My name is Tom and I live in Natick, a town outside of Boston. I started at Insource in Fall 2016, as an HR consultant. Before Insource I spent 10 years in New York City working in the music business, and then at Whole Foods Market, where I did everything from chopping vegetables to running kitchens, designing menus, store management, and HR for six years.
How did you find Insource?
I wanted to find work that meant something, and I wanted to help people. I started looking into non-profits, and as a way to get into that world, I decided to make use of my experience in HR.
When I started looking for jobs, I was googling local companies, and Insource was five miles down the road and had vacancies. I looked at their client list, saw it was very much linked to non-profits, scientific research, and small local businesses. The opportunity grabbed my attention. I thought, “Wow, this is exactly what I’m looking for”.
How was the interview process?
There was phone screening, an in-person interview with another consultant and the head of the department, a second interview with Bruce (the President and CEO) and the COO, and I got the job!
What were your main goals going in?
I was starting the third chapter of my professional career, and I wanted to use the skills that I had previously developed. While the adjustment to consultant took me some time to figure out, with the help of the team I was able to learn how to use my experience and apply it in ways that best serve our clients.
When you’re looking for a job post 40 years old, you don’t want a job that’s just adding to your resume, you want something that will hopefully finish your resume. So that’s what I wanted, and that’s what I’ve found!
What was your biggest challenge?
It was a huge mental shift from being a full-time HR person to being a Consultant.
When you’re in a big company, a lot of things feel the same – it’s all process and towing the company line. With consulting/Insource, you use the knowledge that you have built over time and apply it in a different way every day. You must be comfortable and confident.
As a consultant, we always offer our best suggestion based on experience, precedent, and the law. If a company wants to do something else that’s their decision. It’s not like being in an internal department; you can’t be afraid of the CEO disagreeing with you and fearing that they will fire you. All of this takes confidence and experience and is an adjustment from traditional HR work.
What’s your day-to-day like?
I don’t have a typical day, as such. I have clients in Cambridge and downtown Boston that I was physically visiting two days a week before the pandemic. There are days I’m working from home and days that I’m in Insource’s office. It’s pretty varied. I have days where I look at ongoing issues with clients, and days where I’m in the mode of getting to know people to better understand their company. It’s easy to find yourself thinking about five different clients at one time.
What opportunities are available to you?
I came in at HR Consultant “level one” and after a year and a half I got promoted to “level two”. The path for growth is all laid out for me. I know I can progress as long as I’m willing to put the time and effort into learning and growing. It isn’t “If I do XYZ, I’ll get promoted”, it’s more a case of “If I show I’m capable of doing bigger and better things, that will be recognized”. I want to grow within myself. If an opportunity presents itself and I feel ready for it, I’ll go for it.
What is the support like?
At the moment, I work with multiple HR Administrators. Working with them is great, they provide invaluable support and they often remind me of things that I need to keep on top of with specific clients, which is so helpful. I also have a fantastic relationship with my director. We often look at HR situations in different ways and I learn a lot from her. She’s incredibly supportive, knowledgeable, and together we are able to work through many complex situations as a team.
Some clients use all three of our services (Finance, HR, and IT), and having that level of involvement means we can combine our expertise to get to the bottom of various issues. It’s also great with situations where we’re brought in early to a small organization. I’ve worked with clients that brought us on when they were very small, and they’ve now grown to a size where they could bring in their own full-time people to do what we do. In many cases, they keep us on because of the comfort and expertise we bring. That’s awesome.
Work you are most proud of?
I think it’s seeing client growth. I remember that I hadn’t been at Insource very long and I was assigned a client that was just opening but could be a very important client for a very long time. Insource had the confidence to give this fledgling client to me, I really worked at it, and I’ve been with them for four years now.
What do you do for fun?
I have two daughters, so I mainly spend time with them and my wife. This last year has been difficult for all of us but we have bonded and grown as a family. I dare say that while the pandemic has been a dark time, there have been a few silver linings.
I also live in Boston – so I’m a sports nut.
Was Insource the right fit for you?
Absolutely. I’ve been able to be successful as myself. Insource not only allows me to do that but also encourages me to do that. What more could you want?
Could Insource be right for you?
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