through many facets.
Margo’s honesty, bubbly personality and focus on family, have not always been considered strengths. These factors can be barriers for women in the workplace. However, Margo feels that, “You can have hard conversations and still treat people with respect and kindness. That will help them learn from the experience”. Margo describes her leadership style as a gentle nudge. As a leader, Margo believes in gaining trust and mutual respect. She shoots straight in a way that people can process.
People looking to advance their career, will probably end up speaking to a recruiter or H.R representative. Margo has been in both roles, and she provided tips for job seekers. She encourages people to be confident and know your worth. Also, advocate for yourself and determine your balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.
Once you’re in a role, Margo recommends assuming best intentions with people. She posed the question, “What would someone think about you if they met you on one of your worst days?” That person might believe you are angry, sad, or distracted when that could be very different from your genuine personality. We can all give people opportunities to show who they truly are and realize parents, managers, employees, millennials… are all people.
“Every interaction is a time for a fresh start.”
When she’s not at work you may find Margo participating in an outdoor activity with her husband and two sons. Her favorite word is jump because she thinks of her boys jumping down the stairs, enthusiasm, and the ability to jump in. Margo desires to visit all 50 states; she only has three remaining (Hawaii, North Dakota, & South Dakota). Margo’s favorite object is her wedding ring because it represents family and home. Hopefully, that endearing fact will prompt her husband to book that trip to Hawaii.
Margo encourages future leaders to:
Always… be yourself because that is when you are most comfortable which leads to success. Also, always remember where you started.
Never… intentionally behave badly which includes holding others back for personal gain.
Follow… the path as it unfolds, be open to what lies ahead so that you can grow. Sometimes the hard right turns are the ones that are most important.