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A Year In The Life…my first (eventful) year with Liberty HR Recruitment – Beth Foster

I joined Liberty HR Recruitment in November 2019. The company was very much still in its infancy and Jane, Den and Lucy were all still finding their feet. They had a clear idea of what they wanted however, and a very clear sense of identity for Liberty HR. This stand-out identity was what had attracted me to working at Liberty HR in the first place and a massive reason why I am so happy here…but more of that later!

Within a matter of weeks I found myself at my/our very first Liberty HR Christmas do! A fun night out with a delicious festive meal in Gunwharf. This coincided with me hosting my first-ever family Christmas at home…suddenly I was acting like a fully-grown adult in all aspects of my life. I knew it was going to be a great New Year…yet at this stage I was blissfully unaware as to how BIG the imminent 2020 was destined to be of course…

The New Year started innocently enough, I started studying for my CIPD level 3 in January, sponsored by Liberty HR of course, and I started meeting all sorts of new friends. Everything was going so well, and then my six-year-old son Thomas fell ill with appendicitis. It would be a worrying time for any mother and I held my breath as my little boy underwent emergency surgery. There were a few tears and sleepless nights and thankfully all went well. I thank my lucky stars for our amazing NHS whose brilliant team were fantastic with Thomas.

Following Thomas’ ordeal, things slowly returned to normal and in February Liberty HR staged its first large event – an HR Forum for approximately 120 HR professionals at the Village Hotel, Lakeside. It was a HUGE success and we had some amazing feedback on everything from the speakers to the venue. We’re DEFINITELY having another when circumstances allow.  This event was closely followed by my first ever CIPD event in March at the Ageus Bowl in Southampton. I absolutely love networking with fellow HR professionals!

Later the same month it was my birthday and I was given the day off at work – another lovely Liberty HR ‘thing’ – and so I went for a spa day with my mum. Little did we know that very soon after, the national lockdown was to start.

The Liberty HR team was enabled to work from home immediately and then we all soon went onto furlough as all of our jobs were withdrawn. I did some volunteer work for Aurora New Dawn during April and did my best at home-schooling Thomas. Very sadly I lost my grandmother to Covid19 later that month. It’s been such a tough year for so many and events like these have really brought the immense challenges we are all facing home to me.

On a brighter note, Thomas celebrated his 7th birthday in May and in June, I finally returned to work at Liberty HR!
My family and I have always been close yet throughout lock-down it was difficult to see everyone, so we had a little reunion in July, the first time we could all be together (at a social distance of course!) since February. We had a family picnic in the New Forest, with lots of food, ice cream and a few games of American Football (my brothers favourite sport). It was so great to see them all again, we had a lovely time!

Thomas and I enjoyed the Summer weather – the only high point of a challenging year for many of us – and instead of foreign shores for a holiday this year, I had a ‘stay-cation’ in the wonderful city of Bristol in September. It’s a city I would highly recommend visiting too!

And now we’re pretty much at my first year’s work anniversary at Liberty HR Recruitment. October was a brilliant month as I received a promotion at work (my new job title is HR Recruitment Partner) and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve met a huge number of wonderful people over the last twelve months at our HR Leaders’ Forums and at college. Our candidates and clients are a joy to work with and the team here now feels like extended family. I have a new colleague, Lydia Bennett, who has just started her Liberty HR journey like I did a year ago, and I’m now looking forward to the new and varied challenges ahead. I’m feeling so comfortable doing things the Liberty ‘way’, a person-focused, values-led, ethical method of working. It’s unique within the world of recruitment at the moment, yet I believe that it’s the way forward in our ever-changing world.

Beth Foster (November 2020)

(Blog image courtesy of my favourite book, “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse” by Charlie Mackesy)

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